This is the first time SEA Australia have delivered an indigenous learning and development program which was translated in language for the participants. The approach was to use the Social Enterprise in Schools program and materials as framework for the delivery of the program for the Thamurrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation.

The program was about engaging trainees in an introduction to social enterprise.  Exploring the definitions, values and purpose of social enterprise trainees were able to apply this knowledge to their own business planning process and delivery of their own social enterprise in Wadeye, Northern Territory.

Day one of the program introduced  the concept of social enterprise to the Youth Team Leaders who had been identified by Wadeye elders to work with young people from their community in Wadeye.

Key outcomes from day one of the program:

  • Defined values and purpose of a social enterprise to better understand where it sits in relation to the private and charity sectors
  • Examined the range of organisational and legal structures available to social enterprises
  • Discussed examples of social enterprise to deepen their understanding of the realities of setting up and running a social enterprise
  • Co-designed the workshop for the trainees on day 2 to ensure that the structure and delivery of the workshop was culturally appropriate and relevant to the needs of the trainees

The trainees aged between 17 and 25 years are completing a 3-month residential leadership program based out of Bright, in Victoria’s North East.

Key outcomes from day two of the program were:

  • Defined social enterprise with the trainees to establish a common understanding
  • Developed business plans for a small motors and a hairdressing social enterprise
  • Prepared to apply for start-up funding from the NT Government
  • Built the capacity of the Youth Team Leaders to continue the groups learning of social enterprise through the practical implementation of their ideas

The hosts for the day, Justin and Rebecca Crawley , run the Wadeye Indigenous leadership program and have had an association with the Wadeye Community in the Northern Territory since 2003. They are members of the Thamurrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation and set up the Thathangathay Foundation, which aims to improve the lives of the indigenous people of the Thamarrur region in the Northern Territory through identifying and developing its future leaders.

Justin and Rebecca own and operate a social enterprise cafe, Dumu Café, in Bright that provides a vehicle for indigenous youth trainees from Wadeye with the opportunity to learn the skills of the hospitality and retail industry.

The young people involved in the program receive assistance completing their education, they undertake daily accelerated literacy support, complete first aid training and receive assistance in obtaining work related qualifications such as TAFE courses and industry specific competencies. While doing this, they also share their culture with schools in the region, strengthening their own cultural identity as well as gaining valuable cross-cultural learning experiences through their engagement with the local community.

We are incredibly grateful to have had this opportunity and to learn so much from the group. We hope that in the future we can work more closely with this community and continue to learn from each other and achieve amazing things together.

We’ll be following up with the young people from Thamurrurr Indigenous Youth Corporation later in the year to see how they’ve got on with their social enterprise ideas – so check back in Autumn 2018!