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YBE - Yolngu Self Management


YBE in partnership with MEP have established a program which will provide employment and training opportunities to Local Indigenous job seekers.

The program is designed to provide flexibility and consideration to the issues faced with engaging Local Indigenous workers. Some of the issues include; cultural obligations, overcrowding of housing, funerals, drug and alcohol problems etc.

There are 3 core areas to the program for transitioning participants into full-time work, these include;

  1. YBE/MEP Activity – YBE have provided the participants with general grounds maintenance activities within the YBE premises.
  2. Work Placement – Where participants are placed within YBE’s operational areas as casual employees to gain industry experience and training which can lead to permanent employment conditions.
  3. Labour Hire – Where local businesses can engage Local Indigenous workers at a labour hire rate. This enables more exposure across a range of industries and provides businesses with the local content within their contractual obligations.

The functions of the program is to operate as a labour pool so that all participants can rotate through work-placement and labour hire activities giving all the experience and training required to take on full-time work. 


Since the commencement of the program, YBE have provided MEP with an office on location in which MEP have engaged a dedicated activity leader to the program. The office is set up behind YBE’s training facility and includes the training room with smart board, smoko area, toilets and tools and equipment for grounds maintenance works.

The program initially started with 10 participants which were all enrolled in the ‘Removal of Non Friable and Friable Asbestos’ course in October 2017.  All 10 completed the required units with 9 completing the ‘Removal of Friable Asbestos’ course.

4 of those participants are still currently active in the program and have been employed by YBE and a further 6 new participants have come on board. This was the original concept of the program to consider a high turnover of participants whilst ensuring we had a steady labour pool of around 10.


Since the commencement of the program we have rolled out a number of accredited and non-accredited training courses including the following;


  • Removal of Friable Asbestos
  • Removal of Non Friable Asbestos

Non Accredited

  • Site Inductions 
    • Rio Tinto General Induction
    • Materials Handling Area Induction
    • Residue Disposal Area Induction
    • Mine Site Area Induction
    • General Work Permit
    • Pre-Start Meeting
    • Vehicle Pre-Starts
    • Developing JSEA’s (Job, Safety and Environment Analysis)
    • Using Take 5 booklets
  • Site VEOP’s (Vehicle Equipment Operating Permits)
    • Using Hand Tools
    • Whipper Snippers
    • Lawn Mowers
    • Blowers
  • Upcoming Training
    • Hydration/Fatigue Management
    • Manual Handling
    • Hazard ID
    • Resuscitation
    • Critical Risk Management
    • Fire Extinguisher
    • Tropical Diseases

The training is targeting industry needs. With the assistance from the NTG, we have been successful in running accredited courses and will continue to work with both Local and Federal Governments to provide essential training to our participants.

The program is also designed to engage other local training bodies including Miwatj Health with their Healthy Lifestyle and Drug and Alcohol Awareness programs and Anglicare for Well-Being programs.


Rio Tinto

In November 2017, Rio Tinto engaged 3 participants to erect temporary fencing around the Refinery. Murphy Marika, Tyrone Dhamarrandji and Roselyn Yunupingu where involved with the works supervised by Damien Djerrkura from YBE and Rob Stewart from Rio Tinto. The scope of work was to erect approx. 3.5km of temporary fencing through the Refinery’s non-operational areas.

The job went for approx. 6 weeks with only 1 day lost due to non-attendance with reason. The Rio Tinto Superintendent Vic Epiha was very supportive of the program and was impressed by the output of the participants, so much that all 3 have been earmarked to potentially take on a traineeship with Rio Tinto in March 2018.

This was a great outcome for the participants, the program and for Rio Tinto who have recently committed more works for participants and will use the program as a key source for their Indigenous engagement. 


YBE have also committed to providing employment opportunities to the participants with a placement within the Nursery in which Roselyn Yunupingu will be commencing. If Roselyn wishes to take on the Rio Tinto traineeship this will open another spot for a participant to step into.

Within YBE’s Environment section there will be more opportunities for employment with RDA works, Mine Site Rehab work and other grounds maintenance works.

Future opportunities

We now have a steady and consistent pool of participants that have all completed their medicals which is a pre-requisite for accessing Rio Tinto site. The next step will be for participants to sit through the Rio Tinto general Induction which will allow them access on site. Rio have once again committed to having YBE personnel conduct these inductions within our training room facility. 

This will mean our rotation between activities, work-placement and labour hire will work more efficiently and effectively in giving both employers and participants greater employment outcomes.

   |   Melville Bay Road, Nhulunbuy, NT, 0880