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Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation (ALPA)
ALPA contributes to the development of local economies and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander businesses across 27 remote locations in the Northern Territory and Queensland. ALPA focuses on training, developing skills, creating jobs, and developing sustainable businesses across the region. As of 2021, ALPA have 1200 employees, 84% of whom are local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
““It is critical for ALPA to have Yolŋu staff members undertaking ongoing training and development once in employment, as this allows for them to further develop their skills, take on new areas of work and step up into bigger roles. This not only builds their confidence and engagement, but it also ensures we can continue to open up opportunities for new staff to enter the business in more entry-level roles.”1Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, Indigenous Skills and Employment Program (ISEP) Submission,(National Indigenous Australians Agency: Canberra, 2021), 6, (link)
– Arnhem Land Progress Aboriginal Corporation, Category A Shortlisted Applicant, Indigenous Skills and Employment Program (ISEP) Submission.
ALPA have developed an effective strategy to employ and retain high quality staff. This includes traineeships, development programs, mentoring and in-house training. Part of their success comes from investing in staff in a customised way. Their training programs are based on ‘home rules’ – where they commit to “creating work conditions that suit Yolngu life and priorities.”2Diane Smith, Organising Aboriginal Governance: Pathways to Self-Determined Success in the Northern Territory, Australia, (The Aboriginal Governance and Management Program, Aboriginal Peak Organisations of the Northern Territory (APONT), 2005), 41. In other words, they align staff requirements with local cultural expectations.
They take into account local rules and preferences for:
- how people should talk to each other
- how orders and information should be communicated
- how senior people within the workforce should treat more junior people.