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20 years of strengthening the Tiwi community

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Indigenous woman with hair drawn back and wearing glasses and a dark shirt. Behind her is shelving and other office content.
Chief Executive Officer Maria Harvey
2 Dec 2019

The Tiwi Islands Training and Employment Board (TITEB) has just achieved an important milestone: 20 years of service to the Tiwi community.

Maria Harvey is Chief Executive Officer of TITEB.

‘TITEB has had the strengths and the nous to navigate one of the most regulated industries in the Northern Territory,’ Maria said.

‘Keeping and maintaining a registered training organisation is extremely difficult because of the regulatory requirements, so the fact that we’ve had one for 20 years is a massive achievement within itself.’

The success of TITEB is not just due to the hard work and commitment of Maria and her co-workers but to the ability to adapt to the needs of the Tiwi community.

One of the successes was to change the scope of the courses available, making them more foundational.

‘We’ve got a ‘White Card’ which you need to work in construction; we’ve got senior first aid which is a good thing to have when you’re looking for work,’ Maria said.

‘We partner up with the NT Government for licensing. We’ve got Certificate I Multimedia, Certificate I/2 Community Services, Certificate I/2 Business so they’re all pretty much stepping stones into the workforce and it’s deliberately so.’

The training centre is an important part of the community. Last year, it placed 187 people into work and most are still there because of continuing support. The centre mentors the newly employed as they adjust to the requirements of employment.

‘Everyone knows there’s a training centre. Everybody knows it’s theirs,’ Maria said.

‘It’s quite a unique suite of programs to have to support any group of disadvantaged people so we’re extremely proud we’re still in the game 20 years later.’

Last year, there were approximately 480 jobs available in the Tiwi Islands but with 2200 working age adults needing those jobs, the challenge for TITEB continues.

‘So, where we can’t get people a job, it’s about making sure the activities are of high quality so it’s actually something people want to get out of bed for,’ Maria said.

TITEB is committed to strengthening the Tiwi community through training and employment placements and plans on doing so for the next 20 years and beyond.

Find out more

The National Indigenous Australians Agency supports TITEB to deliver the Community Development Programme, Remote School Attendance Strategy and School Nutrition Programme.

For more information, see Tiwi Islands Training & Employment Board.

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