Creating opportunities in regional communities: TAFE and school working together

Yandeyarra Community is located in the Pilbara region of Western Australia – 142kms south-east from Port Hedland.  Situated on the bank of the Yule River, the community is on a Native Reserve.  Yandeyarra Remote Community School has a 100%  Aboriginal student population,  from kindergarten to Year 12;  approximately 40 students. The school has been working with North Regional TAFE  over the past nine years, to offer customised vocational education and training (VET) for its students and people in the community. Recently the TAFE has delivered a Certificate 2 in Rural Operations program to provide students with hands-on skills and experience that could help them find employment in a range of areas such as farming, agriculture, conservation and land management. 

Ms Jessica Albers, VET coordinator and secondary teacher at the Yandeyarra school, said that this program has been extremely successful with all participants highly engaged, productive and interested. The course is providing a genuine employment pathway, while also helping to re-engage school students and community members in meaningful tasks such as projects around town. 

"Since Yandeyarra no longer has a pastoral operation –where these young men were previously employed and/or doing their school-based work experience – there has been no training or employment available for them in the community. Essentially, they have gone from being engaged and employed last year to having no work or activities to engage with this year. This has been disappointing and depressing for the group. But after the first day of training, all of the participants were re-engaged and re-energised" Jessica said. 

There was also high praise for North Regional TAFE lecturer, Tony Zofrea. "Tony has developed an excellent rapport with the participants, and it has been truly wonderful to see. He has an excellent ability to deliver the content, while making the learning relevant and interesting.  It was wonderful to see the impact that he had. "

Main picture: Participants in the Certificate II in Rural Operations course at Yandeyarra community.
Back row, left to right: Isaac Hicks, Jessica Albers (VET coordinator, Yandeyarra RCS), Tony Zofrea (NRTAFE lecturer), Nathaniel Herbert, Graham Boyd (Principal, Yandeyarra RCS), Archie Captain Jnr.
Front row, left to right: Zorion Aubrey, Derwin Dunn, Dequarne Roberts, Leuwyn Tinker, Deshawn Roberts, Lachlan Tinker.

Photo provided by Yandeyarra Remote Community School. For more information about the school and community, please visit their website:

Training options for industry, business and communities

North Regional TAFE works closely with local communities, to provide vocational education and training programs that meet the needs of local industry, business and community members.

For more information about the courses available, or how NRTAFE can work with you to develop and deliver training for your community or local needs, please visit their website at  

All Western Australian TAFE colleges offer a range of VET courses and training programs that can be customised to suit community, industry or business needs. If you're interested in finding out more, please contact your local Jobs and Skills Centre for information on training options.