Latest Indigenous recruits

Indigenous recruitment is well underway for the prisoner movement and in-court management services contract Ventia was recently awarded by the Government of South Australia.

Ventia has committed to meeting the 6% Aboriginal Australian employment target as set by the state government, demonstrating our commitment to help close the gap for Indigenous Australians.

A recent intensive recruitment campaign was spearheaded by Bessie Fredberg, who is a member of Ventia's TRECCA team. TRECCA is Ventia's dedicated Indigenous recruitment and mentoring division designed to identify Indigenous candidates for roles right across its business in Australia. To help find the best candidates, Bessie and the TRECCA team engaged with Indigenous people and their respective Indigenous organisations, and employment, health and education providers in four regions across South Australia. 

To ensure we found the right people, Bessie and TRECCA managers Byron Davis and Steve Mitchell went the extra mile, embarking on a road trip across South Australia to meet with candidates in Port Augusta, Port Lincoln, Mount Gambier and Adelaide.

Cultural safety and inclusion were important elements of the three-week recruitment and engagement campaign, which included information sessions for candidates to ask questions about the roles and hear about Ventia's experiences from our similar contract in Western Australia. 

Bessie, Byron and Steve were impressed by many of the enthusiastic First Nations candidates applying for the Care and Custody Officer roles. Thirty-two were selected to join the team, including 19 women. The new recruits have begun the five-week Initial Training Course to get them up to speed on the technical aspects of being a Care and Custody Officer. They will start work on the contract in August.

Steve said he was pleased the campaign revealed so many fantastic Indigenous jobseekers who were keen to hear about employment opportunities with Ventia.

"It was evident very quickly that the candidates had a great deal of understanding and empathy towards the men and women that this role is responsible for,' Steve said.  

The overwhelming factor driving the excitement for this this group was having the opportunity to adopt a care and compassionate approach to the role.

Bessie said Ventia's employment team did an amazing job processing large volumes of applications and ensuring Indigenous candidates felt culturally safe and comfortable to provide the information and supporting documents needed.  

Contract Operations Manager Grant Adams and Transition Manager David Dennhy have also played an important role to support TRECCA's Indigenous recruitment initiative. 

"The entire engagement and recruitment process, and now seeing the impact of recruiting this significant number of Indigenous Australian employees, has been a very rewarding experience," Bessie said.

Byron said the employment of any Indigenous Australian into the business is felt not by one person but by the entire community. 

"At the information sessions we explained why it's important to have Indigenous people represented in these positions," Byron said.

The cultural importance of employing Indigenous Care and Custodial officers on this contract is going to be a game changer to supporting and caring for Indigenous Australians in custody in South Australia.

Subjects studied by the trainees during their five-week course include legislation, policies and procedures, safety, de-escalation and use of force tactics, conducting searches and escorts, mental health, first aid and CPR, and emergency response exercises. Trainees will complete 12-months on-the-job assessments to attain their Certificate III in Correctional Practice.

Ventia will begin operations on the contract on 1 August this year, which covers the movement and management of prisoners and young detainees between prisons, courts and other places determined by the state.

Read more about our TRECCA team here.

Read more about Ventia's prisoner movement and in-court management services for the Government of South Australia here