NAIDOC (National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee) Week is a celebration of the history, culture, and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For Master Builders, NAIDOC Week is an opportunity to learn more about the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in our community. For decades, Master Builders has encouraged and supported indigenous apprenticeships and is committed to continuing to develop opportunities for First Nations’ people to thrive in the building and construction industry.
We strive to support and celebrate the contributions and achievements of our industry every day and are delighted to shine the spotlight on Indigenous people and our commitment to provide opportunities to build a brighter future, not just during NAIDOC Week but every week.
Teressa Roberts, MBA NSW Field Officer Coordinator is a proud Darug Woman from the Booroorerongal Tribe. She mentors our Aboriginal apprentices and sees this NAIDOC Week as an opportunity to celebrate young people in employment as a marker of true generational change for the indigenous community. “Many Indigenous Australians have been raised in the shadow of significant social issues which is a barrier to employment. NAIDOC Week is a chance to celebrate the young people that have stood up and made a change. These great apprentices are being socially accountable whilst engaging in their culture and that is a hugely valuable thing for the community to see,” says Teressa. “The value of employment for young Indigenous people cannot be overstated.”
Teressa sees Master Builders making a difference. Tasharn Smith is a 16-year-old first year carpentry apprentice of the Hawkesbury mob and says, “I feel like Master Builders provides me with the right support whenever I need it. Having Teressa as a mentor, and a proud Indigenous woman, I feel like I am well-understood and encouraged.”
For Tasharn, NAIDOC Week provides an opportunity to share the Indigenous culture with work colleagues and the wider community. “The more we know about one another, the better we can work together.”
Tasharn loves the physical nature of the job, the security Master Builders provides and the sense of satisfaction that comes from doing a good day’s work. While reluctant to be called a role model, Tasharn does have advice for other young Indigenous people. And it is simple, “set a good routine, stand up, and allow yourself to develop the confidence to be the best that you can be.”
Jayson Clarke, a 19-year-old, 2nd year carpentry apprentice, agrees with Tasharn in encouraging other indigenous young people to engage in an apprenticeship. He says it’s a case of getting through the first four years. “If you stick with it, you’ll come out of your apprenticeship a different person. You get more from the trade than you can give!”
While he is grateful for the opportunities and the support he receives from Master Builders, Jayson believes that being successful in your trade comes down to two things, how good you are at your job and how well you can manage problems. “If you can work hard on those two things, you’ll get a lot of satisfaction from your apprenticeship,” he says.
For Jayson Clarke a proud member of the Wiradjuri people, NAIDOC Week is a time to tell the stories of about indigenous people’s successes in the community, in their work and on the sports fields.
Tasharn and Jayson feel lucky to have the opportunity to be a Master Builders apprentice. For Teressa, these current apprentices are examples of what can be achieved when you mix a great attitude with opportunity. “Apprentices like Tasharn and Jayson create their own luck through hard work, commitment and having pride and purpose.”
Indigenous Pre-Apprenticeship Program
We are committed to an industry that is diverse, just, equitable and inclusive. We are excited to offer our first all-indigenous program for 2022 running from 5 to 23 September. This course is subsidised by the NSW Government. There is no cost to you.
This NAIDOC Week, we hope you join us in celebrating the history, culture and successes of, not just our students, but all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. Together, we can Get Up! Stand Up! And Show Up! And keep building a bright future for all Australians. #NAIDOCWeek click here