Flexible 'On country' training for indigenous seafarers
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Hurd, S and Findlater, RLB and Weaving, JR, Flexible 'On country' training for indigenous seafarers, IAMU AGA 15 Looking Ahead Innovation in Maritime Education, Training and Research, 27-30 October, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 279-284. ISBN 978-0-9806391-4-8 (2014) [Refereed Conference Paper]
© 2014 Australian Maritime College, an institute of the University of Tasmania. This paper presents the concept, challenges and results of Certificate II Coxswain and Certificate II Marine Engine Driver (MED3) training that was tailored for a specific cohort of indigenous candidates within a unique set of training parameters. The challenge presented to the Vocational Education and Training (VET) area of the Australian Maritime College (AMC) was to integrate with an existing maritime training program in the Torres Strait region of Far North Queensland and then take the program forward with student pathways into higher level vocational maritime qualifications. With relatively short notice, assessments were completely redesigned to minimise written components and to maximise workplace demonstrations of competence, learning material was re-written to be language-neutral, and presentations and diagrams were converted to functioning physical training aids. The training commenced with a pilot course in November 2013. It was shown that the benefits of this training were that the students remained 'on country' (that is, in their traditional geographic region) and that on board the training vessel they were not just trained and assessed; they lived the lives of Coxswains and Marine Engine Drivers for a full four weeks. The feedback from students on completion of the course was overwhelmingly positive, and there was very high course completion rate. The governing partner agencies, AMSA and the TSRA, were entirely satisfied with the innovative and tailored training that delivered nationally recognised qualification outcomes to each of the participants. The innovative approach to maritime training and the successful results to date have caught the interest of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, and a similar approach will be used to tailor maritime training for that authority's indigenous marine rangers in remote communities on Cape York. AMC's flexibility and innovation has also set the precedent for this style of delivery across all remote indigenous areas of northern Australia.
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