Nine Indigenous women swapped their life in the suburbs for a life on the sea, training as deckhands with the NRMA My Fast Ferry fleet on Sydney Harbour.
These MAX customers from Sydney, make the daily commute to Darling Harbour to train under skipper,“Seaweed”.
For many, this was not a career they had ever considered until they were approached by MAX’s Indigenous Regional Coordinator, Lance Edwards.
The traineeships were a result of MAX’s partnership with Babana Employment Services which focuses on supporting Indigenous people to prepare for work.
Once qualified, they will spend five months working across the fleet’s ferries or water taxis.
Mr Edwards said the opportunity sparked a conversation with the customers about the level of commitment they would need.
“When Babana presented the opportunity to us, we started the conversation with our customers around what the traineeships involved, what their commitment would need to be and where the qualification could take them,” Mr Edwards said.
“Some were nervous about whether they could work in that sort of job and be successful. When they attended NRMA’s information day, the level of enthusiasm exploded.”
Everyone who completed the initial training was offered a traineeship.
The women receive training and will spend several days on the deck of commercial vessels doing practical training and assessments, including water rescue and survival training at the Qantas Jet Base training facility and fire training at TAFE NSW at Nirimba.