Jigalong shed making a difference in regional WA

4 July 2017

The Royal Life Saving Society WA’s work within the broader Western Australian community is normally, and rightly so, linked to efforts to lead community safety when people are in, on or around water. However, the organisation is especially proud of its work with vulnerable and at risk communities.Two indigenous men doing woodworking at the Jigalong Shed

Thanks to the our long term management of several remote Aboriginal community swimming pools - scattered throughout the Kimberley, Pilbara and Gascoyne - the Royal Life Saving Society recently signed on to become a host employer under the Federal Government’s Community Development Program (CDP).

Royal Life Saving’s engagement with this nationwide program, which seeks to deliver better opportunities for remote job seekers and to foster stronger economic and social outcomes, is driven from the remote Aboriginal community of Jigalong.

Jigalong is approximately 165 kilometres east of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, and boasts a relatively transient population of approximately 350-400 people. 

Since its involvement with the Community Development Program in Jigalong, the Royal Life Saving Society WA has made significant progress towards developing and operating a range of employment and micro-enterprise opportunities that Jigalong residents have become engaged with. 

Activities such as the manufacture of household furnishings, general maintenance, traditional art and craft activities have attracted strong participation rates throughout the initial four months of the Royal Life Saving Society WA’s delivery of the program.

A group of indigenous women completing dot paintings at the Jigalong ShedIn this short space of the Royal Life Saving Society WA has overseen 2090 hours of community engagement that has attracted participation from over 100 different people.

A mark of the success of the organisations status as a host employer has been the employment of a community member to help complete a range of small scale projects, such as the fabrication of a hydraulic car trailer for the Jigalong Community.

The Royal Life Saving Society WA has also recently increased its staffing presence in Jigalong to ensure continued growth of opportunities for community members to participate in meaningful activities.  A team of four staff are currently responsible for a range of activities that are being delivered within Jigalong under the host employer agreement. 

Our next phase of involvement in this Federal program will be to ensure continued delivery of a range of positive activities within the Jigalong community, and to seek to become engaged in the delivery of the program within other remote Aboriginal communities throughout the state.

Royal Life Saving Society WA's Workforce Solutions Department manages the implementation of this host employer agreement at Jigalong. For further information on this project or other professional services we can provide please contact us at the link below.

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