Building a Bridge to Work, through adult learning

Alstonville is a small New South Wales town, with a population of around 5,000 between the towns of Ballina and Lismore.

In 2011 the Alstonville Adult Learning Association was awarded $9,041 through the FRRR’s Seeds of Renewal grant program, which is funded by ANZ. The Seeds program aims to contribute to building thriving communities in regional Australia by providing funding for projects focussed on creating education and employment opportunities. Both ANZ and FRRR believe that contributing to education and training is an extremely important part of creating sustainable rural communities.

The grant allowed the Alstonville Adult Learning Association to deliver a suite of seven accredited units of competency from Certificate II in Children’s Services and Certificate III in Hospitality. This program was designed to make young Aboriginal women employable in their local area.

The project developed knowledge and skills in child care, parenting and nutrition, including First Aid and Safe Food handling certificates. The training also provided a greater awareness of NSW child protection legislation.

Alstonville Ballina Community College executive officer Mrs Narelle Millar says the project has had an amazing impact on the lives of the participants and an ongoing impact on the community as a whole.

“As a result, students have developed project ideas based on needs for providing improved care for children in the Kyogle community, which are now being developed into a framework for a plan to establish a young women’s group called Our Women Now (OWN),” Ms Millar said.

Many students who participated in the training say they have gained confidence and expressed an interest in furthering their training in the future.

The next round of Seeds of Renewal Grants will be announced in early November 2012.



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