Olabud Doogethu lowers crime in Halls Creek by turning local Indigenous men into skilled operators

To celebrate NAIDOC Week 2021, we’re looking at the great work being done by Olabud Doogethu in the Shire of Halls Creek. This organisation runs various programs to lower crime in the shire, one of which involves training local men on Cat equipment to help them kick start a career in the civil construction industry.

The Shire of Halls Creek is in the East Kimberley region of Western Australia. It has a population of around 3,269 that is 75% indigenous, with many Aboriginal communities and tribes located across its land. The shire has had a history of crime, however that is all changing thanks to strong and forward-thinking leadership from the local Elder’s Advisory Committee.

The Halls Creek Elders setup an organisation called Olabud Doogethu which translates as “all of us together”. This organisation has been doing incredible work to lower youth crime by hiring youth engagement officers and forming partnerships with companies like WesTrac and Horizon Power, to educate the youth, create employment opportunities and foster a safe community.

Olabud Doogethu’s approach to finding solutions to community issues by giving the responsibility to local indigenous leaders has led to a 65% decrease in youth crime. One such solution involved the creation of a designated Men’s Tribal Area – a place where Aboriginal men (fathers and sons) can come together and learn about Aboriginal culture from each other, as well as the local Elders. In addition to this, the formation of a team of youth engagement night officers who patrol the community at night saw an immediate drop in offences since it was introduced in May 2019.

They also successfully rolled out a nationally recognised educational program designed to re-engage the youth.

WesTrac visits the Shire of Halls Creek

Cameron Callaway is the General Manager of Construction (New, Used and Rental) for WesTrac WA. Representing WesTrac, he recently visited the Shire of Halls Creek with WesTrac Customer Support Manager Brad Lecocq. Both men were welcomed to the area by the Shire Chief Executive Officer, Neil Mason. Mason spent the day showing the team all the progress that has been made in recent years and explaining how much things have changed – for the better.

The Shire of Halls Creek Smoking Ceremony

The visit included a traditional Aboriginal smoking ceremony by local Elders Dean Mosquito (Executive Officer of Culture and Transformation) and Arron Little. This special ceremony was held to give us an opportunity to learn and understand the significance and importance of the culture, and why it’s at the heart of their educational program.

Cat equipment helps turn locals into skillful operators

Around 18 months ago, the Shire of Halls Creek invested in 10 Cat machines to enable them to establish a training program for the local Indigenous population – one that gives applicants a Certificate III in Civil Construction when successfully completed. From this, the organisation then creates employment opportunities with the Council to build and maintain road networks as well as contracting to Main Roads for local highway upgrades.

The Shire of Halls Creek Cat Training Program

As part of the visit, the WesTrac team was lucky enough to meet the latest group of Indigenous men who were being trained on Cat equipment. They were given a live demonstration and were in awe at how skillful these operators had become thanks to the program. Once the program is completed, they’ll be able to reap the rewards of a long career in the civil construction industry!

WesTrac is proud to be associated with the Shire of Halls Creek and will continue to work with Noel Mason and their team to support their various initiatives and programs.

The Shire of Halls Creek Cat Simulator

If you’d like to keep in-the-loop on the initiatives being rolled out by Olabud Doogethu, you can subscribe to their mailing list by clicking here or follow them on Facebook. If you’d like to check out the latest issue (May 2021) of their e-magazine Mlibud, click here.

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