The Australian Maritime College (AMC) has once again been recognised at a national level, for an award-winning maritime training program that teaches seafaring skills to Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal students.

AMC was announced joint winner of the 2015 Transport and Logistics Industry Skills Council (TLISC) Chairman’s Award at a presentation ceremony in Melbourne in April.

The award complemented the program’s win in the ‘Excellence in Industry Promotion’ category at the TLISC 2014 Awards for Excellence.

For the past 18 months, AMC has been delivering nationally accredited coxswain, marine engine driving, fishing operations and wild harvest diving courses as part of the Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project. These are delivered in the students’ own territory, using portable technology and innovative training methods.

In November 2014, this contract was extended for two years and expanded to include integrated rating and near-coastal master qualifications.

Of the 217 students who have taken part in the program to date, 87 per cent have completed their qualifications and 90 per cent have gained employment in the maritime sector.

AMC Vocational Education and Training Manager Jarrod Weaving said these positive outcomes were a testament to the hard work and dedication of his team.

“We are extremely proud of the success of this program, which is a direct result of the level of commitment and professionalism of our maritime training team,” Mr Weaving said.

Australian Maritime College Vocational Education and Training Manager Jarrod Weaving

Australian Maritime College Vocational Education and Training Manager Jarrod Weaving

“To effectively deliver these courses, we needed to rapidly gain an understanding of the local culture, research the geography of the proposed training area and become familiar with the training vessel chartered for the program.

“We also had to take into account that English is the second or third language for many indigenous people, and adapt our teaching methods and materials to overcome these learning barriers.”

AMC last year employed its first indigenous maritime training cadet, Stanley Ansey, to help with any language or cultural issues that may arise and has gradually introduced new technology as a learning tool into the courses.

The students are issued with iPads loaded with learning resources such as quizzes, self-assessments and an engine room app that allows them to strip and reassemble a virtual engine identical to the model they work with in real life.

The Torres Strait Maritime Pathways Project is funded through the Torres Strait Regional Authority and coordinated by the Torres Strait Maritime Safety Program (a partnership between the Australian Maritime Safety Authority, Maritime Safety Queensland, Torres Strait Regional Authority and Queensland Police).