The GEGAC Academy was established at the start of 2018 with the aim of providing a traineeship/ cadetship-type program incorporating personal, cultural, career development and supported transition to study for five young local Aboriginal people. The content of the Academy program was developed by GEGAC to meet the needs of the organisation as well as the young Aboriginal trainees employed under the program.
The Academy program includes training and coaching around work skills, personal and leadership development, cultural experiences, career planning and transition to study. The content of the Academy program was developed in consultation with GEGAC’s program co-ordinators who were asked to identify skills and attributes important for someone working in their field.
Cultural elements underpin the program – the trainees participate in cultural activities when opportunities arise and spend time with the Manager of the Keeping Place experiencing culture and learning traditional symbols, language and stories.
The GEGAC Academy program takes in 5 local indigenous community members for a 12 month period. Prospective trainees are required to submit a formal application and attend a job interview with the selection panel in a bid to secure one of the 5 trainee positions.
Initially the trainees go through an induction and education process whereby they learn about the various program areas within GEGAC and the services they offer. Additionally, the trainees work through a variety of processes designed to educate and inform them on things such as appropriate workplace behaviours and the relevant policies and procedures that are in place to support these expectations. Identifying strengths, weaknesses, likes, dislikes, etc. is also an important part of the early stages of the academy program, which is designed to help the trainees identify specific program areas of interest based on these strengths and likes that have been identified.
After the initial induction and education process, the trainees select a number of program areas where they will start doing one week blocks of job shadowing within these program areas. After the one week blocks are completed, the trainees narrow their focus down to 3 program areas where they complete a 3 week job shadowing block in each of the chosen program areas.
Finally, the trainees select one program area in which to do a six month job shadowing placement. While there are no guarantees, it is hoped that there may be an ongoing position available for the trainee within GEGAC for them to move in to at the conclusion of the academy program. If there is not a role available at GEGAC, it is hoped that the Trainee will have developed the knowledge, skills and competencies required to be able to secure an ongoing role in an organisation outside of GEGAC, where they can utilise the workplace experience they have gained, and the things they have learnt via the academy program to establish secure, ongoing employment into the future.