Monday, April 14, 2014

Local construction companies chip in to help child care centre

Thanks to the help of some generous local construction companies the makeover of Mission Australia’s Stuart Park Early Learning Centre has received a much-needed boost.

Works got underway last week after NS Projects and Brierty chipped in labour and materials to the value of $250 000 to renovate the Centre and transform its outdoor play area. 

Mission Australia’s Marie Howard said the organisation had set $160 000 aside for the works including an $80 000 grant from the Abbott Foundation.

“We’re so thankful to NS Projects, Brierty and the team of local businesses who have come on board to not only complete the makeover, but enhance our plans and renovate the Centre to the highest possible standards,” Ms Howard said.

“The scope of construction will improve visitor access, enhance the outdoor space and enable us to increase capacity to cater for more local children.

“In the new outdoor area children will be able to get close to nature and experience many different environments with a creek bed for water play, impressive sandpit, new bike track and vegetable garden.”

NS Projects’ Hermanus Louw said it’s the first pro-bono construction project NS Projects and Brierty had worked on in the Territory. 

“We’ve worked together on several construction projects for the community in Perth and were keen to offer what we could when we learnt about the needs of the Centre,” Mr Louw said.

“We spoke with the managers on site to understand what was needed at the Centre and then set about sourcing a team of local businesses willing and able to donate their time or work for very reduced fees.”

Clouston Associates Landscape Architects, Jackman Gooden Architects, Irwin Consult, B&K Revegetation and Landscaping, and Gus Matarazzo from Darwin Constructions all joined the cause. 

“It’s very exciting to see the work begin in what has been a huge team effort,” Ms Howard said.

“Our parents and staff were involved in the process and asked what they wanted to see in the renovation, while the children drew ideas for the outdoor discovery garden.

“By providing a better and more efficient environment at the Centre we are providing the very best in early education and care for the childrenof Darwin.”

Renovations at Stuart Park Early Learning Centre are expected to be complete by the end of April.
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Media interviews & images: Domonique Young of Creative Territory on 8941 9169 or email

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

New program to help Indigenous kids get work

After success in Darwin, Mission Australia has extended its Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program (IYCP) to Alice Springs.

The program aims to increase the number of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in fulltime work or study after school.

“Every student in the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program has a dedicated mentor who will support them through the program,” NT Area Manager Sue Kendrick said.

“It’s similar to a school-based apprenticeship or traineeship in that participants will learn a trade or gain a Certification Two, Three or Four in their chosen field while they complete school.”

Open to Indigenous students in years 10 to 12, Temea Prior and Kaitlyn Armstrong are the first Alice Springs students in the IYCP program.

Alice Outcomes year 11 student Temea is completing a Certificate Three in Community Services with the Gap Youth and Community Centre while St Phillip’s College classmate Kaitlyn is working as a Trainee Broadcaster with CAAMA Radio.

“It can be difficult for students to break into the workforce and I’m really proud to be able to provide a stepping stone for Temea,” Gap Youth and Community Centre CEO Michelle Krauer said.

“The ICYP program has a great support system with not only Mission Australia, but Temea’s school and Charles Darwin University.

“Temea is already growing into her position, relates well to our staff and is learning what’s involved with being a worker.”

IYCP is a federally funded program that provides employers with up to $4750 in incentives for business expenses under the Apprenticeship Scheme Program.

Mission Australia said its currently looking for more Territory business to come on board the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways Program.

“We have 120 students across the Territory interested in the program with only 38 in Darwin signed and enrolled and now two in Alice, Ms Kendrick said.

“Our mentors work closely with any business taking on an apprentice or trainee, and last year we had three graduates secure fulltime work with their employer.”

Businesses interested in finding out more about the Indigenous Youth Career Pathways can visit or call 8935 0900.