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Walking through both worlds of Learning: Lisa Dhurrkay


When walking into Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation, the first friendly face you see is Lisa Dhurrkay. In Yolngu, Lisa’s name is Buduwutpuy and she is from the Wangurri clan from north-east Arnhem Land.

Lisa began her training for a Certificate II in Business Administration, a work readiness programme in Gove NT. This is where Lisa worked in an Administration Trainee role under the guidance of the Executive Administration officer.  Lisa works as a Permits Officer with Dhimurru Aboriginal Corporation.  

Libby Rayne, Senior Administration Officer says, The training that we do here that we do for the local people, the local rangers and permit officers, revolves around what they need to do for the job.  We don’t do training just for the sake of it.  I’m going to get into trouble for this, but I think a lot of training organisations just do training for the sake of it because they get the money from the government and no outcomes happen after the training.  People are qualified but there is no job to go to”.

For Lisa this opportunity gives her the confidence to be able to walk in both of worlds of learning, sharing knowledge in both Yolngu and non-Indigenous ways of life.

Stephanie Stonier, Community & Relations Officer says, “Very strong on caring for country and looking after country, which is why you’ll find Lisa placed in the Ranger Program at Dhimurru.  It’s very important work that they do out there and it’s lovely to pop into the permits office and know that there is someone there to welcome you to their land and make sure you can have a fun, safe and enjoyable time while you’re here”.

 Lisa is a very happy person who loves sharing her knowledge when people come into the office and don’t really know much about the history of Nhulunbuy.

“I love customer service because I love communicating with people that come in and they ask me questions.  Sometimes I even tell them the history of Nhulunbuy and all the surrounding areas,” said Lisa.

It’s recognising and listening to the young people about what they want to do, where they want to work and who they want to be working with.  That is valuable in itself because it has longevity and it actually helps to build communities,” says Stephanie Stonier. 

Lisa is the future for her people however she understands the importance of having a role model to help guide her along her pathways. 

“My mother, my best friend, my advisor, my inspirational model – what else can I say – I love my Mum” said Lisa

Maintaining her connection to land, family bloodlines, culture and working within the community is what Lisa is passionate about.  Within her community she is able to work on the demanding industry of cultural tourism.

The part that I love doing with my family is participating in ceremonies, dancing, painting myself in white clay and just having a good time with my friends and family dancing,” said Lisa.

 Since the launch of the Skills and Training for a Career: Vocational Training and Employment Centres Policy GenerationOne has advocated for employer-directed training so that more people like Lisa can be trained for a real jobs. 

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