Pied Piper of the Central West

Pied Piper of the Central West

Indigenous Affairs Employment Community Development Programme (CDP)
Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet

Painting fences - Laurence Monize surrounded by job seekers painting fences at the Longreach Showgrounds

Lawrence Monize surrounded by job seekers painting fences at the Longreach Showgrounds
Image supplied by RAPAD Employment Services QLD

Lawrence Monize, is an employment program supervisor with Rapad Employment Services Queensland (RESQ). Early each morning Lawrence drives between houses collecting Community Development Programme (CDP) participants to take them to their scheduled activities.

One particular Thursday morning, Lawrence is collecting participants to do some work at the Longreach Showgrounds. Participants will spend the day painting temporary fencing and getting the arena ready for the weekend’s gymkhana.

As he picks up each participant Lawrence checks on their welfare. How’s Things? ‘Watchabinupta’? Then a honk outside someone’s place who’s slept in…. “Come on hurry up’… Everyone’s on site, paint brush in hand by 7.30am.

“Righto, let’s see if we can get this side of the arena done by the time I get back with more paint. Does anyone need a new brush while I’m at it? You all got sunblock on? Insect repellent?”

“Let’s take advantage of the cool morning and put in the effort early”, Lawrence encourages before taking off to get paint and another participant.

“Over the years I’ve helped all sorts, do all sorts”, he laughed. But seriously, I get in and get dirty with them, earn their respect and then we get things done.”

“We build fences, spray weeds, mow and slash, paint, weld, clean, you name it—it doesn’t really matter what—everything teaches skills, and everything teaches work habits.”

I try to get the job seekers in front of employers on projects, teach them how to do the job and just as importantly—ask for the job.”

“Employers want people who know how to show up, know how to get in and work”. “I’m so proud when I hear one of my participants has got a job”, Lawrence said, his head high and eyes bright. I had eight blokes in Winton registered and I’ve only got two left now—the other six have jobs as fencing contractors, one’s a barman.

He continued, his passion fired up. “It just shows the Community Development Programme is working for our community, we’ve had such good outcomes. It’s working. Giving people something to do gets the impetus going, and creates employable job seekers.”

If I can make a statement to the funders in Government—don’t take the program away!”

Find out more

The Australian Government’s Community Development Programme (CDP) is creating better opportunities for job seekers in remote Australia and strengthening remote economies.

To find out about CDP activities in your area, contact your local Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet Regional Network office.