Kanpi and Nyapari: community-based training

First posted on 29 July 2008 under Kanpi & Nyapari.
This article has been updated and archived.
Tags: TAFE & training

Summary

Since 1999, successive State Governments have been trying to re-establish effective community-based training programs on the APY Lands. These efforts have resulted in the appointment of more TAFE lecturers and the rebuilding of core infrastructure. The bulk of this activity has occurred in larger communities.

Since 2005, residents of the smaller communities of Kanpi and Nyapari have made a number of attempts to have training programs established in their communities.[i]

As of 20 February 2012, TAFE did “not own or maintain any infrastructure” or base any staff in either of these communities.[ii]

The Paper Trail

TAFE programs on the APY Lands: a historical sketch

TAFE SA is the largest provider of vocational education and training in South Australia.[iii]

The first TAFE program on the APY Lands started in 1978.[iv]

Over the next 20 years the number of TAFE staff based on the APY Lands rose steadily. In the mid 1990s, TAFE had 17 full-time staff on the Lands. By 2002, however, only two of those positions remained.[v]

The sharp decline in staff numbers was largely a consequence of a new federal funding formula that failed “to distinguish between the cost of providing training programs in remote areas compared with the cost of providing the same programs in regional centres.”[vi]

At the time that the funding formula was changed, programs on the APY Lands were provided through the Spencer Institute of TAFE. The new formula meant that the Institute received the same amount of funding to deliver a program in a regional centre like Whyalla as it did in a remote community on the APY Lands.[vii] Given the difficulty and cost of recruiting and supporting staff in remote locations, it is not surprising that the focus of the Institute’s efforts shifted away from the APY Lands.[viii]

In August 1999, a group of Anangu leaders complained to the Chief Executive of the then Department of Education Training and Employment about the demise of TAFE on the APY Lands. The Chief Executive subsequently “gave a verbal commitment to Anangu” to “address the issue.”[ix]

Three years later, the number of TAFE staff based on the APY Lands had climbed back up to 10.[x]

By 2007, 254 students were enrolled in TAFE certificate courses across the APY lands, with the bulk of those students (64%) working towards their Certificate 1 in Introductory Vocational Education.[xi]

As of May 2008, TAFE had lecturers based in the six largest communities on the APY Lands: Amata, Iwantja, Kaltjiti, Mimili, Pipalyatjara and Pukatja. As well as delivering training in their areas of expertise, these lecturers provided training in a range of areas such as driver education, internet banking, literacy and numeracy and job-search methods.[xii]

In addition, visiting lecturers delivered accredited training on topics such as aged care, music, interpreting and community service work.[xiii]

Mobile Skills Centre

Since 1999, TAFE has made some attempts to deliver training programs to smaller APY communities.

In 2001, the Federal Government provided $203,000 for a mobile skills centre to deliver training to those APY communities in which a TAFE lecturer was not permanently based.[xiv]

The mobile skills centre was first used in January 2004. By August 2004, it had delivered training in three locations: Murputja (Kanpi & Nyapari), Watarru and Yunyarinyi.[xv]

An audit of TAFE facilities completed in late 2004 highlighted problems with the mobile skills centre, specifically:

  • the vehicle had no air-conditioning, was not ventilated and this meant that “staff and students [were] subjected to the extreme temperatures common to the region,”
  • the vehicle lacked an appropriate remote first aid kit, and
  • the 2-wheel drive vehicle needed “to be modified or replaced with a 4WD vehicle to address safety during travel.”[xvi]

In October 2004, the State Government’s APY Lands Task Force provided $50,000 for an upgrade of the mobile skills centre to ensure it satisfied occupational health and safety requirements.[xvii]

In November 2004, the Government informed the State Coroner that the upgraded centre would provide Anangu with “a range of employment and training pathways into the building industry.”[xviii]

Six months later, however, TAFE SA advised a Parliamentary Committee that the vehicle was “rarely used” because community-based lecturers “were reluctant to leave their home community for a week at a time in order to take the vehicle to another community.” The Committee heard that a funding proposal to attach a dedicated lecturer to the mobile skills centre had been unsuccessful.[xix]

In August 2008, TAFE SA advised the Paper Tracker that the mobile skills centre had:

  • “travelled extensively across the APY Lands in 2004 and 2005”,
  • begun to have suspension and tyre problems in 2006/2007 from the “extremely rough roads,” and
  • had nearly rolled over after a “front tyre blowout,” with “parts of the tyre” exploding “through the floor into the cabin” narrowly missing the driver.[xx]

TAFE SA indicated that the near rollover, coupled with new departmental Occupational Health and Safety requirements, “meant that the vehicle could no longer safely operate in the APY Lands.”[xxi] As such, on 6 September 2007, the vehicle was relocated to TAFE SA’s Murray Bridge Campus “for use in the Murray Lands and other country regions.”[xxii]

The Paper Tracker notes that the demise of the mobile skills centre reduced TAFE’s capacity to deliver some programs in smaller communities like Kanpi and Nyapari.

