The Broome Employment and Education Housing facility (EEH, formerly Employment Related Accommodation facility) has recently seen its first resident successfully graduate from his apprenticeship.
Nathan Green moved to the Broome EEH facility after finishing high school when he was offered a job wielding frames with a local business. He then was offered an apprenticeship with Kimberley Manufacturing as a boilermaker which took him four years.
“I am originally from Looma which is a community between Fitzroy Crossing and Derby, but moved to Broome to go to high school,” Nathan said.
“I was the first person in my family to move to Broome and lived at the Broome Residential College when I was at school.
“I moved so I could get a trade and do something for myself.
“My big brother did an apprenticeship in Melbourne and encouraged me to get an apprenticeship too so I had a trade if footy didn’t work out.
“I did my cert one and two in engineering at school, which helped when I started my apprenticeship.”
Over the four year apprenticeship Nathan worked on houses in Fitzroy Crossing, Beagle Bay and other towns and communities across the Kimberley.
“I went to Port Hedland for two to three weeks every two to three months for TAFE as part of my apprenticeship,” he said.
Nathan said he heard about the EEH facility through the football academy at school.
“We had a career talk at school and I spoke to people at the EEH facility to see if I could move in,” he said.
“I don’t know where I would have lived if it wasn’t for the facility as I had no family in Broome.”
Nathan said that staying at the EEH facility was a great experience.
“Staff at the EEH facility have helped me a lot – how to get my own house and how to save,” he said.
“I learnt a lot at the EEH facility, people were helpful and I made heaps of friends.
“I tell family and cousins that it’s best to go to an EEH facility if they want to get a job.
“It’s a good place to stay.”
Nathan’s positive experience meant that a lot of his family lived at the Broome EEH facility during his apprenticeship.
“Lots of my family came to stay at the facility in Broome while I was there,” Nathan said.
“It was encouraging for me as I was the only one in my family to start with and it was nice to have people I knew living with me.
“Since I’d been there for a while I got to show them around when they first moved in.”
Nathan was an active member of the community while living at the EEH facility, playing for both a local football team and as part of the Broome EEH facility basketball team in a local competition.
Nathan is still working at Kimberley Manufacturing and is now living with his sister in Broome.
“I’d like to try to start my own business in the future,” Nathan said.
“I’m looking forward to one day owning my own house.”
Peter Lonsdale, Director Client Services North and Aboriginal Housing, said the Employment and Education Housing (EEH) program is managed by the Housing Authority and provides affordable, supported accommodation for Aboriginal people relocating from remote Western Australia to take up employment, education or training opportunities in regional centres.
“The EEH program seeks to increase the proportion of Aboriginal people in remote areas who are able to successfully access training and employment opportunities in order to secure long term employment,” he said.
“The program also has the long term aim of helping people go from supported accommodation into the private market.
“EEHs provide a home away from home where residents are supported to achieve their employment and education goals.
“Facilities offer affordable furnished accommodation and a safe supported environment.
“Support is provided to ensure residents meet all work and training requirements, whilst also developing life skills to increase independence.
“Facilities are conveniently based in towns close to work and study opportunities.”
The Housing Authority currently has EEH facilities located in the following towns:
- Fitzroy Crossing
- Halls Creek
- South Hedland