National Recognition for Indigenous Innovation and Collaboration

CAIRNS-based social and economic development enterprise My Pathway and their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander joint venture partners in Far North Queensland and Northern Territory have received a national award for Indigenous employment at an annual peak industry conference, attended by industry leaders and stakeholders in Melbourne this week.

The National Employment Services Association (NESA) Awards for Excellence showcased exceptional effort, innovation, collaboration and progress in creating opportunity for all Australians through inclusion and employment.

My Pathway with respective regional partners - Hope Vale Foundation, Gungarde Community Centre, Wujal Wujal Aboriginal Shire Council, Doomadgee Aboriginal Shire Council, Gur A Baradharaw Kod, Northern Peninsula Area Family and Community Services, Mokwiri, Kuku Ya’u in Far North Queensland, and Centre for Appropriate Technology and Urapuntja in the Northern Territory -  are winners of the Innovation and Collaboration in Indigenous Employment category.

The award – sponsored by online training company Alffie - celebrates successes achieved in Indigenous communities in Cape York, Gulf of Carpentaria, Torres Strait and remote Northeast Alice region in vocational education, employment and enterprise opportunities under the Australian government-supported Community Development Program (CDP).

“Our successful community-led model combines Indigenous knowledge and ownership, local voice and community needs with My Pathway’s expertise and relationships,” said My Pathway CEO Paul Synnott, who accepted the award on behalf of the regional joint-venture partnerships.

“It’s an honour to bring this national award back to the Far North”.

Senator The Hon Anne Ruston MP, Minister for Families and Social Services, and The Hon Ken Wyatt, AM MP, Minister for Indigenous Australians were among the dignitaries present to assist NESA CEO Sally Sinclair in honouring the outstanding people and organisations recognised in this year's NESA Awards for Excellence.

"We congratulate the winners, the other finalists, and the thousands of dedicated employment services professionals and job seekers across the country whose fine efforts and results are reflected in the achievements that we are highlighting,” said Ms Sinclair.

The awards ceremony was part of the 2019 NESA National Conference attended by employment professionals and government to discuss the future of work.

My Pathway Chief Operating Officer Dr Chris McLaughlin presented a Thought Leadership panel at the conference explaining that innovation and connections are key to delivering successful employment outcomes in remote communities.

“Cultural and community needs are number one, together with local joint-venture partnerships to maintain a strong local voice and increase genuine engagement”.

My Pathway assists up to 3000 CDP jobseekers in the Far North - from remote Doomadgee in northwest Qld to Saibai island in the Torres Strait – in developing skills toward meaningful employment in local industries such as construction, environmental management, arts and events, business and maritime operations.



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