A FIRST-of-its-kind maritime training program is inviting Indigenous women in the Newcastle region to take the helm, set their careers on a new course and train to become a ship’s master.

The Female Maritime Traineeship Program developed by Port Authority of NSW in partnership with not-for-profit Tribal Warrior provides practical on-the-job training, mentoring with Port Authority’s maritime professionals and the formal qualifications needed to succeed in the maritime industry.

The paid two-year program is open to Indigenous women of any age and no maritime experience is necessary.

Port Authority head of operations Peter Ernst said shipping is integral to Australia’s prosperity, yet the country faces a shortage of maritime professionals.

“Young people, women and Indigenous Australians are especially under-represented in the industry,” he said.

“Port Authority is helping young people kick-start their maritime careers through our Sponsored Deck Cadet Program and our partnership with Tribal Warrior provides a pathway to an exciting and rewarding maritime career for Indigenous women in NSW.”

Mr Ernst said this is a fantastic opportunity to train alongside the Port Authority’s marine operations teams in Newcastle and learn the skills to work on vessels out in the water.

“Trainees have already successfully joined the program in Sydney and Port Kembla and we’re now seeking candidates to apply for this one-of-a-kind opportunity in Newcastle.”

Tribal Warrior is the only Indigenous maritime training company in Australia and the Female Maritime Traineeship Program gives trainees essential seamanship skills and valuable sea-time experience to attain the maritime qualification of Master up to 24 metres (near coastal).

Candidates can find out more about the program and how to apply by contacting Port Authority of New South Wales at jobs@portauthoritynsw.com.au.