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CIT Yurauna and Northside finalists at prestigious 2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards

Published: 04 Dec 2019


The 2019 Banksia Sustainability Awards recognised ConnXtions, a CIT Yurauna and Northside Community Service job readiness support program, as a Banksia finalist in the Indigenous Award category.

The ConnXtions Program is a holistic approach to the educational needs of some of Canberra's Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander students, recognising both the career development needs of students, as well as the support for culturally aware childcare.

The educational development component of ConnXtions offers a Certificate III in Community Services (CHC32015) and the subsequent career opportunities that such qualifications provide.

The partnership with the Yurauna Early Childhood Centre (YECC) operated by the not-for-profit Northside Community Service provides high-quality, culturally-safe and community-focused early childhood education for up to 16 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children in the ACT. The partnership operates by enabling children up to 5 years of age to attend YECC, while their parents, or guardians study at CIT Yurauna, which are both located at CIT Reid.

The ConnXtions Program works closely with the families providing them wrap-around support including mentoring and assistance seeking work experience and employment. “The Program removes affordability and accessibility barriers to education for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. It enables participants to focus upon building their skills, whilst knowing that their children are in a culturally-safe environment," said CIT Yurauna Director Caroline Hughes.

The early intervention program sets the foundation to support lifelong positive outcomes for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children. Participating families have seen their children transition to school more effectively with strong literacy and numeracy skills.

From Northside's perspective, their substantial contribution to the success of the program is consistent with their mission to deliver quality early childhood education, especially for children who do not have equitable access to early education.

"Our wonderful partnership with the Yurauna Centre, supported by CIT, is providing education and support for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander families and children that can be life-changing. We hope to see ongoing support for these programs to remove more barriers and close the gap for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander children," said Bruce Papps, CEO, Northside ACT.