The dream is fi­nally re­al­ity

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS - PAUL MIL­TON BUT­LER

IT’S been a dream for a long time com­ing but fi­nally a group of ex­cited in­dige­nous peo­ple be­gan their 12-month em­ploy­ment train­ing pro­gram at the new Moss­man Gorge cen­tre yes­ter­day.

While it may be a daunt­ing ex­pe­ri­ence for some who are start­ing mean­ing­ful em­ploy­ment for the first time as they only have two weeks in­ten­sive train­ing un­til the cen­tre opens on June 20, there were no signs of nerves yes­ter­day.

One very keen Moss­man woman, Chris­tine Solomon, 54, who has lived at the Gorge all her life, said she “can’t wait” for the com­plex to open.

“Today is a very spe­cial day for me be­cause I have been cho­sen to un­der­take this train­ing which will on­go­ing for 12 months and then hope­fully I will get a job in re­tail in the main­stream busi­ness world and one day be­come a re­tail man­ager,” Ms Solomon said.

“I think the com­plex is fan­tas­tic and all of our train­ers are lovely peo­ple and very help­ful and the great­est thing for me is that this will give me the chance to get qual­i­fi­ca­tions I can take out­side and use in the main­stream world.”

Op­er­a­tions man­ager Rachael Hodges said this was a big day for the in­dige­nous com­mu­nity and has been a 20-year long dream in be­com­ing a re­al­ity “and now it is fi­nally here”.

“I’m full of pride for ev­ery­one in­volved, I’m ner­vous for all the trainees be­cause they have so much to learn but also thrilled that this will al­low many peo­ple to get the con­fi­dence they need to change their lives - I can al­ready see it now,” Ms Hodges said.

“I can see it by just the way peo­ple are get­ting around here and talk­ing with each other and help­ing each other but most im­por­tantly real­is­ing for them­selves that at the end of their train­ing they will be able to go out into the world and do what­ever they want . . . it’s fab­u­lous.”

The trainees will be do­ing and learn­ing “ev­ery­thing ex­cept driv­ing the buses” at the cen­tre, which in­volves learn­ing all about tourism, hos­pi­tal­ity, or­gan­is­ing tours and work­ing in the art gallery and there will also be op­por­tu­ni­ties for those who want to join and work at the sis­ter com­plex at Uluru in the North­ern Ter­ri­tory.

Team ef­fort: the trainees at the new Moss­man Gorge cen­tre

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.