The lingering monsoon trough did little to dampen the spirits of the Territory’s latest Community Development Program (CDP) graduates, who proudly received work-ready qualifications at an official ceremony in Barunga on Wednesday.
The 24 locals were awarded formal qualifications by the Batchelor Institute, after completing study units through the Commonwealth-funded CDP program. Under the guidance of Roper Gulf Regional Council staff, participants developed construction and machinery skills while working on a range of community projects – including restoration of a historic steam tractor, footpath installation, scaffolding and park upgrades.
Qualifications presented at the ceremony included Certificate II in Civil Construction (22 students), Certificate I in Construction (7 students) and Certificate III in Civil Construction Plant Operations (15 students). Several participants received multiple certificates on the day, and a number have since found employment related to their studies.
CDP Regional Manager Janelle Iszlaub said it was pleasing to see such a large group of locals being recognised for their hard work and dedication.
“This is one of the biggest groups to graduate through the program in recent times and everyone taking part today were really excited about the event,” she said.
“To see this group receive a nationally-recognised qualification is so rewarding, because it really boosts their future employment prospects.”
Batchelor Institute Senior Lecturer Alvin Tan has been supervising the students for the past five months, and said there was a high level of enthusiasm among the group.
“They love it, especially when it comes to the machine tickets, it is something they really look forward to,” he said.
“Their confidence has grown too, before they were not wanting to sit on those machines, but now they are more confident.
“They can now get a job anywhere they want.”
CDP participant Jermaine Scrubby, who was awarded all three certificates, said the ceremony was a proud moment for all involved.
“Its really good to have a graduation out here at Barunga, with the participants and family,” he said.
“It was good to work with everyone, they are really happy to get their certificates too.”