SINCE 1992 the Central Western Queensland Remote Area Planning and Development Board (RAPAD) has proven to be a cohesive and collaborative organisation, proactively working in partnership with government and non-government stakeholders at the local, state and federal level.
RAPAD is a regional development organisation and regional organisation of councils that aims to foster, facilitate and promote the sustainable growth and development of our Central Western Queensland region.
Structurally, RAPAD is an ASIC listed, not-for-profit company owned by, and representing the seven local governments of Central Western Queensland. Governance is via a board of directors, representing those member local governments — Barcaldine Regional Council, Barcoo Shire Council, Blackall-Tambo Regional Council, Boulia Shire Council, Diamantina Shire Council, Longreach Regional Council and Winton Shire Council.
There are a number of groups consisting of RAPADs member local governments and external stakeholders that deliver on specific industry or civic needs. These are the Outback Regional Roads and Transport Group, The Outback Regional Water Alliance and The Central West Regional Pest Management Group.
Sitting under the company structure of RAPAD are the businesses RAPAD Skilling and Rural Financial Counselling Service North Queensland.
- RAPAD Skilling is a registered training organisation under the Australian Skills Quality Authority set up in 2012 to meet the short fall in industry training in the region;
- RAPAD has been a long-term administrator of the Australian and Queensland State Governments Rural Financial Counselling Service Program;
- RAPAD is also a partner in RAPAD Employment Services Queensland [RESQ] delivering the Australian Government’s Community Development Program;
- RAPAD works proactively with the Local Government Association of Queensland to deliver on policies and initiatives relevant to our region;
- RAPAD is also a Regional Certifying Body.
RAPAD’s evolution came out of an industry forum held ten years ago in the Cottage at the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame — the outcome was a foundation with a goal to provide tourism and hospitality training for Central West Queensland students.
It was February 5, 2008, and about 75 people from schools, businesses and local governments from across the region, as well as state government representatives attended. A steering committee was established alongside the Australian College of Outback Tourism, with Kristine Arnold heading it up as Project Officer for Education Queensland.
Initially, the Australian Agricultural Colleges Longreach was to be the registered training organisation. RAPAD secured Federal Government funding for three years, and Kristine was seconded to RAPAD to progress the project. However, after much hard work, in 2009 AACC had to withdraw from the arrangement, and in the following year RAPAD took-on the task of becoming a registered training organisation under the guise of RAPAD Skilling.
With several civil construction machinery plant units, along with Certificates II and III in Hospitality and Certificates II and III Tourism, RAPAD Skilling commenced delivery across CWQ with two trainers, Stephen Rossberg and Kristine Arnold.
RAPAD Skilling has grown over the years to deliver training for trainees and apprentices, fee paying students and those funded under the Certificate III Guarantee in Business Administration, Hospitality, Tourism, Civil Construction, First Aid, and now with new courses commencing in 2018.
Initially engaged to review opportunities for RAPAD Skilling, Gabrielle joined the organisation’s team in October 2017 after moving to Longreach. With Kristine now leading the Innovation, Outbackhubs and other projects at RAPAD, Gabrielle, with her extensive experience in RTO management, is keen to take RAPAD Skilling to the next level in her role as Training Manager.
New directions for RAPAD Skilling include an expansion of qualification offerings to include key skills shortage areas in Aged and Community Care and Disability and Teacher Aid training. All of these areas of work attract a nationally recognised qualification and can be offered as traineeships or as subsidised funding where eligible.
RAPAD Skilling has ‘grown up’ and is now intent on providing a leadership role for the regions workforce development and capacity building initiatives. Nationally-recognised quality training will remain a priority objective, however RAPAD Skilling will now look to work collaboratively with businesses and communities to address workforce challenges like planning, skilling, capability frameworks, leadership and soft skills development.
It is an exciting time of growth and change for RAPAD Skilling. We are currently promoting our First Aid training across the entire Central West Qld region, along with Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care, Community Care and Disability work).
This qualification will be accessible to anyone in the Central West Queensland region, and is a valuable qualification to hold for those seeking to work in roles relevant to working under the NDIS program or in Aged Care.
RAPAD Skilling is also taking expressions of interest for people seeking to complete the Certificate III in Education Support. This qualification is relevant to the role of Teacher Aids, Governess, In-Home Tutors and parents/carers who are home-schooling or tutoring via distance education.
RAPAD Skilling is also excited to be offering a new approach to recognising people’s existing skills and knowledge through a Recognised Prior Learning process which may lead to reduced study time and increase employability, motivation and engagement in industry.
This new approach to RPL will be rolled-out across the region and be applicable to people working in Disability, Tourism, Business Administration, Aged Care, Community Care and Teacher Aides.
RAPAD Skilling is ready to take business, community groups and individual enquiries on how they can work together to address capacity building, workforce planning and capability.