Indigenous employment Indigenous Wellbeing Centre

Ms Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian, Director/Chaplain at the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre Ltd will be presenting at the Australian Long term Unemployment Conference on the Systemic Failure of Unemployment/Education/Training in Long Term Unemployment – Experiences in Aboriginal Community Development at the Indigenous Wellbeing Centre Ltd. 

Intergenerational LTU has seen members of Aboriginal families being skilfully trained into dependency, welfare mentality, and victimisation in/out of job markets.  Research indicates government funded strategies attempting to close the employment gap have resulted in few positive long-term outcomes.

The Indigenous Wellbeing Centre focuses on creating employment opportunities for LTU in the Wide Bay Region.  Employment with IWC encourages real employment outcomes.

Key elements to successful interventions are:

• Employ Indigenous people in jobs that deal with Indigenous Australians
• Indigenous-centred design enhances hiring and retention
• User / person centred approach
• Know and understand origin of issues and comprehend the impact of the issues
• Engender trust and respect in the people you work with
• Guide not direct the people for / with whom you work
• Offer real and obtainable goals / outcomes
• Understand and accommodate cultural obligations (Hunter and Jordan 2010)

Approximately 5% of Aboriginal peoples break the intergenerational LTU cycle. IWC is cognisant of LTU culture, communication processes, anti-social education and lifestyle, and the sophisticated knowledge of how to play the system that is failing to engage them.  IWC creates the space to allow Aboriginal LTU’ed to transform into First Time Employed (FTE).

This presentation discusses the hidden cultural nuance that contributes to LTU such as issues of structural systemic failures that, overtime, have become institutionalised; thus creating pathways toward LTU rather than to employment opportunities.

About the presenter – Ms. Cheri Yavu-Kama-Harathunian
Ms. Yavu-Kama-Harathunian is a traditional Australian Aboriginal woman of the Terabalang Bunda, Gooreng Gooreng and Kabbi Kabbi peoples.  She has 32 years of professional experience in business, academia, and cultural portfolios and holds directorships in community organisations.  She has established herself in best practice principles in therapies that deal with domestic violence, lateral violence and lateral love, family dynamics therapy and life skills, Aboriginal spirituality, violence and peace studies, and community development.
Ms. Yavu-Kama-Harathunian received a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Bachelor of Applied Science in Indigenous and Community Health.  She is a member of Zonta International, DoveTail Inc. Cultural Reference Group, and the IWC Ltd. Cultural Advisory Council. To benefit others, she contributes to Chaplin Counselling in the marketplace of the Regional Centres in and around Bundaberg, providing pastoral care and counselling to the organisation’s staff and clients wherever the IWC has a footprint in the landscape.

Mr. Frank Garcia
Frank Garcia is the Strategic Innovation and Development Manager at the IWC Ltd.  Frank holds masters degrees in business administration and education.  He has worked in education, management consultancy, information technology, retail, construction and the community services sectors. Over the last several years, Frank has developed a great depth of professional experience in the community services sector, and has a sound understanding of the many and complex issues that face Indigenous Australians.  Frank has passions for social justice and for the protection and conservation of the natural environment.  Frank is a keen photographer and enjoys sharing his love of the outdoors and nature with his family.

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference will be held at the Gold Coast in August 2014, to find out more information please visit the website.

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