The West Coast Eagles, Wirrpanda Foundation and the Department of Employment recently launched a collaborative program to help young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people gain employment.
The Bidi Waalitj initiative was founded to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth aged 15-24 hailing from Perth’s southern suburbs take the first step in their professional journeys.
The origin of the program’s name comes from the Noongar nation, in particular the Wadjuk language group, where Bidi means ‘path’ and Waalitj translates to ‘eagle’.
The name was selected to represent the path of the eagle and signifies the valued partnership between the West Coast Eagles and Wirrpanda Foundation, plus the journey to employment the program’s participants will experience.
The West Coast Eagles will play a pivotal role in the partnership, leveraging the club’s strong business network to connect prospective employers to the program, resulting in real job outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth.
Each jobseeker that enters into the Bidi Waalitj program will receive expert guidance from Wirrpanda Foundation mentors, who will help establish their career pathway and set employment goals.
It is hoped the program – which fulfils key Reconciliation Action Plan commitments – will prove mutually beneficial for jobseekers and employers alike.
Participants will enter the workforce with a strong support network, while business operators will be provided an opportunity to strengthen their staff diversity, action their Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander engagement strategies and successfully retain Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander staff.
Bidi Waalitj ambassador Brendon Ah Chee said he was excited to see what the program could deliver.
“The Bidi Waalitj program is an inspiring initiative and one that I hope will prove to be very successful,” Ah Chee said.
“I am looking forward to working with the Wirrpanda Foundation’s mentors to help young indigenous people find a job and thrive in their career of choice.”
For more information on the Bidi Waalitj program, please visit https://jobs.smartrecruiters.com/WirrpandaFoundation/743999657910100-bidi-waalitj-eoi and https://www.wf.org.au/programs/programs-employment#bidiwaalitj
This article was reposted from the West Coast Eagles https://www.westcoasteagles.com.au/news/2017-12-07/eagles-launch-bidi-waalitj-program