Governance Training

In October 2004, the State Government’s APY Lands Task Force allocated $1.05 million for the delivery of training programs designed to improve the capacity of Anangu communities “to administer and manage community services.”[xxiii]

In May 2005, the small community of Kanpi underscored the importance of this allocation when it highlighted the “dire need” for communities and councils across the APY Lands to be provided with governance training in their first language (i.e. Pitjantjatjara or Yankunytjatjara).[xxiv]

The following month, as part of a series of eight workshops conducted across the APY Lands, TAFE delivered a “governance and management training” workshop to Kanpi and Nyapari. The six Anangu who attended the Kanpi/Nyapari workshop all noted that they had “been waiting a long time” for TAFE to provide vocational training in their communities.[xxv]

Summarising the outcomes of all eight workshops, TAFE reported that participants had “clearly indicated” that governance training was both “welcome and overdue”.  Given this positive response, as well as the obvious need for such training to be continued, TAFE recommended that a “ten year APY Lands Governance Support Program be implemented”.[xxvi]

In June 2005, the Chair of the Government’s APY Lands Task Force indicated that Kanpi would “receive ongoing governance training as part of the APY Lands Capacity Building Project.”[xxvii]

A year later, a Parliamentary Committee heard that the State Government was continuing to deliver governance training across the APY Lands and had “developed a range of different packages, depending on the need.” The Committee was told that this training was an “ongoing initiative” and that its impact would be reviewed over time.[xxviii]

In August 2008, TAFE SA advised the Paper Tracker that it had not, after the June 2005 workshop, “delivered any further governance training at Kanpi/Nyapari and does not plan to do so in the near future.”[xxix]

TAFE training in Kanpi and Nyapari (2008 and 2009)

On 7 July 2008, the Paper Tracker asked the State Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology for information on:

  • the number of students from Kanpi and Nyapari enrolled in a TAFE course in 2008,
  • the infrastructure TAFE owns and maintains in those communities, and
  • any plans TAFE had to provide additional programs in those communities in the second half of 2008 or in 2009.[xxx]

In a reply dated 17 July 2008, the Department advised that:

  • no students from Kanpi or Nyapari were currently enrolled in any of its courses, and
  • TAFE SA did not own or maintain any infrastructure in either community.[xxxi]

In the same letter, the Department indicated that it was planning to provide training in Kanpi and Nyapari in the second half of 2008 “to assist community members to obtain their learners and then drivers licenses.”[xxxii]

Departmental advice (2010)

On 21 April 2010, the Paper Tracker asked the Department for an update on its efforts to deliver TAFE programs in Kanpi and Nyapari.[xxxiii]

In a reply dated 14 May 2010, the Department advised that:

  • in 2008, a driver education program had “commenced with student enrolments from Kanpi and Nyapari,”
  • this program had “continued through 2009 with 22 enrolments,”
  • the program would be “continuing in term 2 this year”, though “at this stage no enrolments have been processed,” and
  • the continuation of the program would be “the priority for Kanpi and Nyapari communities for the second half of 2010 and 2011.”[xxxiv]

The Department also pointed out that:

  • two students from Nyapari and one from Kanpi had undertaken two units from the Certificate 1 in Construction in 2009, and
  • there had been “no enrolments by Anangu from Nyapari and Kanpi in other programs on offer.”[xxxv]

The Department’s advice continued:

The limited resources available to APY TAFE SA are focused on vocational training activities and locations where there is a possibility of securing employment outcomes; unfortunately securing employment outcomes at Kanpi and Nyapari is extremely unlikely.[xxxvi]

Departmental advice (2012)

On 30 January 2012, the Paper Tracker asked the Department for another update on the delivery of TAFE programs in Kanpi and Nyapari.[xxxvii]

In a reply dated 20 February 2012, the Department advised that:

  • the TAFE lecturer based in Pipalyatjara undertakes daytrips to Kanpi and Nyapari to deliver training,
  • driver education had been the focus of this training in recent years,
  • seven students from Kanpi and Nyapari had enrolled in this training program in 2010 and five in 2011,
  • the visiting lecturer would continue to deliver this program in 2012, and
  • as the Department does not own or maintain any infrastructure in either of these communities, the visiting lecturer “utilises available space, such as the community office or art centre, as needed.”[xxxviii]

The Department also advised that it was currently “in negotiations” with the Federal Government for funding to deliver “the Certificate III in Children’s Services across the APY Lands, including Kanpi and Nyapari.”[xxxix]

This article was last updated in February 2012. It has been archived and will no longer be updated. It will, however, remain accessible online as a source of background information for anyone wishing to undertake further research on this issue. Information included in the article was current at the time it was archived. Keep in mind, however, that Ministerial changes and names of departments, among other things, may have since changed.


