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Firefighters help Aboriginal youth on career path

Published: 10th March 2011

Fire and Rescue NSW (FRNSW) has become the latest emergency service to sign up with a successful school-based traineeship program in a bid to attract more Aboriginal employees into its workforce.

FRNSW has signed an agreement with Warrigal Employment, an Illawarra-based Indigenous training and employment service, to participate in Project Murra.

The project offers students school-based traineeship programs with NSW emergency services and other organisations, which run for two years during Years 11 and 12.

The traineeship, which involves 100 days of paid employment over the two years, is credited as part of the student's HSC.

"FRNSW welcomes this opportunity to support Aboriginal youth through their senior school studies and hopefully encourage them to consider a career with us after school," Fire and Rescue NSW Commissioner Greg Mullins said.

"FRNSW actively encourages diversity in the workplace and we are looking forward to this exciting new partnership with the hope our trainees achieve long-term career success.

"I was pleased to recently welcome our first trainees - Brodie McGhie and Jarwyn Irvin-Collins - to FRNSW and wish them well in their traineeships with one of the world’s largest urban fire and rescue services."

FRNSW will run a pilot of the Project Murra program in the Metropolitan South region which covers the Illawarra and Sutherland Shire.

Metropolitan South Area Commander, Chief Superintendent Terry Farley, said Brodie and Jarwyn would be supported and mentored at the command’s Wollongong and Kogarah offices, respectively, while undertaking a Certificate II in Government Services.

"Project Murra has proved successful for the local Aboriginal community and other emergency services, including the NSW Police Force which has seen some program graduates go on to the NSW Police Academy," Chief Superintendent Farley said.

"Similarly, we would hope to see some of these trainees coming back to work for FRNSW, not only as firefighters but also in other parts of the organisation.”