Journal of Vocational Education and Training
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This article outlines research undertaken by an Aboriginal women’s non-government organization (NGO) into vocational training and education (VTE) needs and issues for remote Aboriginal communities in Central Australia. It describes the Central Australian context, and in particular the impact of remoteness, inequity and disadvantage upon Aboriginal people’s access to and participation in VTE. Waltja Tjutangku Palyapayi (Waltja) is an Aboriginal NGO based in Alice Springs, at the centre of the desert region of inland Australia. Waltja supports the development of family services and the self-determination of remote Central Australian Aboriginal communities. Senior Aboriginal women from widespread communities govern Waltja. In their communities, and working with and through Waltja, women play a significant role in identification of training needs, advocacy for their communities, and facilitation of education and training, including VTE. This article outlines Waltja’s research over the past decade into training needs and issues and documents the organizational ‘journey’ of this Aboriginal NGO into and within the VTE system. In particular, the article discusses Waltja’s ‘Training Nintiringtjaku’ initiative to develop a professional role for Aboriginal community leaders mediating between the VTE system and their communities.