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A unique program that allows Indigenous youth to further their education at Swinburne TAFE has produced its first graduates.
The generosity of two Swinburne University of Technology alumni has seen two talented young Indigenous men from the Northern Territory given the opportunity to complete and graduate with a Certificate III in Community Services Work.
This was the first year of the Palmary Development Program that allows Indigenous and under privileged young adults to further their education at Swinburne and pursue their sporting abilities at St Mary’s Salesian Amateur Football Club in Melbourne.
The St Mary’s Salesian/Swinburne connection has been forged by the architects of the program, Allen Martello and Norbert Graetzer, who are also Swinburne alumni.
The program is run in conjunction with Swinburne, Palmeston Football Club and Palmeston Netball Club in Darwin.Samuel Autio, 18, from Driver in Palmeston, and Bronson Mungatopi, also 18-years-old, from Nightcliff in the Tiwi Islands, were the first participants in the program.
“Bronson and Samuel were amazing assets to our class,” Swinburne’s Senior Educator, Indigenous programs, Melinda Eason said.
“Their cultural connection and kind, warm generous personalities made it easy to teach them, and for them to make lasting friendships with other students.”
The Victorian Aboriginal Community Services Association Limited (VACSAL) sponsored the course fees and the cost of Samuel’s flight to attend the recent graduation.
Both young men played for the Palmerston Magpies before moving to Melbourne.
Bronson has returned to the Northern Territory where he has secured a position working with disengaged youth through sport.
Samuel is currently working as a forklift driver during the summer break and will return to Melbourne to do a Certificate IV in Community Services Work in 2013.
Samuel also recently took part in the Holding Hands: Timor Leste Study Tour to Timor Leste, which receives funding from the Department of Industry, Innovation, Science, Research and Tertiary Education.
The cultural exchange program provided an opportunity for ten Indigenous students to build on their theoretical knowledge and skill development by visiting community and youth development programs, government and district level boards of management in Timor Leste.
More information about the Certificate III in Community Services Work and other courses can be found at Swinburne TAFE.
For further information about the program or to read more, please refer to the original article first published at or contact:

Shelley Markham [email protected] Department: Corporate and Government Affairs
Phone: 9214 5968
Mobile Phone:  0415 210 884