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Sparking potential for Indigenous rail students


NEWS UPDATE 27.05.2024

Sparking potential for Indigenous rail students

Arc Infrastructure’s Central Maintenance team involved Koomba Birdal students in a track panel installation demonstration at North Metro TAFE.

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Arc Infrastructure has offered PPE, materials, equipment and expertise to support the Koomba Birdal (Big Spark) Rail Infrastructure Program at North Metropolitan (Metro) TAFE.

The Koomba Birdal Program, which commenced in 2022, is a free supported training pathway for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students and is designed to inspire the pursuit of further study and further enhance their ability to gain employment.  

Students are supported throughout their training by the Koolark Centre for Aboriginal Students and Tafe’s Jobs and Skills Centre’s Enhanced Aboriginal Engagement Team, who provide mentoring, study support and career guidance services.  As well as sponsoring the purchase of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for North Metro TAFE rail students, Arc coordinated track panel demonstration works to coincide with classes to involve the Indigenous cohort of students. The facility was provided with rail scraps, including seven timber and seven concrete sleepers and all of the relevant fastenings which connect the rail to the sleepers. Over two days, the group installed 18 metres of track and provided an invaluable learning opportunity for the participants. General Manager Works Delivery and Arc Aboriginal Engagement Initiative Executive sponsor, Dan Ellis, has acknowledged the success of the North Metro TAFE partnership, managed by Arc’s People team and the Employment and Training workstream of the initiative. “In our 2023 Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan we committed to improving employment outcomes by increasing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander recruitment, retention and professional development at Arc,” Mr Ellis said. “Our work with North Metro TAFE is a demonstration that we recognise Arc has a role to play in progressing reconciliation and taking action to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples through meaningful recognition, training and job opportunities, social investment and relationship building.” The Employment and Training workstream of Arc’s Aboriginal Engagement Initiative will be speaking to students about job opportunities towards the end of the Koomba Birdal Rail Infrastructure Program.

This month, we recognise National Reconciliation Week which runs from Monday 27 May to Monday 3 June 2024. National Reconciliation Week encourages us all to take action and reflect on issues affecting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Everyone has a responsibility in progressing reconciliation in Western Australia. Arc Infrastructure’s Aboriginal Engagement initiative has helped our business develop our vision for reconciliation and consider how we can contribute to reconciliation as a business. Arc Infrastructure was proud to launch our first Reflect Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) during NAIDOC Week in July 2023.

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