ONE of the most prestigious awards during NAIDOC celebrations was won by Camooweal 's Myuma Group for their inspiring work with Indigenous job seekers.
Accepting the award in Brisbane last week was Managing Director of The Myuma Group, Colin Saltmere, who said he was "very chuffed" to receive the Premier's Reconciliation Award.
The Myuma Group (representing the Indjalandji Dhidhanu Traditional Owners of North West Queensland) and the North Queensland Region of the Department of Transport and Main Roads have worked in a partnership since 2000.
Since 2007, the Myuma Main Roads Alliance, has operated road construction and maintenance activities surrounding Mount Isa and Camooweal and incorporated the training of prevocational training students.
"We have trainees that come from all over Queensland for mining and civil and other industries and it gives them practical experience in the job," he said. With each training course running for 13 weeks and with 2 intakes per year, Mr Saltmere said he sees 66 trainees every year.
"I think the pleasure come from when trainees write back to you and say they have bought a house and a car, and they have a career and they are looking at travelling overseas," he said. "It takes their blinkers off." Mr Saltmere said the course is not always easy for the students to adapt to, especially if they have come from troubled communities.
"The problem is you are taking people out of a problem area and putting them in a comfort zone," he said. "One of the things that haven't done is institutionalised out operations, so it is not about institutionalising people, it is about making them feel at home." With 100 per cent success rate for the training program, the approach appears to be the right one.
Mr Saltmere said the accolades received at the award ceremony and the stories from other organisations was inspiring for Myuma.
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