Groote Eylandt’s new Youth Mentor boosts indigenous engagement

Jobfind’s recently appointed Youth Mentor and Groote Eylandt local, Dayne, is inspiring local youths to get involved in Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) – boosting participation rates and gaining the attention and support of local government members.

It is often difficult for CDEP providers to engage youths in remote communities, particularly young men who often feel that they do not fit in with the older participants. So when a staff vacancy arose at Jobfind CDEP on Groote Eylandt in the Northern Territory, the team took a chance on twenty-one year old local Dayne. With strong connections to the community’s youths through school and local football teams, Dayne enthusiastically jumped straight into the role.

“So far, he’s motivated a number of young men to join him on a range of activities from working to maintain the grounds of the local training centre and police station, to making spears and woomeras and going on hunting and fishing trips each Friday”, said Rod Cordell, Manager of Jobfind CDEP on Groote Eylandt. “He has already proven to be a great asset to the Jobfind team and we love having him on board.”

Jobfind’s Groote Eylandt CDEP team and participants were treated to a surprise visit by the Northern Territory Chief Minister Paul Henderson and local member Malindiri McCarthy recently. Both remarked how impressed they were by the nursery and gardening activities, as well as the CDEP mechanical workshop.

“Even though we weren’t officially on their itinerary, they ended up spending close to an hour and a half chatting with our participants”, said Simon Rodgers, General Manager of Jobfind’s CDEP Operations. “You could really tell how much the participants appreciated the level of interest being shown in the work that they do to develop their local community.”

Dayne’s group going crabbing with spears and woomeras they made
Above: Dayne’s group going crabbing with spears and woomeras they made.