In July of this year, WRL announced that it had entered a partnership with the Clontarf Foundation.
The Clontarf Foundation was established to improve the education, discipline, life skills, self-esteem and employment prospects of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men.
WRL has sought to use the last six months to build trust and confidence between WRL and Clontarf’s staff and students, and in presenting the western rock lobster industry as a dependable and exciting job and career option. In 2022, WRL’s staff and directors have attended numerous Clontarf events, including:
‘Curtain Raiser Game’ before the Fremantle Dockers v Collingwood match
WRL’s executive and Directors Fedele Camarda, Bruce Cockman, Stephen Minutillo and Sophie Raven attended Optus Stadium to watch the Clontarf football team play in the Curtain Raiser Game before the Fremantle Dockers played Collingwood during the Sir Doug Nicholls Round, which highlighted Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander contributions to Australian football. Though it was a wet day – the Clontarf boys put in a fighting effort and were incredibly impressive. The game was another opportunity for the Directors to meet the young men and other executive staff from Clontarf.
Employment Forum at the Optus Stadium
Carey-Ann Harper attended Clontarf’s employment forum at Optus Stadium in June 2022. The packed event was attended by current Clontarf students and alumni alongside employers who currently have Clontarf students or alumni students working for them. It was a great opportunity to hear empowering stories from students and alumni about their experiences working in varied work forces.
Training at Fremantle Academy
WRL’s CEO Matt Taylor and EO, Carey-Ann Harper were invited to attend Fremantle College’s Clontarf Academy to meet the young men participating in their academy and observe them playing football in the morning and join them for breakfast. This informal experience was important for WRL’s relationship with Clontarf as we got to meet the Fremantle College’s students and enjoy a laugh over some causal morning football. WRL were also able to speak about the western rock lobster industry and the possible careers that were attainable from processing facilities, to deck hands, to truck driving and much more. Carey-Ann was also invited to join the Fremantle Academy in their tri-series basketball competition. Carey-Ann played on the staff team and (in her personal opinion) showed off some fine skills!
Fremantle College – Academy Awards Night
Director Fedele Camarda and Carey-Ann Harper attended Fremantle College’s Academy Awards night at the end of November. The evening was held in Fremantle College’s library and was well attended by students, teachers, parents & families and foundation partners. Awards were given for attendance, academics, sports and comradery. Award winners weren’t necessarily the best in a particular subject, or sport, but emphasis was weighted on improvement and dedication. It was a great evening and it was fantastic to see a large number of Clontarf year 12 graduating in the class of 2022.
GFC Factory Tours
WRL and GFC have organised three tours with Clontarf at GFC’s Welshpool and Fremantle factories with senior Clontarf Executives and Academy staff. The purpose of these initial tours was to observe the factory working areas to ensure that they would be suitable for the young men, and similarly that the young men would be suited to such positions. WRL is hopeful that there could be a couple of students who graduated in 2022 who could take up the opportunity of work at GFC over the Summer. WRL encourage all processors to reach out to them to explore the possibilities that WRL’s partnership with Clontarf offers.
WRL is keen to continue to build and progress its relationship with Clontarf in 2023. WRL plan on doing this by looking for fishers to take out a few Clontarf students on their boats so they can explore a day-in-the-life-of-a-fisher and experience firsthand the joys and difficulties of the job. WRL is also strongly seeking engagement by other WRL members (including processors) to expand the potential of the partnership and provide employment experiences that some students may never have previously considered.