Dreamtime Tuka Aboriginal employment pathway program launched

Program is working to close the employment gap


Dreamtime Tuka founder Herb Smith's vision to provide an employment pathway for Aboriginal people has come fruition.

The first 10 Aboriginal workers hired under Dreamtime Tuka's new Aboriginal Pathway to Employment Program were recognised at an official launch on November 26.

The program aims to provide career opportunities and support to Aboriginal people by placing applicants into actual positions across all sectors with the help of the Jobactive network, the enrolment of businesses and other organisations such as the NSW Government.

In 2016 Dreamtime Tuka become a renowned business after serving its lemon myrtle coconut slice to regional and domestic passengers on Qantas flights, the first stand-alone Aboriginal company to do so.

"I'm very proud that our partner, Early Rise Baking Company, has led the way with the placement of our very first hires," Mr Smith said.

During the launch, which was held in Dubbo, the Dreamtime Tuka founder said he hopes the program will open up opportunities in diverse industries.

"I am personally invested to work with community, to identify prospective workers and provide mentorship to the program," Mr Smith added.

During the launch, Mr Smith announced the program has expanded to R & D Glass Services in Wellington and Dubbo, with the business offering the Dreamtime Tuka Pathway Program six positions in Wellington.

Two will be apprenticeship positions and the others labouring roles.

Finance and Small Business Minister Damien Tudehope attended the launch, and said Dreaktime Tuka was an example of the flow-on impact of a successful Aboriginal business.

"I congratulate Herb Smith and the team at Dreamtime Tuka for their passion and vision to make a positive impact on the social and economic well-being of Aboriginal people and local communities in NSW," he said.

Mr Tudehope said the NSW Government was committed to supporting Aboriginal businesses.

"As an example, NSW Train Link has engaged Dreamtime Tuka to provide a range of sweet and savoury snacks on its regional rail service," he said.

Mr Tudehope said the Government continued to target three per cent of government goods and services contracts to be offered to Aboriginal-owned businesses and would support an average of 1000 Aboriginal jobs a year, in the next three years.

"We spend about $34 billion in procurement each year, and we know that small, regional, and Aboriginal businesses are a wellspring of quality goods and services," Mr Tudehope said.

Dreamtime Tuka has developed a prospectus to tell the story of the people they are empowering through the pathway program.

"The purpose of the prospectus is to entice more business and government involvement and investment to enable us to grow," Mr Smith explained.