“You can see it as an opportunity for him – sure. But I saw it as a fantastic opportunity for us as West Coast people; to finally get into an industry that – to be honest – has been going through our waters and our fish and we just seem to be standing on shores watching all these boats go by…”
Paul Vandenbergh is the director of Aboriginal Programs at Port Adelaide Footy Club. He’s also in the process of finalising 60 training placements for young Indigenous people through a new company he has founded with Port Lincoln tuna baron, Hagen Stehr, known as Wanna Mar Produce.
Three weeks of training will begin during NAIDOC week in November at the Australian Maritime and Fishing Academy in Port Adelaide, and finish with the students sailing into Port Lincoln on the One and All ship, just before the tuna season kicks off at the beginning of December.
Paul, who grew up in Ceduna is excited about the opportunities this could create long term for young Indigenous men and women – or people of any ages he mentions – in what he sees to be an exciting industry to get into.
A Facebook page will be up and running soon under the name Wanna Mar Produce with full details of how to apply, so if you or someone you know are interested, stay posted there.