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Chief Minister shown ropes at rural campus

By Patrick Nelson

Mataranka Station Manager Stuart Austin, MLA Willem Westra van Holthe, Team Leader Tim Biggs and Chief Minister Adam Giles inspect facilities at Katherine Rural Campus Mataranka Station Manager Stuart Austin, MLA Willem Westra van Holthe, Team Leader Tim Biggs and Chief Minister Adam Giles inspect facilities at Katherine Rural Campus

Katherine Rural Campus hosted a high-level special guest on the eve of a large student intake recently.

Senior staff welcomed Chief Minister Adam Giles to the regional campus where he inspected the farm and other facilities integral to the agricultural and rural operations training programs.

School of Trades Head Justin Busse said he was delighted to greet the Chief Minister on his first visit to the campus.

“Several staff accompanied him on a tour of the workshops, stables, riding arenas and administrative building,” Mr Busse said.

“We also walked through the refurbished Stuart Dormitory and the dining facilities.”

The following day, 52 students from the Consolidated Pastoral Company began arriving for an intensive 15-day training program.

Agricultural and Rural Operations team leader Tim Biggs said staff took the students through a range of units relating to cattle and horse handling, basic mechanical skills and other skills to prepare them for the workforce.

“Many of them are now working on pastoral properties throughout the Northern Territory and Western Australia,” Mr Biggs said.

As they departed, a further 30 students from the Indigenous Land Council settled in for a four-week program largely comprising units from the agricultural training package.

“The program is designed to enhance an individual’s work readiness, develop life skills and to prepare them for employment as station hands on pastoral properties,” Mr Biggs said.

“It involves horse work, stock handling, quad bikes, chemicals, communication, team work and other elements.”

Students will head to properties at Minyerri, Gunbalanya and in the Kimberley at the completion of the program.