Feature

Indigenous employment to bolster farm workers

FARMERS’ FRIENDS: Russell Kapeen (Kurachee), Allen Bowcock (First Sun Employment), Lance Manton (Bogal Land Council), Thomas Roberts, Janice Gomes and John Lee (First Sun Employment).
FARMERS’ FRIENDS: Russell Kapeen (Kurachee), Allen Bowcock (First Sun Employment), Lance Manton (Bogal Land Council), Thomas Roberts, Janice Gomes and John Lee (First Sun Employment).

A LISMORE indigenous employment agency has come up with an idea to provide employment on farms to Aboriginal people in Coraki.

Allen Bowcock, site manager of First Sun Employment, said this week that the mining industry is "poaching" farm workers - often the adult children of farmers - who head to mining areas in search of a higher income.

"We know that the mining sector has targeted farm workers for the mining industry because of the skills, work ethic and knowledge that they bring to the job," Mr Bowcock said.

"This is draining the farming sector of qualified, skilled workers. We also know that finding good quality people to work in the farming sector is difficult.

"What we're proposing to do is work with the farmer to build a reliable local labour force to assist with their future needs. First Sun Employment has been working in collaboration with some Coraki farmers to identify those needs and we have the opportunity and resources to help them. Tapping into the local resources makes a lot of sense."

Mr Bowcock said many candidates for training haven't worked in the farming sector before.

"As valued clients of First Sun Employment, they would attract substantial wage subsidies, to assist farmers with the start-up and productivity development periods," he said.

"Indigenous clients 'know and feel' the land just as the farmer does. It's in their spirit to care for the land. Tractor driving and farm operations are skills that can be taught. Then there will be an ongoing resource bank of great people who will be trusted to do the job to farmers' plans and requirements."

Mr Bowcock said that since transport was a problem for many Aboriginal people in Coraki, training group Novaskill would offer courses in the town.

"And Coraki is a town that has some problems. Elders are worried about the young fellas losing sight of their cultural stuff.

"We hope that by employing some of the Aboriginal men we might build better relationships between the indigenous and farming communities. For us, it's about people still identifying as Aboriginal but getting to a place where they have access to jobs and incomes."

Allen Bowcock wants to talk to farmers in the Coraki district who would be interested in exploring the opportunities his company wants to offer.

First Sun is at 92 Woodlark Street in Lismore. Phone 6621 6833.

Topics:  employment training and education


Stay Connected

Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.

Women's Expo to open the festival

Lismore's Women's Festival.

A day long event for the wellbeing of women in Lismore

NABBED: ninja stars, credit card knives, machetes in Lismore

Richmond Local Area Command officers and the Australian Federal Police (AFP) National Anti-Gangs Squad seized more than 70 prohibited weapons in Lismore in a joint-operation. February 21, 2017.

Joint police strike force pounces on illegal weapons in NR

Bishop's ordination to be streamed across the globe

Friar Gregory Homeming.

Catholic Diocese of Lismore to welcome new bishop

Local Partners

Novel with lots of heart

Be transported to another world with A Quiet Kind of Thunder

Bliss N Eso announce tribute show for stuntman

Bliss N Eso will play a tribute show at Coolangatta in honour of Johann Ofner. The stuntman died during the filming of the group's Friend Like You film clip earlier this year.

BLISS N Eso to play tribute show to raise funds for killed stuntman

MOVIE REVIEW: Trainspotting sequel as good as original

Ewen Bremner in a scene from the movie T2: Trainspotting.

Director Danny Boyle proves sequels can be done well.

How Karl Stefanovic's wife, kids found out about girlfriend

Karl Stefanovic and Jasmine Yarbrough after their day on Sydney Harbour. Picture: Jonathan Ng

Pictures splashed across tabloid were shock to family

WATCH: Toowoomba opera hopeful's incredible voice

Kaitlyn Orange attends Opera Queensland auditions at Empire Theatres for Opera at Jimbour, Saturday, February 18, 2017.

Opera hopefuls vie for parts in performance at Jimbour House

MKR turns spiteful in suddendeath elimination

Alyse and Matt battled Josh and Amy in a spiteful elimination cook-off.

Bottom of the ladder faces off in spiteful sudden-death cook-off.

Jilted Married At First Sight groom rejected again

Is Married at First Sight groom's second chance over already?

Submarine, buses and 3000 tyres removed in $100K clean up

The list of things removed from this property is beyond astonishing

Popular island resort sells to loaded international investor

OUR PICK: Chris Foey's colourful shot of one of Gladstone's great tourism hot spots, Heron Island.

International investor snaps up piece of Gladstone paradise.

Potential home buyers punished for doing the 'right thing'

Should I go to university or buy a house?

What $11.9m can get you on Coast's most exclusive street

29-31 Wyuna Drive Noosaville Qld 4566

This is what a cool $11.9m can get you

Ready to SELL your property?

Post Your Ad Here!