It’s a pretty sorry statistic that 29 percent of young indigenous Australians are not earning or learning, compared to 9 percent of non-indigenous young people. A couple of weeks ago 13-year-old Madeleine Madden, grand-daughter of Charles Perkins, gave an address to the nation on the future of Indigenous Australians.
“If a huge effort is made, the gap between my people and other Australians can be closed in one generation,” she said. “Some people help by making us feel welcome at work. Other people start by learning more about our people and culture.”
Learning more about indigenous culture seems like a good starting point for businesses. The Centre for Cultural Competence Australia (CCA) aims to close the gap by educating businesses through competence-based online training courses.
Bronwyn Lumby talks more about the aims of the organisation and the courses it offers. She says there are many barriers created by poverty but businesses, through education, can help to break the cycle.
In the last census the unemployment rate for indigenous people was 16 percent, compared to 5 percent, for non-indigenous people. It’s a ready workforce of young people available for any business that shares the vision of young Madeleine Madden.