Ironbark CDP Showcase
Leif Marranya and Stewart Martin, from Daly River, 220 kilometres south of Darwin, have been working closely with Ironbark Aboriginal Corporation to focus on what skills they need to develop to set themselves up for the career they want.
They and many other people across remote Australia, are receiving this support as part of the Australian Government’s Community Development Programme (CDP) and are now dreaming big about their future prospects.
Ironbark, a local CDP provider, saw that Leif, Stewart and their fellow participants had strong skills and interest in woodwork, and developed training courses to build upon that interest.
Leif, who would like to undertake a carpentry apprenticeship, said that he can see a real future for himself in working with wood.
“I worked in Daly River, repairing houses as a handy man before this but didn’t think I could make a career out of it,” Leif said.
“I’ve been with Ironbark for a while now, doing activities like making coffee tables and sculpting. I’m now looking forward to starting a carpentry apprenticeship.”
Leif, Stewart and the other CDP participants cut timber at the Lucas saw mill at Daly River and are creating high quality pieces for sale, including picnic tables and office furniture, stools for the Daly River Hotel and have secured contracts with local motels to create bedside tables.
In December Ironbark organised a Christmas Market in Darwin to showcase the work of the participants who came from Daly River, Belyuen, Amangal, Acacia Larrakia and Holtze communities. The participants sold items including jewellery, furniture, hand printed materials, bags, tea towels and curtains while chatting with visitors about their work.
Following the success of the Christmas Market, Ironbark is planning another market in the middle of the year to take advantage of the Top End’s peak tourism season.
As for Leif, he’s got some ideas for the future as well.
“I’m looking forward to helping the younger fellas that come here out, showing them how to cut slabs of wood and make something that they will be proud of.”