APY organisation wins at training awards

Regional Anangu Services Aboriginal Corporation (RASAC) took home two major titles at the South Australian Training Awards.

Sep 26, 2022, updated Sep 26, 2022
Photo: Wayne Quilliam

Photo: Wayne Quilliam

Based in the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) lands in the far northwest of the state, RASAC won Small Employer of the Year, while employee and community patrol coordinator Angelina Dunnett was named Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year.

RASAC workforce and program development manager Madonna Tomes said the awards follow a “challenging time for the communities on the APY lands which went through a significant COVID-19 outbreak earlier in the year”.

“Our workers were well-trained and prepared to assist SA Health through the COVID-19 response,” Tomes said.

The organisation, which delivers municipal services and community patrols, is the largest employer of local Anangu workers across the APY Lands, according to Tomes.

“As an Indigenous-owned and governed organisation we are very proud that our commitment to the training of our workers has been recognised,” she said.

Tomes said staff training was a priority with the organisation.

“We have a strong partnership with TAFE SA so that our workers can attend TAFE to undertake training that relates to their work, and also counts towards accredited qualifications,” she said.

RASAC employee and community patrol coordinator Angelina Dunnett, who was awarded the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year, is now leading the delivery of internal training, according to Tomes.

Tomes said it was particularly pleasing that Dunnett, who also supports community workers by translating TAFE training into Pitjantjatjara language, was recognised at the training awards.

Having completed her Certificate III in Community Services on the APY lands, Dunnett said good training and education are necessary to find decent jobs in remote communities.

“Completing my training has helped me to further my career and become more confident, particularly when I talk with senior Anangu leaders and other service providers,” Dunnett said.

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“I live and work in two worlds. Anangu way, and piranpa (white-fella way). I’m proud that I am developing my skills to find the balance to do both.

“It’s a real achievement to complete training on the APY lands. I want to show my people, my children and other young people that education is important, and we can do it.”

Tomes said RASAC is currently managing the construction of a new swimming pool and youth centre in the community of Pukatja.

“These facilities will be a great boost for Pukatja, providing much-needed facilities for young people in the community,” she said.

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