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CQUni training at Dreamtime Cultural Centre boosted by new Skilling Queenslanders for Work funding

Published:23 July 2021

(l-R) Poutawera Tane, Kraig Hixon and Demekea Leo-Purcell are part of a group of Dreamtime Cultural Centre trainees who have been undertaking Conservation and Land Management training with CQUniversity.

A Conservation and Land Management training partnership between the Central Queensland Aboriginal Corporation for Cultural Activities (CQACCA), the Dreamtime Cultural Centre and CQUniversity, has helped one participant gain new skills and experience that he could take to the bank.

The project saw 12 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders (school leavers, unemployed or underemployed) undertake Certificate I in Conservation and Land Management training with CQUni while working at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre for 18 weeks.


Training one day each week, the trainees expanded their skills and knowledge in the field of horticulture and other areas, with some securing employment.

Some of the projects the trainees worked on, under instruction from CQUni Horticulture Teacher Kay Pearson and Dreamtime Centre staff, included regeneration of creek beds in partnership with Rockhampton Regional Council, revitalisation of the native plant tour and bush tucker garden, resume writing, and personal development courses, including drumming and participating in the UpCycle CQ Project.

One trainee, Poutawera Tane has been successful in gaining full-time employment with the Capricornian Bank in Rockhampton.

“The project was my first form of full-time employment and I believe I learnt a lot about the schedule of waking up early and driving to work every day while managing other commitments such as sport and casual work,” he said.

“One barrier I faced was the constant improvisation made by Dreamtime with setting new tasks or jobs in short time periods.  

“Overcoming this was not easy, but with guidance and hard work I was able to complete the tasks to a high standard.

“The most enjoyable aspect of the project was by far, the team. I met so many new characters and made some close friendships along the way.

“The experiences the team offered gave me a new perspective on many different lifestyles and ideas.”

The trainees from the first round will graduate on Friday 20 August at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre. This Skilling Queenslanders for Work project has been proudly funded by the Queensland Government.

You can follow their journey on the Dreamtime Facebook page.

Skilling Queenslanders for Work focuses on developing an individual’s skills, supporting them to begin a learning pathway to a Cert III qualification, and providing direct assistance to those Queenslanders that need extra support to enter and stay in the workforce.