John Fonmosa with students (from left) Mark Wallis, Chris Livermore and Kieven Williams.
John Fonmosa with students (from left) Mark Wallis, Chris Livermore and Kieven Williams. Scott Powick

Learning centre opens at Fingal

A NEW Aboriginal learning centre has opened on the Fingal peninsular.

John Fonmosa runs courses from a compound at Fingal in conjunction with Kingscliff TAFE in an effort to get young indigenous people qualified and capable of managing small businesses.

Now he is pushing for the Pooningbah Aboriginal and Islander Learning Centre to become a corporation so it can be eligible for government funding.

“We own 4.5 kilometres of peninsular here that we are doing nothing with,” Mr Fonmosa said.

“I want to help our young people establish self-empowerment and independence and give them qualifications.

“A lot of indigenous young people have issues and I want them to have a place they can come to find what their gifts and talents are and have something to do and someone to talk to.”

Mr Fonmosa launched a six-month arborism course this week for nine students.

“These young guys will come out with qualifications recognised in three countries, and they have been guaranteed work,” Mr Fonmosa said.

“This is a culturally appropriate place for them to learn, instead of the classroom.”

He hopes to one day run courses in horticulture and small business management and plans to run a nursery from the compound.



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