The state of Victoria has announced that it will offer $400,000 to the Geelong Aboriginal Employment Taskforce in an effort to generate employment and upskilling opportunities for Aboriginal Australians.
The taskforce comprises local Aboriginal employers, community representatives, groups, and businesses that seek to create employment avenues as well as reduce barriers that are holding back Aboriginal people from working.
Many still remain aware of who Aboriginal individuals are. Aboriginals are members of a race of people who were the first people to live in a country, before any colonists arrived. Particular to Australia, Aboriginal individuals are the various Indigenous people of the Australian mainland and many of its islands, such as Tasmania, Fraser Island, Hinchinbrook Island, the Tiwi Islands, and Groote Eylandt, but excluding the Torres Strait Islands.
According to media reports, the $400,000 grant is part of the bigger $1.25 Mn investment in Aboriginal employment support in Geelong. The taskforce aims to leverage the remaining $850,000 from the investment towards the establishment of the first-ever cultural hub for Aboriginal entrepreneurs
"We're supporting Aboriginal organisations, so that they can create more employment pathways and opportunities for First Nations Victorians. I look forward to seeing the Ngarrimili cultural hub open soon," said Gabrielle Williams, Minister for Aboriginal Affairs.
The cultural hub will include a retail shop front, featuring local First Nations businesses and their products, in addition to a café for training and employment opportunities. The cultural hub will also serve as a "co-working space for Aboriginal people [to] grow their businesses and seek employment assistance," the government said.
Employment Minister Jaala Pulford believes that these investments and initiatives are another example of its support for the self-determination approaches to help Aboriginal communities prosper even further.
He added that the initiative will ensure that Aboriginal Victorians will get the help that they need in realising their potential and career goals.
"Both the Ngarrimili hub and the work of the Geelong Aboriginal Employment Taskforce will be a launch pad for the next generation of Aboriginal people living in the Geelong region," the minister said.
To accelerate holistic economic growth for the nation, it will be key for Australia to cater to economic opportunities and growth across all segments of the community. There remains a vital gap that needs to be filled and with the government’s support for Aboriginal Australians, equitable progress appears to be gaining momentum.