|The Borroloola 'Working Side by Side - Borroloola and AACAP' Shared Responsibility Agreement (SRA) will ‘facilitate the provision of a skilled local workforce by local trainees working side by side with the Army to maintain houses, gensets and small engines, increase cross cultural awareness, community and environmental health.’ (Indigenous Portal, January 2007).
Shared Responsibility Agreements are agreements between governments and Indigenous communities to provide discretionary funding in return for community obligations. The new arrangements developed from an initiative of the Council of Australian Governments and replace the previous ATSIC system of funding. For more information see ‘Shared Responsibility Agreement’ below.
The SRA addresses the community’s priority of increasing the workforce capacity and skill building of its members. In addition, several houses will receive basic renovations, and it is anticipated that demand for skilled Indigenous staff for the Mabunju Aboriginal Resource Centre Inc’s housing department is likely to increase.
The SRA is part of a comprehensive, long term approach to the provision of employment, training and capacity of the community and prepare the community for the lifting of a remote area exemption. It aims to create a number of formal training and cross-cultural environments through working partnerships between the community, the Australian Army, existing community programs and organisations such as the Community Development Employment Projects (CDEP) Programme, Structured Training Employment Projects (STEP) and the Li Kirluluwa Language and Cultural Centre.
The SRA notes that the community has started establishing a Gulf Training and Employment Board, support for which the SRA proposes will be ‘included in the imminent comprehensive SRA for Borroloola.’ (Indigenous Portal, January 2007).
The SRA is also part of a suite of SRAs currently being negotiated in the Gulf country which is building on the work under the ATSIC Army Aboriginal Assistance Program (AACAP).
The community and individuals will:
if chosen for formal training, commit to the twelve week training contract and if offered a job after completing the training, will work in that job as a start to a career;
commit to sharing their knowledge and assisting the Army personnel in understanding their culture, traditions and language;
commit to actively participate and promote the healthy lifestyle programs introduced, and will provide feedback to Army medics;
once housing works are completed, Indigenous housing tenants in new and renovated houses will commit to maintaining the condition of the new and renovated houses, abide by conditions of the tenancy agreement and an agreed set of criteria for housing allocation and continued occupation as outlined in the Mabunji Indigenous Housing Strategic Plan, developed in conjunction with the Department of Local Government, Housing and Sport.
The Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association Inc will:
manage funds and meet reporting requirements of the various program funding;
recruit and manage local Indigenous trainees;
provide staff to liaise between the Army and the community, and
will offer four unsubsidized jobs to trainees who satisfactorily complete the formal twelve week training package with the Army.
It has also proposed a contribution of $72,000 towards building materials, wages and managerial support.
The Li Kurluluwa Language and Cultural Centre will:
share with the Army Medics working in the community cultural knowledge of the collection, preparation and use of traditional bush tucker and medicines, and
provide cross cultural and basic language training to Army personnel.
The Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR) has proposed a contribution of $200,380 towards the STEP, CDEP wages and on costs (such as machinery, protective clothing etc) and leadership development through the Indigenous Small Business Fund (ISBF).
The Department of Health and Ageing (DHA) has proposed a contribution of $60,000 towards funding for alcohol and other drug mentoring. In addition, it will undertake monitoring and evaluation of the alcohol and other drug mentoring program.
The Department of Families, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaCSIA) has proposed a contribution of $75,000 towards funding of the Army’s mentoring role under the SRA.
The Australian Army HQ Land Command Engineers has proposed in-kind support of at least 20 personnel to provide mentoring to local trainees. Army Health person nel will deliver a healthy living program, outstation genset maintenance and other training. The Army contribution will be limited to the 12 week period.
The Department of Employment, Education and Training has proposed a contribution of $110, 560 towards the delivery of the formal accredited housing maintenance training package.
The Department of Local Government, Housing and Sport has proposed a contribution of $35,000 towards the materials for ‘housing maintenance scope of works.’ (Indigenous Portal, January 2007).
The Xstrata Zinc McArthur River Mine Pty Ltd has offered five fulltime, unsubsidized positions to trainees who successfully complete the course. In addition, ‘those trainees who do not gain fulltime employment after successfully completing the course will be given high priority for the next mine trainee intake. Trainees who commence employment with the mine will undergo Certificate 2 Entry to Mine Services training. Each trainee will have his/her skills audited and the mine will offer a position according to the skills of the trainee, subject to the trainee meeting pre selection tests.’ (Indigenous Portal, January 2007).
The funding of the SRA is subject to the partners entering into a legally binding funding agreement
Performance Indicators and Feedback Mechanisms
The SRA provides for the following feedback and assessment:
‘the Katherine Indigenous Coordination Centre will provide a qualitative report outlining how housing maintenance and life skills training participants are applying new skills’ (Indigenous Portal, January 2007);
the Mabunji Aboriginal Resource Association Inc will assess the proportion of participants completing the 12 week training course, the number of Indigenous transfers from the CDEP scheme to regular employment and the retention rate after 6 months from transfer from the CDEP scheme, and on a six monthly basis, report on the conditions of the new and renovated housing and whether tenancy agreements have been signed and are adhered to.
Mabunji Aboriginal resource Association Inc, Xstrata Zinc McArthur River Mine Pty Ltd, the Army and the Katherine ICC will conduct monthly meetings during the 12 week program, and on a quarterly basis for a year after the completion of the program.|