Batchelor Institute » Aboriginal Organisations Offer a New Vision for National Employment
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Aboriginal Organisations Offer a New Vision for National Employment

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Mr Robert Rusca and Batchelor Institute CEO Professor Robert Somerville AM at the signing of the MOU


Two leading Aboriginal and Torres Strait organisations have partnered in a landmark agreement that will have a significant impact on the educational and employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders.

Batchelor Institute, Australia’s only comprehensive publicly funded First Nations Tertiary Education provider, has partnered with Rusca Brothers Services Pty Ltd through the subsidiary, Sid Rusca Training Academy.

The Rusca Group is one of the country’s most successful Aboriginal civil, mining and construction companies. This is an innovative alliance that will address the underutilised levels of Indigenous employment in mining and civil construction organisations.

As a registered training organisation Batchelor Institute will provide expert advice and management to support the development of the Sid Rusca Training Academy. The Academy aims to create a workforce for the Rusca Group of companies as well as a workforce for the broader civil, mining and construction industries.

Shannon Rusca, a Director of the Rusca Group said, “The recent growth in the Rusca Group of companies highlights that there are real opportunities being created in industry for indigenous people to play key roles. It is time to build programs and facilities for the Recruitment, Employment, Training, and Mentoring of indigenous people to skill them for the opportunities in front of them.”

The Rusca Group, an entirely Aboriginal owned and operated company, has established themselves as one of the key employers of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in the civil, mining, construction, waste management services and training sectors – with a number of projects with multinational companies such as Inpex, Leighton’s, Theiss, Santos and Glencore.

Batchelor Institute CEO Professor Robert Somerville AM praised the agreement as a great opportunity for two like-minded organisations to build on employment outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities.

“We look forward to working and building a long term and sustainable partnership with the Sid Rusca Training Academy,” said Professor Somerville AM.

“As a dedicated Indigenous training provider, employment outcomes and sustainable education that contributes meaningfully to communities is fundamental to our principles. This agreement will continue to build on a very strong track record of success.”

Batchelor Institute has outstanding success providing authentic, nation-building training and education to Aboriginal people.

“Most of our students reside in some of the most remote communities in Australia, speaking an Aboriginal language instead of English. This is our training environment, these are our people,” Professor Somerville said.

The Sid Rusca Training Academy will be based out of Noonamah in the Northern Territory and will offer real-world and authentic work environments in a training setting, including accurate simulations of worksites.

This MOU addresses an opportunity to vastly improve the level of Indigenous employment in these industries.

Robert Rusca, Managing Director of Rusca Group is excited about the development.

“This partnership will continue to improve employment pathways for Indigenous Territorians. Rusca Group have always been about providing jobs and transferring knowledge to the following generations. Culturally speaking, the knowledge transfer process is ingrained into our culture and it is naturally the direction we need to go to improve opportunities for our people.”

With over 80 years between them in building capacity and providing economic opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, this agreement is set to generate meaningful results for Indigenous employment nationwide.

“Most importantly, it demonstrates that Aboriginal organisations are best positioned to provide real opportunities for Aboriginal people,” said Professor Somerville.