Remote electricians’ hard work recognised
Four bright sparks from remote Kimberley communities have amped up their futures after becoming the first recipients of a new national apprenticeship created by Horizon Power.
Bidyadanga’s Keith Hunter, Clinton “Minty” Sahanna of the Dampier Peninsula, Robert Hassett from Kalumburu and Yungngora’s Brendan Walters graduated at a ceremony at Horizon Power’s Broome depot last month.
Receiving the Certificate III Electricity Supply Industry Remote Community Utility Worker qualification marked the end of a nine-year training program, whereby the four men maintained electrical networks and power stations in their respective communities.
Before the apprenticeship program began, it could take days for these communities to be attended to if there was a power outage and even longer in the wet season.
Horizon Power managing director Frank Tudor said the qualification was unique to WA and he was proud of the first graduates for achieving their significant goals.
“The four remote community utilities workers were the pioneers of this work,” he said.
“(They) were actually involved in the development of the training to ensure it met the unique needs of remote communities and safety requirements, given the requirement to work alone.”
Graduate Mr Sahanna said he was proud to be recognised. “(The trade certificate) benefits indigenous people who live in their community to have a sense of pride and achievement,” he said.
“It’s great that the team and I are recognised for the time and effort we all put in with a nationally registered qualification.”
Minister for Energy Ben Wyatt congratulated the four men and Horizon Power for this milestone.
“It has been a long journey for the men who graduated today and I wish them the very best of success in their future roles,” he said.
“The staff at Horizon Power should also be congratulated for creating this apprenticeship scheme.
“I hope it produces graduates for many years to come.”
Brendan Walters, Keith Hunter, program founder Shane Eeles, Robert Hassett and Clinton "Minty" Sahanna at the graduation ceremony at Horizon Power's Broome depot.