A new Aboriginal Partnerships Unit will become a dedicated and central point of advice and leadership for Aboriginal engagement in primary industries and economic development.
The APU, which sits within Primary Industries and Regions SA (PIRSA), has been launched during NAIDOC Week and will help encourage greater employment, research and investment opportunities, aligned with recognised Aboriginal aspirations.
Projects, supported by APU, currently underway include:
- The successful North West Indigenous Pastoral Project, which in the past 12 months has seen 15 full-time Aboriginal pastoral workers employed and is working at returning five significant Aboriginal-owned properties to commercial production.
- Progressing the Reconciliation Action Plan actions including the establishment of the PIRSA Aboriginal Reference Group.
- The National Cultural Flows Research Project, which is working to secure a future where Aboriginal water allocations are embedded within Australia's water planning and management regimes.
- PIRSA’s Aboriginal Scholarship program, in partnership with University of Adelaide, which this year has been awarded to four Aboriginal students.
- First Steps Program, which last week employed its first six Aboriginal staff members across PIRSA.
It will also become a central point of contact within PIRSA, supporting staff to identify and pursue new opportunities for Aboriginal South Australians to participate in primary industries and economic development.
Several new projects that include new research partnerships, new business proposals and training partnerships in horticulture and primary industries are currently being developed.
Quotes attributable to PIRSA Rural Solutions SA Executive Director Daniel Casement
It gives me great pleasure to make this announcement in NAIDOC Week, knowing the Aboriginal Partnership Unit will help PIRSA develop more opportunities to drive meaningful and long-term differences in Aboriginal employment and engagement in primary industries.
PIRSA’s already shown great leadership and success in supporting Aboriginal participation in primary industries and regional economic opportunities.
The Aboriginal Partnerships Unit will help PIRSA leverage these successes, drive outcomes that align with Aboriginal needs and encourage an equal participation in this State’s economic prosperity.
I’m also looking forward to seeing the results of greater collaborations with our Aboriginal representative bodies, landowners and supporting agencies – and the exciting and innovative partnerships and outcomes that will come out of this new unit.
As well as launching the APU, PIRSA has recently joined the First Steps Program and last week welcomed six new Aboriginal staff members. Under the program, PIRSA is providing entry-level positions and workplace experience across PIRSA, with mentoring and support to identify and pursue ongoing career development.