Stakeholders and community members attend the Healthy Sea Country and Maritime Training Workshop at CQUniversity.
Stakeholders and community members attend the Healthy Sea Country and Maritime Training Workshop at CQUniversity. Christopher Chan

Indigenous group looks to the sea to supply vital jobs

AS NAIDOC Week draws to a close, a local business organiser is pushing for more training opportunities for indigenous workers, specifically in the maritime industry.

"It's a spark that's ignited in the community and we're going to forge ahead," organiser Cherissma Blackman said.

On Friday, those gathered at the Healthy Sea Country and Maritime Training Workshop at CQUniversity heard from the chief executive officer of maritime training organisation Tribal Warrior.

"We looked at the possibility of having maritime staff that we could train as captains... whether it's protecting the reef or even marine biologists," Shane Phillips said.

"(We're) thinking bigger, instead of thinking of just being in the system.

"So it has a longer lasting effect on this area."

Mr Phillips said it was vital to get indigenous people into more employment.

"People with maritime qualifications are flying into your area and flying out," he said. "What Tribal Warrior wants to do is help enable people from the local area to build the local economy.

"Once we've got enough indigenous people through to show that it's there, we will want to make sure we're sharing with the whole community of Gladstone."

Bob McCosker, owner of Quoin Island Retreat, which also operates a turtle rehabilitation centre, is one of those willing to help out with training through his organisation.

"If they develop any sort of training that would relate to that, then that's an avenue," he said.