[i] See: Minutes of the APY Executive Board meeting held at Umuwa on 6 & 7 February 2008, p5. The issue of providing training programs to Kanpi and Nyapari communities had been also raised with the Board a year earlier (see Minutes of the APY Executive Board meeting held at Murputja on 7 February 2007, p2).

[ii] Garrand, R. 20 February 2012. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[iii] See TAFE SA website: http://www.tafe.sa.edu.au/ Accessed 22 July 2008.

[iv] Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, 1 December 2004, “DFEEST Statement on Services on the APY Lands,” provided to the Parliament of South Australia’s Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, p1.

[v] Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, 1 December 2004, “DFEEST Statement on Services on the APY Lands,” provided to the Parliament of South Australia’s Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, p1.

[vi] Parliament of South Australia, 2005, Annual Report of the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee 2004/2005, pp235, p68; see also: Department of Education Training and Employment, 15 March 2001, “Anangu Control & Single Governance: DETE on the Lands,” Report (second draft), p4.

[vii] Burton, B. 1 December 2004, Transcript of evidence given to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, Q964.

[viii] See: Department of Education Training and Employment, 15 March 2001, “Anangu Control & Single Governance: DETE on the Lands,” Report (second draft), p4; Also: Burton, B. 1 December 2004, Transcript of evidence given to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, Q932; and Goldsmith, T. 1 December 2004, Transcript of evidence given to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, Q962.

[ix] Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology, 1 December 2004, “DFEEST Statement on Services on the APY Lands,” provided to the Parliament of South Australia’s Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, p1.

[x] Parliament of South Australia, 2005, Annual Report of the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee 2004/2005, pp235, p68.

[xi] Department of the Premier and Cabinet, May 2008, “On the Lands: Update on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands,” p9-10.

[xii] Department of the Premier and Cabinet, May 2008, “On the Lands: Update on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands,” p10.

[xiii] Department of the Premier and Cabinet, May 2008, “On the Lands: Update on the Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands,” p10.

[xiv] Department of Education, Science and Training, 16 July 2004, Letter and report provided to the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, p12. Also: Parliament of South Australia, June 2004, Report of the Select Committee on Pitjantjatjara Land Rights, pp218, p50.; and also Busse, J. 12 May 2005. Information provided to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia.

[xv] Department of Education, Science and Training, 17 December 2004, Information provided to the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, p5.

[xvi] Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology. 2004, “TAFE SA Anangu Lands, Occupational Health Safety & Welfare Report. Audit Report,” p8.

[xvii] Department of the Premier & Cabinet, October 2004, “Projects allocated funding from APY Taskforce Pooled Funds.”

[xviii] Mazel, J. 11 November 2004, Statement to Coroner, paragraph 75 (Exhibit C10).

[xix] Parliament of South Australia, 2005, Annual Report of the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee 2004/2005, pp235, p45.

[xx] Skewes, J. (DFEEST). 5 August 2008, Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxi] Skewes, J. (DFEEST). 5 August 2008, Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxii] Skewes, J. (DFEEST). 5 August 2008, Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxiii] See “Taskforce funded projects on the APY Lands,” Department of the Premier and Cabinet. Tabled at public meeting of the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, on 1 December 2004; also: Mazel, J. 11 November 2004, Statement to Coroner, paragraph 75 (Exhibit C10).

[xxiv] Spurdens, T. 21 May 2005, Letter to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia.

[xxv] TAFE SA Regional, July 2005, “Governance and Management Training on the APY Lands,” p20.

[xxvi] TAFE SA Regional, July 2005, “Governance and Management Training on the APY Lands,” p3.

[xxvii] Mazel, J. 29 June 2005, Letter to Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia.

[xxviii] Mazel, J. 28 August 2006, Transcript of evidence given to the Aboriginal Lands Parliamentary Standing Committee, Parliament of South Australia, Q123 & Q124.

[xxix] Skewes, J. (DFEEST). 5 August 2008, Email to J. Nicholls.

[xxx] McDonald, P. 7 July 2008, Letter to B Cunningham.

[xxxi] Cunningham, B. 17 July 2008, Letter to Rev P McDonald

[xxxii] Cunningham, B. 17 July 2008, Letter to Rev P McDonald

[xxxiii] McDonald, P. 21 April 2010. Letter to Mr. R. Garrand (DFEEST)

[xxxiv] Garrand, R (DFEEST). 14 May 2010. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[xxxv] Garrand, R (DFEEST). 14 May 2010. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[xxxvi] Garrand, R (DFEEST). 14 May 2010. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[xxxvii] McDonald, P. 30 January 2012. Letter to Mr. R. Garrand (DFEEST)

[xxxviii] Garrand, R (DFEEST). 20 February 2012. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

[xxxix] Garrand, R (DFEEST). 20 February 2012. Letter to Rev. P. McDonald.

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