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Northern Territory Cattlemen's Association

Real Jobs Program

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The Pastoral Real Jobs Program is a progressive and innovative employment program that engages, trains and supports young Indigenous people for employment in the Northern Territory pastoral industry. 

The NTCA operates the Pastoral Real Jobs Program in partnership with the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC). The program began in 2008 with the aim of increasing Indigenous participation in Australia’s northern pastoral industry.

Up to 30 young Indigenous people are recruited, trained and placed in jobs annually under the Pastoral Real Jobs Program (RJP)

The NTCA employs two full time staff in the role of Senior Field Officer -Casey Ellis, and Field Officer - Stewart Foster, to coordinate and mentor the program. These roles provide high quality leadership, management and administration for the project, along with development and collaboration with industry, government and other organisations, and statutory reporting.  

The program aims to connect young people into the program for two years. Year 1 for training and placement, Year 2 in sustainable, more independent employment. In its years of operation, the program delivered the following outcomes for the Northern Territory:

  • Trained and mentored participants to develop their personal capacity to work at industry level standards
  • Placed Indigenous young people into jobs on Northern Territory cattle stations (17-28 years old)
  • Provided opportunities for skilled Indigenous trainees to have a lasting role in the NT pastoral industry
  • Assisted the NT pastoral industry to meet labour requirements in a changing age demographic
  • Fostered mutual cross-cultural awareness between non-Indigenous and Indigenous young Australians living and working together on NT cattle stations
  • Cultivated a rise in role models within Indigenous Communities, in the heritage of Aboriginal Stockmen
  • Delivered a range of cultural, social, economic and environmental benefits to participants and their families, along with communities and organisations

RJP has 3 Key Areas:


RJP Personnel travel to communities and schools to hold information sessions to engage and recruit potential participants. They present the history of the pastoral industry and the influence indigenous people had its inception. This has proven a successful strategy to introduce young indigenous people to the long term work prospects of the pastoral sector.



The 3 week training period is intensive, multi-faceted learning, comprising of Industry-recognised accredited training, along with non-accredited workplace and cultural guidance. This time is also utilised to equip trainees with problem solving and self-awareness skills. Cross-cultural awareness training is undertaken, along with goal setting, reflection, and making positive life-choices.



NTCA program personnel engage with key industry employers across all regions of the NT, and match trainees to their employing stations. Ongoing mentoring and guidance is provided, to encourage and demonstrate resilience and work ethic, as well as provide support through personal and transitional challenges. These foundations shape the participants’ progression into mainstream employment, career development and leadership skills.


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