Through the TRACQS Community Development Program (CDP) delivered across Western Tablelands, five local First Nations women were invited to participate in the Deadly Women’s Workshop.  

This workshop gives participants the opportunity to complete two nationally recognised qualifications: Certificate I in Workplace Skills and Certificate I in Tourism in Australian Indigenous Culture. The Deadly Women’s Development and Leadership Program was supported by The Reef and Rainforest Research Centre (RRRC), with training provided by INLOC Group.   

This idea came from a pilot program that took place in 2022, which aimed to inspire, motivate and empower First Nations women and young female leaders to enter the workforce. Today the program provides an important opportunity for women wanting to develop stronger leadership skills and recognised training that they can take into employment opportunities.  

Taking place in Cairns over two weeks, five women attended training as part of this workshop, rising early each morning to take a bus to Cairns, driven by TRACQS Bus Driver Ian, who transported the group to and from their training each day. While at the training, the women met with other First Nations women of all ages, where they collaborated on coursework, shared ideas and formed friendships.  

The training these participants received offered the building blocks to pursue employment in the business and tourism industries. Developing a general understanding of workplace skills, administration and tourism with a focus on Australian Indigenous Culture, everyone who attended learned the basic skills to uncover their interests and explore a new career path.  

TRACQS Employment Consultant Delvene maintained regular communication with the group to keep up to date with their progress and assist with any enquiries. The support from the TRACQS team and workshop facilitators was essential to helping the group reach their goal at the end of the two weeks.  

On the final day, the five attendees enjoyed a graduation day at the Pullman Hotel in Cairns, where they were recognised for completing their training. They met with several local dignitaries, including local member for Leichhardt Warren Entsch (Federal), member for Cairns Michael Healy (State – Assistant Minister for Tourism Industry), and Senator Nita Green, along with RRRC Program Director Lydia Miller, CEO of Cairns City Council, Cairns Museum Manager and Sam Walker INLOC First Nations Operations Manager, who all shared their congratulations and encouraging words with the graduates, recognising their incredible accomplishments.

“The highlight of the day was when the women were presented with their certificates of attainment and a bouquet of flowers. The joy and smiles of the women on the day was an everlasting moment for them and everyone in attendance, knowing that they have achieved qualifications that will further and empower them into better employment opportunities as First Nations Women,” shared Delvene, TRACQS Employment Consultant. 

According to feedback received from program participants, the Deadly Women’s Workshop has proven to be a valuable experience, providing a positive and rewarding environment. The courses offered were well-received, and the personalized guidance from program mentors proved to be invaluable. 

“I really enjoyed this course because I learned new skills and gained knowledge,” shared Sandra, program participant.  

“I appreciated that I got to engage in this course, which has provided me valuable qualifications to further my employment opportunities,” shared Georgina, program participant.  

The TRACQS CDP team in Kuranda offers a big congratulations to our five graduates! We look forward to the next Deadly Women’s Workshop in conjunction with INLOC Group and RRRC so we can continue to encourage First Nations women to upskill, empower, and further their employment opportunities.