Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) held their 2012 Business and Career Seeker Awards recently.
Business development and operations manager, Natalie Tighe, said the winners were all well deserved.
“We had to create an extra award when we were picking the businesses; it was too hard to decide on one,” she said.
There were five nominations in each category and three employees from AES chose them.
The chosen nominee’s employers were then notified and asked to write a reference telling the AES why they should win and the contributions that they had made to their work place.
“The judging of all categories was extremely hard for all three of us but we had to choose the nominees who best suited the criteria,” Ms Tighe said.
Female Career Seeker of the Year was won by Angela Swan who works at Cafe Gali.
“Angela was the longest existing staff member and has been working at Cafe Gali since it opened in January last year,” she said.
Russell Cook took out the Male Career Seeker of the Year award for his recent move to manager for Woolworths Fuel.
“Russell’s letter of recommendation was very good and for him to step into a managing position is just wonderful,” Ms Tighe said.
The business section was split and a second award was given, the first going to Indigenous Community Links for the Business of the Year Award.
“With a recent name change Community Links has employed a number of our clients and most of them are now in long-term positions,” she said.
The last award, which was created specially, went to Moree Secondary College for their positive contribution.
Principal, Paula Barton, was glad to be rewarded and recognised for employing Aboriginal people.
“We have a policy to employ a certain amount of Aboriginal people because it is so important for them and this school,” Ms Barton said.
“The children always feel safe and love talking to our Aboriginal workers, which is fantastic,” she said.
According to Ms Tighe, these awards will now become annual to keep a focus on Aboriginal employment.
“It is so important to reward and recognise Aboriginal people who are going out there and getting a job, and also the businesses who are employing them,” Ms Tighe said.
“If we didn’t have the businesses willing to employ our Aboriginal clients then our business wouldn’t be running.”