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Sailing to Empowerment with Babana Aboriginal and Tribal Warrior

5 minute read

The Innovative Recruitment Solution Award at this year’s Asuria Employer Awards was all about recognising organisations that drive excitement and passion through programs that are bold and diverge from the norm.  

In the heart of Redfern, Sydney, this year’s winners exemplified this mission, embodying resilience, empowerment, and community support.  

Congratulations to Tribal Warrior and Babana Aboriginal.

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For over two decades, these organisations have been beacons of hope, offering pathways to empowerment for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities. Central to their mission is the provision of pre-employment programs and pathways, helping marginalised people to find jobs while fostering cultural engagement. 

Asuria is immensely proud to have been able to work with both organisations to create innovative recruitment and retention programs, including the Maritime Operations Program, which since 2019 has become a standout example of effective employment initiatives that reverberate throughout communities. 

The program provides First Nations people with culturally sensitive support, training, and hands-on experience in operating vessels, specifically in Sydney Harbour. Through a carefully crafted curriculum, participants gain essential skills and qualifications necessary for a career in the maritime industry, helping them into roles with organisations like NRMA Marine. 

Over the three week course, participants delve into various aspects of maritime operations, from crew coordination to firefighting skills, culminating in a graduation event, where everyone’s achievements are celebrated.  

But the impact doesn't end with graduation.  

Thanks to partnerships with community-focused organisations like NRMA, participants are offered real-world pathways to employment, with the ripple effect of these employer partnerships creating individual success stories, as well as contributing to the economic empowerment of entire communities. 

In 2022 alone, the Maritime Operations Program led to nine new jobs for those graduating from the program. One of those graduates, Thomas Wright, is a shining example of just how transformative the program can be, with his journey from a troubled past to being named as a finalist in the NESA Achiever of the Year awards serving as inspiration for others embarking on similar paths.

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As heartwarming as success stories such as Thomas’s are, the impact of initiatives like the Maritime Operations Program -- and organisations such as Babana Aboriginal and Tribal Warrior who deliver them – don’t end with employment. They create a continuous cycle of growth, empowerment, and community upliftment, all leading to positive change, creating a culture where everyone has the opportunity to thrive, regardless of their background or circumstances. 

It's for all those reasons, and many more, that Babana Aboriginal and Tribal Warrior have set the bar extremely high for all aspiring future winners of the Innovative Recruitment Solution Award to aim for. 

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