Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation named among best in SA at training awards

Fertile ground: Derek and Arthur Walker and Kevin Kropinyeri celebrate Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation's win at the SA Training Awards. Photo: Peri Strathearn.
Fertile ground: Derek and Arthur Walker and Kevin Kropinyeri celebrate Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation's win at the SA Training Awards. Photo: Peri Strathearn.

The old Nungas Club might not look like much from Adelaide Road, but behind its facade is one of the best places in South Australia to start a career.

On Friday night, Ngopamuldi Aboriginal Corporation was named mid-sized employer of the year at the South Australian Training Awards.

Director Derek Walker welcomed the win as an indicator that the company was on the right track, especially as it had been up against "some pretty good mobs".

The company's mission is to provide training and job opportunities for both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Land management remains its most important focus - it has just established a nursery with capacity for 180,000 seedlings for revegetation projects across the Murraylands.

But it has also produced electricians, civil construction workers and corporate leaders, among other professionals, qualified from a certificate two to a diploma level.

It had close to 100 staff on its books last year.

"You want people to not just do a job, but come out up-skilled and able to get a job anywhere," Mr Walker said.

"In civil construction, some of our people go off into the mines; we had an electrician go onto the solar farm at Tailem Bend ... there has been this progression over a long period of time of developing people to go on in whatever vocation they choose.

"We've had young guys who've struggled in school come to us; we give them training that enables them to deal with dyslexia, with leaving school and all that."

Occasionally one of its business units becomes so successful it is able to spin off into an independent company, as has been the case with Walkinjeri Services, which now delivers bookkeeping, payroll and accounting services to a range of organisations.

Michael Boyce, chair of the Training and Skills Commission which hosted the awards, said Ngopamuldi and the other winning organisations had been chosen for their quality and innovative approaches to training.

Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni congratulated each winner, and described the awards as "a wonderful celebration of where a skilled career can take you".

Ngopamuldi will now represent SA at the Australian Training Awards in Brisbane in November.

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