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Employment & training project partners deliver new sports complex upgrade for Thursday Islanders

A partnership in training and employment will take sports to the next level for Thursday Islanders with the completion of Wongai Multi-Purpose Courts upgrade, supported by Torres Strait Regional Authority (TSRA) and My Pathway.

Funded through the TSRA’s Economic Development Programme, the over $1.25 million Wongai Multi-Purpose Courts upgrade project was managed by My Pathway for the Torres Strait Youth Recreational and Sporting Association (TSYRSA).

Delivering improved sports facilities for local residents, the project provided an ideal training venue for Community Development Program (CDP) job seekers, an initiative of the Australian Government and delivered by My Pathway to provide training and employment opportunities in regional areas.

The project is nearing completion with the lead contractor Rob Clarke Builders using local Indigenous subcontractors from Building and Construction Indigenous Corporation (BCIC), which comprises 14 Indigenous and local businesses, to undergo the works.

TSRA Chairperson, Mr Napau Pedro Stephen AM, said the project had progressed well and met all of the outcomes set by the Economic Development Programme.

“The Torres Strait Youth Recreational and Sporting Association raised the issue of upgrading the Wongai Multi-Purpose Courts with the TSRA in 2018 as a priority to help improve recreational infrastructure in the Torres Strait” Mr Stephen said.

“The TSRA’s Economic Development Programme provided over $1.25 million in funding necessary to develop the project which has provided a number of benefits to the local community, including infrastructure improvements and opportunities for training and employment.

“Realising a need for more skilled construction workers on Thursday Island, the project partners TSRA and My Pathway set out to provide the necessary training for CDP job seekers.

“The skills and qualifications earned would set them up for several upcoming projects, including the demolition and reconstruction of the TSRA’s Environmental Management Programme building on Douglas Street.”

My Pathway Chief Executive Officer Paul Synnott said: “My Pathway’s and TSRA’s CDP training and employment activities are achieving considerable milestones to meet the needs of jobseekers in the Torres Strait Islands, in particular important projects such as the Wongai Multi-Purpose Courts upgrade that meets community visions into the future.”

Nine CDP Job Seekers from Thursday, Hammond and Horn Islands now hold nationally accredited training as a result of their participation in this project including: Certificate II in Construction Pathways, Working at Heights, Working in Confined Spaces and Asbestos class B licence.

Eight CDP job seekers gained full-time employment in the construction industry, with six securing employment with the lead contractor Rob Clarke Builders.

The Wongai Courts will be blessed on Friday 7 June prior to its imminent reopening.

Pictured: Upskilling – Construction trainees Sipau Gibuma and Jimmy Mudu at work restoring Wongai Courts.

Photo: My Pathway

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