16 November 2023

Western NSW Local Health District’s (WNSWLHD) first entirely-Aboriginal cohort of Year 12 student trainees celebrated their graduation from the School-Based Apprenticeship and Traineeship (SBAT) Program yesterday, at a formal ceremony in Dubbo.

The SBAT program is a Department of Education (DoE) initiative providing Year 11 and 12 students with the opportunity to earn an industry recognised qualification in the health sector, while gaining paid work experience as part of their High School Certificate (HSC).

The 12 graduates completed their SBAT training in a range of positions funded by the NSW Government’s Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant.

Minister for Regional Health Ryan Park said:

“It takes incredible dedication to earn a qualification like this while also completing the HSC, so I wholeheartedly congratulate all 12 trainees from Western NSW, who trained in a range of disciplines including Nursing, Allied Health and Administration.

“These opportunities open up a huge range of pathways for students in our communities, from being qualified to work as an Assistant in Nursing or acting as a stepping stone into further study, the SBAT program is a great way to kick-start a career in healthcare.”

Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Treaty David Harris said:

“This program is a great example of how the NSW Government is delivering on our commitments to closing the gap in educational opportunities and attainment for Aboriginal students.

“I am pleased with the success of the Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Grant and wish the graduates all the best for the next stage and their contribution to our community.”

WNSWLHD Coordinator Aboriginal Traineeships and Pathways Jarrad Smith said:

“Our graduates come from all over the District, from the bigger regional centres to smaller areas, and have different backgrounds and life experience. It’s so exciting to be able to offer these kinds of opportunities to students from across Western NSW.

“I’m incredibly proud of them and I’m thrilled to say a number of these graduating trainees have received early entry into university and plan on staying and working in the District. I’m excited to see their careers develop.”

For more information on the School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships program, visit the Department of Education’s website​​​.