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Indigenous Maritime Operations graduates to embark on new careers on Sydney’s waterways

[by Lee Robson]


Graduates left to right: Cyril Mundine, Jordan Lee-Schultz, Ron Schultz, Graham Leslie Merritt, Stephen Carr, Morgan Bruce Peter Stewart, Julius Robinson, Lewis John Hennessey, Mark Henry Bailey, Thomas Charles Wright, Codie Jane Stanley, Tanisha Lynelle Wise, Luke Robert Nicholson. Image: supplied

15 Indigenous job seekers selected to participate in a Maritime Operations program, thanks to a collaboration between employment services provider, Asuria, Babana Aboriginal Men’s Group, and Tribal Warrior, are today exploring new job and career opportunities on Sydney’s waterways following a special graduation ceremony aboard the Mari Nawi on Sydney Harbour.


At the event attended by friends, family, and special guests recently, each of the graduates were presented with a certificate of recognition for participating in the program, which included a Cert I in Maritime Operations (General Purpose Hand), Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and First Aid (delivered by TAFE).


Having commenced on 15th November, the qualifications are the culmination of four weeks’ hands-on training with Tribal Warrior aboard the Mari Nawi and Lady Northcott, which included assisting with routine maintenance, applying basic survival skills, firefighting, and working as part of a crew.


Employment services provider, Asuria, and Babana Aboriginal will now continue to work with the program’s participants to facilitate their passage into employment, with a commitment to placing 90% of those who have completed the course into jobs within six weeks.


That effort has been given a significant boost thanks to a commitment from NRMA Group to begin exploring job opportunities with new graduates across its fleets and wharfs in Greater Sydney.


Mark Bailey from Marrickville, graduating from the program, says of his participation in the course: “The past four weeks have been life-changing, giving me a chance to learn a bunch of new skills and set myself up for jobs that I couldn’t have even dreamed of getting before I joined the course.”


Con Kittos, Executive Chairman at Asuria, adds: “Seeing the huge leaps that these hard-working Indigenous men and women have made in the past month is a real testament to the power of courses such as these to help motivated job seekers to reach for job and career opportunities that might otherwise have been beyond their reach.”


Michael Betteridge, General Manager, Tourism Development at NRMA Group, which will be working with the graduates to fill various positions with its Manly Fast Ferry and Fantasea Cruises businesses, adds: “Providing a much-needed source of recruitment support and training, the Maritime Operations Program is incredibly important for businesses such as ours, and we’re looking forward to welcoming as many of today’s graduates as we can accommodate into roles they have proven they are ready to take on.”


Mark Spinks, Chairperson of Babana Aboriginal and Tribal Warrior adds: “Being given the chance to become part of the distinguished maritime industry represents a once in a lifetime opportunity for so many of today’s graduates, and we’re looking forward to following them on their next steps into employment.


“Job opportunities in the Maritime industry aren’t given out to just anyone, with each of today’s graduates proving that they have what it takes to come on board with those helping to make Sydney’s waterways some of the best run in the world.”


Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation is the only Indigenous Maritime Training Company operating within Australia. Their specialised training programs are all facilitated by qualified Maritime trainers (OTEN). 


To express an interest in future Maritime Operations Programs, visit


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