TAFE Colleges in Central and Western NSW have been rewarded for their commitment to providing education and training to Aboriginal people. TAFE NSW - Western Institute received both the Institute Award and TAFE/Schools Partnership Award at the 2008 Annual Gili Awards.
The Gili Awards which coincide with NAIDOC week were presented by TAFE NSW Aboriginal Development Unit in Sydney last Thursday. These awards are a significant event for Aboriginal people as well as the NSW Department of Education and Training. This is the second year in which Western Institute received the Gili Institute Award.
The Gili TAFE/Schools Partnership Award was presented for the Cowra Breakaway and Adventure Program run by Cowra TAFE College and Cowra High School. The program started in 2003 to address community concern for a group of young people, initially targeting girls (between Years 8 to 10) but has been expanded to include a boys program as well.
The Breakaway and Adventure Program which has now run fourteen cycles emerged from a community meeting to discuss strategies to help Cowra High School students who were identified as being "at risk". Aboriginal elders took part in the decision making process which has since involved the Aboriginal Health Education Officer, the local Aboriginal community and teachers from both Cowra High School and TAFE.
Western Institute is the largest single provider of vocational education and training for Aboriginal people in NSW. Aboriginal student enrolments grew by 21% in 2007 with 6,396 enrolments making up 16.36% of the Institute's total student enrolments.
The Institute places vocational training needs of the Aboriginal community high amongst it priorities and has a determination to continue working to engage more people in training with positive employment outcomes.
Media Enquiries: Hugh Haynes, (02) 6393 5930