Media Release: Ngukurr students saddle up to celebrate equine infrastructure unveiling

Posted on Updated on
EQUINE EXCELLENCE: Students, CDP participants and staff celebrate the official opening of the Ngukurr School equestrian yards on September 7 after a collaboration between the school and Roper Gulf Regional Council delivered the much-needed infrastructure.

EQUINE EXCELLENCE: Students, Community Development Program participants and staff celebrate the official opening of the Ngukurr School equestrian yards on September 7 after a collaboration between the school and Roper Gulf Regional Council delivered the much-needed infrastructure.

After stepping out of the saddle at the completion of their education, a group of men in Ngukurr have gone back to school to ensure future generations of students in the remote community have access to the infrastructure needed to advance their horsemanship skills.

Through its Community Development Program (CDP), Roper Gulf Regional Council has partnered with the Ngukurr School to construct a set of steel yards that will used by the 16 Year 9 to Year 12 students who learn about riding and equine management when they are not in the classroom.

The school supplied the materials for the ambitious build, with CDP participants providing the labour as they developed a new range of skills in metalwork, construction and project management under the watchful eye of the Council’s CDP Builder Trainer.

Witnessing the yards take shape had special meaning for several of the participants involved in the project who have a first-hand understanding of how important the horsemanship program is for fostering confidence and self-esteem in students.

Roper Gulf Regional Council CDP participant Donald Hall tells CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub what helping to build the yards means to him as a former student of the Ngukurr School horsemanship program.

Roper Gulf Regional Council CDP participant Donald Hall tells CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub what helping to build the yards means to him as a former student of the Ngukurr School horsemanship program.

Participant Donald Hall explained that as a former student in the program, he had jumped at the chance to give something back to the school.

“It makes me feel proud to have been in the horse program when I was at school, and now doing something to help the horse program,” he said.

CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub said she was thrilled to see how committed participants had been to growing their skillsets as part of a project.

“Council has had anywhere from 12 to 20 CDP participants at a time working on this project, and they have put countless hours into finishing it and making sure it is something Ngukurr can be extremely proud of,” she said.

After putting the finishing touches on the fabrication project, CDP participants watch Ngukurr School students try out their new horse yards.

After putting the finishing touches on the fabrication project, CDP participants watch Ngukurr School students try out their new horse yards.

“This was about showing the kids what the participants can do, which has been community involvement and teamwork, welding, machine operation, and preparing and managing the job from initial conception.”

The Council runs CDP projects in its Local Government Area on behalf of the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.

The Federal Government initiative assists jobseekers in remote communities to find  employment as they contribute to their communities and gain new skills in the process.

View the full Media Release here.