Inland Rail Skills Academy celebrates one year of partnership with Clontarf Foundation
The Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) is celebrating the one-year anniversary of its partnership with the Clontarf Foundation, that supports the education, training and employment of Indigenous youth in communities along the Inland Rail alignment.
On this milestone date, ARTC Inland Rail representatives joined Goanna Academy founder and rugby league icon Greg Inglis at Moree Secondary College today for a training session with Clontarf students from Moree and surrounding academies in Narrabri, Goondiwindi and Inverell.
Greg put the students through their paces with a fun training session, and afterwards took the opportunity to speak about his own mental health journey.
Following the training session, students attended a day full of ‘Starting the Yarn’ events at the Sports, Health, Arts and Education (SHAE) Academy in Moree.
Activities included workshops showcasing Gamilaroi Culture including weaving, art, song and dance, bush medicine and spiritual healing. Through these activities, organisers were able to put a focus on mental health and connect youth in the area to local services.
Attendees also attended the graduation ceremony of nine local community members who completed their Certificate II in Civil Construction course at TAFE NSW, in partnership with Homes North and facilitated by the Inland Rail Skills Academy.
ARTC Inland Rail will provide $500,000 in funding, over two years, through the Inland Rail Skills Academy to support fourteen Clontarf Academies along the rail corridor in Queensland and New South Wales. This funding is helping to boost school retention, develop leadership skills and create pathways to employment through training opportunities for Indigenous regional youth.
ARTC Inland Rail Interim Chief Executive Rebecca Pickering said:
“ARTC Inland Rail supports the Clontarf Foundation’s goal of improving the education, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of our Indigenous youth, and together, through the Inland Rail Skills Academy, we are providing structure and daily support for Indigenous youth in schools across Australia.
“Inland Rail is not only changing the way Australia moves freight but is acting as a catalyst for positive change in many regional communities along the rail alignment.
“A major focus of Inland Rail has been to build skills in these communities so they can participate in this once-in-a-generation project and others in the future.
“The Inland Rail Skills Academy is a catalyst for them to achieve that. This partnership between the Academy and Clontarf will deliver programs which build skills and prosperity in local communities.
“We need to have people ready to capitalise on the opportunities that Inland Rail will bring, and the Inland Rail Skills Academy is about facilitating opportunities for those willing to take the first step on that journey.
“We are committed to playing our part in upskilling the nation and ensuring that different groups of people are given the opportunity to help build Inland Rail.”
Goanna Academy founder Greg Inglis said:
“We started the Goanna Academy to help end the stigma surrounding mental health, and talk about managing mental health, especially for at-risk groups such as youths, regional Australians and First Nations communities.
“That’s why I always appreciate the chance to come to places like Moree to have a run-around with the kids and share my own personal journey with mental health.
“Being able to talk about mental health is something I’m passionate about, especially preventative mental health, which focusses on stopping mental health problems before they start, and helping the kids develop good habits.
“I want to thank ARTC Inland Rail and the Clontarf Foundation for inviting me along, and for the chance to chat with the kids from the local Clontarf academies.”
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