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NAIDOC week: breaking down employment myths.



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Hon Dr Sharman Stone MP

Minister for Workforce Participation 06 July, 2006

Media Release

NAIDOC week: breaking down employment myths

Indigenous Australian Tehani Mahony has broken down the stereotypes that surround employment for women

and Indigenous Australians, the Minister for Workforce Participation, Dr Sharman Stone said today at a

National Aboriginal and Islanders Observance Committee function.

“Tehani is currently in the second year of her plumbing apprenticeship through the Australian Government’s

Structured Training and Employment Program (STEP) and due to her outstanding achievement has been

awarded the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations NAIDOC Achievement Award,” Dr Stone

said.

STEP is an Australian Government program which provides education and training opportunities for Aboriginals

and Torres Strait Islanders.

“Tehani is a young 22 year old Aboriginal woman who is excelling in a trade not traditionally taken up by

women,” Dr Stone said.

“She has travelled over 3000 kilometres from her home in Broome to complete her plumbing apprenticeship in

Melbourne and her goal is to return to Broome and start her own plumbing business - encouraging other young

indigenous people, especially women, to consider taking up a trade.

“Tehani is an outstanding example of the opportunities young Australians have to create a worthwhile future by

looking beyond the gender, race and workforce mobility stereotypes that surround our workforce.

“In the past year in Victoria more than 320 Indigenous Australians have been assisted into employment through

Australian Government funded STEP projects and in the past four years more than 1400 Indigenous Australians

have been helped into a job or training.

“As one of the only women on her course, Tehani has become a role-model to her fellow apprentices and has

even taken up public speaking engagements to promote plumbing apprenticeships for young Indigenous people.

“Tehani is an outstanding role model for young Australians and I congratulate her for her achievements.

“I strongly encourage Indigenous Australians to consider getting involved in a STEP program and pursuing a

career that will bring skills and business to their local communities,” Dr Stone said.

For further information contact:

Sarah Blakers 0421 587 207