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Positively impacting indigenous lives one step at a time

Levi-Joel Tamou, Makita Krueger and Emele Tuinona of the Social Impact Academy in Springfield Central.
Levi-Joel Tamou, Makita Krueger and Emele Tuinona of the Social Impact Academy in Springfield Central. David Nielsen
A SPRINGFIELD-based social enterprise is aiming to give indigenous Australians the power be their own agents of change.   Social Impact Academy is focused on bridging the gap between indigenous and non-indigenous Australians through education and training particularly in remote communities.   Social Impact Academy director and Kuku Yalangi man, Levi-Joel Tamou said the idea behind the social enterprise was something that had been bubbling away in his mind for a while and was happy to finally see the wheels now in motion.    "We work with indigenous communities around Queensland by providing education and enterprise development and basically helping blackfellas build their own business," Mr Tamou said.   "We also work with organisations like the Department of Justice to train youth and social workers with regards to indigenous people in incarceration, so we've currently got 20 social workers who work in the juvenile justice system doing a Community Service diploma.   "It's all about building the capacity of indigenous people and getting non-indigenous to understand how to deal with rehabilitation."  
Levi-Joel Tamou, Makita Krueger and Emele Tuinona of the Social Impact Academy in Springfield Central.
Levi-Joel Tamou, Makita Krueger and Emele Tuinona of the Social Impact Academy in Springfield Central. David Nielsen

Mr Tamou and his team specialise in delivering training modules to remote communities and have been working with a community on Mabuiag Island in the Torres Straits.

Pioneers of education for that particular region, the Social Impact Academy team are currently delivering a Certificate III in Business and will return to Mabuiag Island to deliver the last part of the course next week- a privilege only granted to those invited by the elders.

"They love what we are offering up there and they are looking forward to us coming back up," Mr Tamou said.

"At the moment our students are finishing off their Certificate III in Business and the second project we hope to deliver is where we hope to increase their employment and employability opportunities which can be very difficult on the island due to lack of social infrastructure and job opportunities.

"There is systemic unemployment and poverty there so we want to build the capacity of younger generation to either start their own business up there or to explore doing something like selling their art part-time for example."

Social Impact Academy is currently calling for expressions of interest for people interested in mentoring indigenous start-up businesses.

For more information, visit the website.

Topics:  education indigenous affairs social impact academy springfield