Central Coast Hub
Supporting First Nations people via accessible regional hubs
The NSW Central Coast is one of five Regional Hubs that have been formed to progress the Indigenous Women Entrepreneur & STEM Pathways Program.
The established collaborative networks connecting education, community, and industry make the region an ideal location to pilot a range of initiatives that support our overall objective of facilitating the participation of Indigenous girls and women in Australia’s native ag+food sector.
Showcasing the Industry to High School Students
As students progress through secondary school, many are starting to consider their future careers, but it appears that not many recognise Australia’s native ag+food sector as an exciting and rewarding option.
Recent studies have shown that while Australia’s native ag+food sector is enjoying increasing success, less than 2% of those in the industry are First Nations people.
This schools-based initiative is connecting Indigenous girls currently in year 10 to the Central Coast’s local native produce; successful Indigenous female entrepreneurs; and the University courses that can equip them for future careers within the sector.
Uncovering the Central Coast’s Hidden Talent
Many Central Coast organisations are currently facing staffing challenges with many roles proving difficult to fill. At the same time, hidden talent exists within the community that could excel in these roles given the opportunity with the right support. This initiative brings together industry, community, and training services to create a pre-employment program that will connect local Indigenous people to real industry opportunities and equip both them and the recruiting businesses with the capabilities they need to succeed.
Unlocking the Native Ag+Food Sector via a University Challenge
Food Futures Company recently conducted a sector wide review of Australia’s native ag+food sector and several challenges were identified that are holding the industry back. In this initiative (which is in early development stage), a selected group of Indigenous engineering students will be given the opportunity to develop proposed solutions that will address key sector challenges and unlock its potential. Each team will be provided with technical tools and entrepreneurial problem-solving techniques as well as access to industry experts. Not only will this initiative provide participants with increased knowledge of the cultural and scientific aspects of native agriculture and food, it will also demonstrate the opportunities to develop future STEM-based careers in the sector.
These pilot initiatives were supported by cash and in-kind contributions from multiple stakeholders and also received grant funding from the Australian Government Department of Industry, Science Energy and Resources through the Women in STEM and Entrepreneurship Round 3 program.