Stepping across the Top End
STEPS continues to grow across the Top End of Australia, with a presence in such places as Maningrida, Milingimbi, Groote Eylandt, Gove (Nhulunbuy) and Galiwinku on Elcho Island.
For the indigenous Australians in these parts, English may be their fourth, fifth or sixth language. Besides teaching and training, trainers in these remote areas of Australia are taking a myriad of supplementary courses to skill them for their life-changing roles in their varied and often unique workplaces. Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLNP) classes have begun at Gunyungara (Ski Beach) community about 12 km outside of Nhulunbuy. Classes are supporting delivery of Certificate I in Retail based on activities of the plant nursery and Certificate I in Resources and Infrastructure.
The daily life of trainers and students is very fluid and evolving as Community Development Employment Project (CDEP) participants are encouraged to move into employment at the community. It is still a challenge to find participants to make up full classes but there is good commitment shown by existing class members.
STEPS staff have painted up an old room to use as a base but nothing is as good as outside under a tree.
STEPS Training is currently installing Interactive Distance Learning (IDL) facilities in Milingimbi. This satellite medium means that the learner in remote Milingimbi (about 500 km east of Darwin) will no longer be deprived of modern education facilities, methods, practices and opportunities that urban people often take for granted.
Training courses can now be delivered into Milingimbi via satellite from anywhere in Australia or elsewhere in the world. Learners (up to 12) each have a PC to send and receive information to and from their trainer, as well as cameras for the trainer to see the students.