Why we do it
...Because we want to cultivate success in young indigenous people.
It is easy to believe the headline stories about Indigenous people not wanting to work. But that is not the real story.
The real story is that Indigenous people are just like the rest of Australia. We all flourish when given the opportunity to contribute and feel accepted for doing so.
Yes, there are differences between the cultural outlook of Indigenous and European Australians. But there are many similarities too.
We found that providing they were given the right leadership, were trained and skillfully managed, our Indigenous employees were reliable and could get the job done to a high standard.
What they needed were opportunities from someone with a strong willingness to take them on, skill them up, show them what is expected of them and then enforce the standard required. Our Indigenous employees wanted to learn and they responded well to firm and friendly but respectful management.
We at Silver Lining Foundation reject strongly any branding or stereotyping of people because of any particular characteristic. We know that many programs have proven to be disappointing so we decided to have a go ourselves. The only way to do that was to get our hands dirty and offer opportunities ourselves in education, work and training.
That is what we did in the past and now we are going to do that in the future by working with Shaftesbury.
It is just giving Indigenous people a fair go while at the same time recognizing that special efforts are required because of the long history of disappointments they have experienced.
We hope that we will cultivate some success in the Indigenous people who take advantage of the opportunities we offer.