Expanding the Aboriginal Pastoral Academy in Northern Western Australia

The Northern Hub, through its core member, the Kimberley Pilbara Cattlemen’s Association (KPCA), is proud to announce its commitment to supporting the activities of the Aboriginal Pastoral Academy (APA) in northern Western Australia as presented recently by ABC Landline. The Northern Hub will provide funds to implement additional training modules and workshops over the coming year, furthering the capacity and resilience of the region’s workforce.

The APA is a collaboration between a group of stakeholders that aims to support employment pathways for Aboriginal people in the pastoral industry. The Academy is funded by the State Government Royality for Regions program through the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) and currently delivered in partnership with the KPCA, Nyamba Buru Yawuru and East Kimberley Job Pathways. Since its establishment in 2020, it has successfully built capacity, resilience, and support for the next generation of First Nations individuals pursuing pastoral careers in the remote outback of northern Western Australia. Its mission aligns perfectly with the needs of both industry and communities, seeking workforce capacity and earning opportunities in close proximity to their homes and families.

With the funding provided by the Northern Hub, the APA will introduce a suite of new workplace training tools, including the Safe2Say program, mental health first aid, and cultural awareness and relationship coaching. Additionally, four on-station training workshops will be added to provide hands-on learning experiences. To ensure effective leadership and guidance, an Aboriginal Leadership Group (ALG) will be established within the program.

The APA’s primary focus is to provide mentorship and training for long-term career progression while simultaneously developing skilled pastoral crews in nearby regions. By doing so, it aims to reduce the transience and unpredictability of seasonal workers, fostering economic empowerment, preserving cultural heritage, and maintaining stability for local communities.

“Sustainability is key to our efforts,” stated Dr Veronica Toral-Granda, a Knowledge Broker at the Northern Hub. “We are committed to shaping long-lasting, reliable, and thriving pastoral teams with the necessary knowledge and skills, while also respecting the environment and preserving local culture.”

This project is supported by the Northern Hub, through funding from the Australian Government’s Agricultural Innovation Hubs Program. By contributing funds for additional training modules and workshops, the Northern Hub aims to empower the APA to fulfill its mission of building a resilient and capable workforce in northern Western Australia.