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Supporting positive outcomes for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men

Serco is proud to partner with the Clontarf Foundation, providing $50,000 of funding to support the provision of student places in Clontarf Academies across Australia.

The Clontarf Foundation exists to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, equipping them to participate more meaningfully in society.

Through our partnership with Clontarf, we aim to support long-term benefits for individuals and the broader community by:

  • Improving school attendance rates and overall performance of Clontarf Academy members
  • Improving engagement in the school environment for students with a history of long absences
  • Encouraging positive behavioural changes
  • Increasing participation in a range of academy activities
  • Enabling interaction of students with our team members and work sites
  • Increasing the number of Indigenous Year 12 enrolments and improving their overall performance
  • Enabling successful post-school involvement in higher education, vocational training, and employment.

Whilst the partnership has a national application, at a local level, we will be focused on the Clontarf Academies in NSW, SE QLD, VIC, and WA. This will allow our team members to participate in activities with students, providing opportunities for them to interact with new people, places, and situations. These are experiences where students can practise their social skills, build their confidence, and increase their understanding of the opportunities available to them.

We will support the development of an annual program of student interaction, activities to celebrate achievements, employment pathways and workplace visits.

Serco will also facilitate the placement of Clontarf graduates into employment opportunities in various contract sites across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, and Perth, including:

  • A minimum of seven Apprenticeships in Cert III Commercial Cookery
  • A minimum of 20 Traineeships in Cert II in Kitchen Operations  
  • Up to 30 Traineeships in Cert II or IV Cleaning Operations. 

In January 2021, the first Clontarf Foundation Academy Graduate, Liam, commenced working at Clarence Correctional Centre as a Plumbing Apprentice. Liam is completing a four-year apprenticeship at the centre and is working towards his Certificate III in Plumbing.

As a second-year apprentice, Liam’s workload can vary day-to-day and includes tasks such as cleaning plumbing blockages through to maintenance and repairs of complex integrated water management systems. Working on such a modern large-scale facility also offers opportunities not all apprentices are exposed to, such as a full understanding of the hydraulic services required for a site of this scale.

As our first Clontarf Foundation Academy Graduate, Liam hopes that what he will pave the way for other graduates to take up opportunities being offered by Serco.

"I feel grateful to be the first Clontarf Graduate to be employed by the Serco team. The on-boarding process made me feel very comfortable about taking on the opportunity. Hopefully I can open the door for future Clontarf Graduates.”

Young Grafton local Ethan Beetson has just become the second Clontarf trainee to join the team at Clarence Correctional Centre.  

“Ever since I was in high school Clontarf has looked after me,” Ethan said. “They helped me with exams and got me through school. After school they kept helping me and secured an electrical apprenticeship with Serco.” 

Through his apprenticeship Ethan is looking forward to working in the community and meeting new people, while also studying online. 

Serco Senior Manager for Indigenous Affairs and Connection, Andrew Bartha said that young people are fascinated with the work that Serco does. 

“They did not know anything more about us other than jails and detention centres. Programs like this are teaching kids that we care about, and work with, the Indigenous community. So, they are keen to work with us.”  

Serco works with Clontarf graduates to facilitate placement into employment opportunities with Serco in many of the immigration centres we operate, focusing on cleaning, cooking and kitchen operations. 

Established in 2000, the Clontarf Foundation works to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem, and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men, equipping them to participate more meaningfully in society. 

The first apprentice to be placed into a Serco facility, Liam is now in his third-year of plumbing apprenticeship at Clarence Correctional Centre. The large-scale nature of the site has allowed Liam to get experience that not a lot of plumbers get working of hydraulic services as well as integrated water management systems. He hopes his positive experience will open doors for future graduates of the program. 

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