PUBLISHED: WesTrac website
ORIGINAL ARTICLE: WesTrac supports Bindjareb training program
CREATED: June 2018
AUTHOR: Fallon Dasey
WesTrac is continuing to lend its support to the Fairbridge Bindjareb Project (FBP), an initiative that is successfully helping incarcerated Indigenous men to find work and turn their lives around.
We have long provided Cat equipment for use by the Perth-based program and in more recent times have been running training days for participants, providing training for instructors, and introducing contracting firms to the scheme.
WesTrac WA Chief Executive Jarvas Croome says WesTrac’s increased commitment to the Fairbridge Bindjareb program is a reflection of the outstandingly positive results it has achieved. “More than 90 percent of participants finish the scheme and more than 40 percent of recent graduates have gone on to find work,” he says. “By the end of the program, they have a real direction and self-belief.”
A joint initiative of the West Australian Department of Justice, the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet and youth training organisation Fairbridge, the Bindjareb Program was established in 2010 and aims to break the vicious circle Indigenous men can fall into when they enter custody. Generally speaking, the longer and more frequently men are incarcerated, the less likely they are to have the skills needed to get a job and lead a stable life.
Fairbridge helps to correct this by providing minimum-security prisoners based at Karnet Prison Farm the chance to train for jobs in the mining and local government sectors ahead of their release. Between 10-12 participants at a time go through a 14-week course where they undergo intensive training and mentoring and gain relevant trade qualifications.
“We aim to give people a hand-up, not a hand-out,” explains Program Manager Brett Hawthorn. “We want them to leave here with new cultural, life and work knowledge plus the support network they need to make sustainable change in their lives.”
Bindjareb trainer and mentor George Miles explains participants leave the prison each day and learn the skills, commitment and professionalism necessary to operate plant equipment including graders, loaders, skid steers, watercarts and side tippers.