Aboriginal-owned organisation Six Seasons Resources has been awarded funding to recruit and train 40 Aboriginal security guards to increase the Indigenous workforce.

Owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo, Justin and Angela Kickett, Six Seasons Resources aims to upskill and strengthen the Indigenous workforce.

The grant, awarded by the National Indigenous Australians Agency (NIAA), will help the organisation to create employment for dozens of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people across a range of industries.

“We’re looking at trying to get more Aboriginal people into sustainable work [and] develop career pathways,” said Six Seasons Resources Director Angela Kickett.

“So, they come in as security, but we might train them up to be emergency services officers or paramedics.

“We’re trying to create this whole career pathway that we wouldn’t have otherwise been able to do without the funding.”

Six Seasons Resources plans to demonstrate to the NIAA that investing in Indigenous business is the best way to invest Indigenous funds.

“This funding is so important because this is how you attract companies to take on Aboriginal people,” Ms Kickett said.

“Aboriginal business will always deliver this type of funding better than anywhere else because we’re so invested in our people and our mob.”

“We’re promoting that Aboriginal business is, ultimately, the pathway and the way that we close the gap.

“The reality is that the way you employ Aboriginal people is through Aboriginal business.”

WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Roger Cook opened the recent funding launch in the Perth suburb of Hillarys. He said Indigenous business is the key to increasing the Indigenous workforce.

“This is a really exciting part of our community and our economy, and we know that Aboriginal businesses are more likely to employ Aboriginal people,” Minister Cook said.

“We know that when we employ Aboriginal people we create great social outcomes. And we know that Aboriginal businesses also provide culturally secure and culturally aware workplaces for people to work in.

“So, not only are you providing the opportunity for someone to work in a great environment but you’re providing them with an opportunity to be part of the workforce, be part of the community, be part of the economy.

“That is one of the most empowering things you can do.”

WA Deputy Premier and Minister for Health Roger Cook speaking at the launch. Photo by Hannah Cross.

Speaking to punters at the launch, Six Seasons Resources CEO Justin Kickett said the company’s mission is to help people “find what’s important”.

“We give people an opportunity that the probably don’t think they have … we work hard and join the dots,” Mr Kickett said.

“We can help these young people beat the bureaucracy, join those dots and get employment, and then change their lives.”

Ms Kickett said what Six Seasons Resources and other Aboriginal businesses have in common is that community is their motivator.

“This is the thing with Aboriginal business, we have a genuine investment in our youth and our people. We’re always going to look out for them,” she said.

By Hannah Cross