A pioneering management program is giving emerging Aboriginal leaders a distinct industry advantage.
A national first, the pilot Challenger Institute of Technology’s Certificate IV in Frontline Management - Aboriginal Leadership program provides participants with the opportunity to learn a range of management strategies that can be implemented across all industries.
Designed in a way to enable full-time employees to complete the program, the course is delivered over a six month period, which includes three, one-week face-to-face blocks and online study.
The final block in the inaugural program has just finished with a group of nineteen participants graduating from the course.
For 58-year-old David Atkinson, of Karratha, the skills gained through completing the program have proved integral to his current role of Human Resources Indigenous Training and Employment Advisor at Woodside.
Based at the Karratha Gas Plant, David’s role involves mentoring Woodside Indigenous apprentices and trainees. David said he wished he had completed a course like this when he was younger.
“I only studied to year nine level at school, and up until this course hadn’t completed any formal education in my adult life,” David said.
“I’m now approaching the end of my career, however, this hasn’t taken away from my drive and ambition to become a more proficient leader in my organisation, and in the community.
“The course has made me think differently as a leader, understand what I am doing and why I’m doing it, which has proven particularly relevant in decision making and influencing others in the workplace,” David summarised.
David completed the course alongside his two daughters Sally (30) and Casey (27). David said that above influencing and encouraging him to complete the course, his daughters had made him very proud to witness them both in a professional light.
“I was in a unique situation with this course where I have been able to see my daughters grow and learn from the experience, and I’m biased but I think they have both done very well,” David said.
“It’s great to see your kids grow up to be responsible adults and focussed to better themselves as leaders and as people.”
David has future ambitions to be in a leadership position in the community.
“I would ideally like one day to be in a position where I can guide and influence young Indigenous people, particularly those at school to stay focussed and keep on the pathway to further education and training.”
The course participants graduated with a nationally recognised Certificate IV in Frontline Management qualification. Based on the success of the pilot program, plans are underway to run the course again in 2015.