The Community Development Employment Program has been in operation throughout Australia since 1976.

This program was instituted to give Aboriginal people a chance to gain skills to enter the broader workforce, and further their employment prospects.

The people employed on the CDEP program are working for two reasons – their own pride and self-esteem, and to gain extra skills and experience in the workforce.

People on the program work a two-day week and are paid the equivalent of the DSS payments, but do not collect unemployment benefits.  

Aboriginal people have been looking for a long time for a way to better themselves and their opportunities, gain confidence and self-esteem and to break their dependence on unemployment benefits and the welfare system. CDEP has provided this need. 

There are two separate CDEP Centres which serve the Koonibba and local Aboriginal communities.




Phone  + 61 8 8625 0007
Fax + 61 8 8625 0036

Koonibba CDEP was established in 1990. 

Our Administration staff consists of the Manager, Finance Officer, Admin Officer, Project Officer and Receptionist/Typist. 

There are various ways in which Koonibba CDEP offers training and work experience to our participants.

The programs we are running at the moment are:


Their jobs include making sure the community rubbish is picked up twice a week. Yards are cleaned, and landscaping and mowing are done, including killing weeds around the community, and other odd jobs. This gives the gang members experience in operating machinery such as chain saws and lawn mowers, and covers to a small degree job costing and project planning.


Their job is to maintain the running of the vehicles – trucks, utes and cars, and to fix machinery like lawn mowers and tractors.


They do house maintenance, like renovating, plumbing, painting, cement work, and other odd jobs around the houses. The Building gang offers people the chance to gain experience in building and renovating as well as handywork.



Phone  +61 8 8625 3210
Fax + 61 8 8625 2111


TWT Inc was formed in July to enhance training and employment prospects to the local Aboriginal Community in Ceduna.

Training programs incorporated under TWT at this time include:

Emu Farm Homelands

Welding Horticulture

Workshop Activities Community Work

Oyster Lease Inwork ventures

Garden Activities Art & Craft

Funds obtained from some of these projects have enabled us to branch out into the retail industry, and our joint venture, the Black & White Fresh Fish and Chicken Shop was born. 

Our Administration Staff consists of the Manager, Finance Officer, Administration Officer, Training Officer, JobSkills Co-Ordinator, Project Officer and Receptionist/Secretary, as well as one Inwork Trainee, and 3 participants who work 2 days per week. TWT also now have a full-time mechanic and 2 trainees. 

There are various ways in which Ceduna CDEP (TWT) offers training and work experience to our participants.


One work gang does yard cleanups and rubbish removal. This gives the gang members experience in operating machinery such as chain saws, lawn mowers etc, and covers to a small degree job costing and project planning. The Yard Gang take a lot of pride in their work and abilities and are available to quote on any job required. (Even though they are known around Ceduna as “Dad’s Army!” they do a good job.)

Monies earned from the yard cleaning were used to set up for our first enterprise – a joint venture with Oestmann Fish Processors. After 2 years, we were able to buy them out and continued running it on our own.


Our Garden Gang offers people the chance to experience all facets of garden care from landscaping to propagating to pergola building and land revegetation. The Garden Gang has done much work in our local area.


TWT now have our own Building Gang. The men in the building gang have been with their supervisor for nearly 4 years, and have gained enormous experience in building and renovating as well as handywork. The building gang also has an apprentice carpenter who has recently become qualified. The gang has done all of the renovations to our new offices and many of the houses on the homelands projects. The quality of their work is a credit to them and their supervisor. To date, they have completed 5 new houses, numerous sheds and various renovation projects.


TWT also tends 5 homeland projects. These homelands are situated throughout the area, and are providing people with new work skills in land care, marketing and industry skills. Each homeland’s long-term aim is to be able to fund itself from its own efforts which range from farming and fishing to carpentry.


ATSIC is using TWT to pilot a new training program for Aboriginal youth, called the Inwork Program.

The Inwork Program is for young people aged from 16-24, and offers them work in many fields, combined with off-the-job training at TAFE. We have already placed workers in this program in areas such as National Parks and Wildlife Service, Family and Community Services, Ceduna Area School, Child Care, Aged Care, the Emu Farm and TWT’s Office. TWT now also supervises and co-ordinates the Koonibba Inwork Program which currently has 10 trainees, making a total of 19 Inwork Traineeships in our local area. 

Inworkers work under a 12-24 month contract with supervision from the Inwork Trainer, the supervisor on site and the Inwork Co-ordinator from TAFE. At the end of the contract, each worker will be accredited and acknowledged for his/her efforts and achievements and will (we hope) succeed in gaining permanent employment.


We now offer training/employment opportunities to the long-term unemployed. At this time, we have 20 people working in areas such as animal husbandry, land management and revegetation and tourism. A lot of the training for this program is carried out on our Emu Farm, and the results are starting to become evident.  


The Black & White Fresh Fish & Chicken Shop is an outlet now run by TWT which offers people training in the retail industry. Staff have learnt how to order and sell stock, maintain invoice and credit records, balance a cashbook and general day-to-day store running. The Black & White shop offers a wide range of seafood, chicken, rabbit and kangaroo meats as well as cool drinks and confectionery, and some Aboriginal artefacts and products. 



Phone  +61 8 8625 2933

Recent ATSIC statistics from the Ceduna Region revealed that the average income of employed Aboriginal people aged 15 and over (42% of the population) was $269.00 per week and that 45% have been unemployed for longer than 12 months.

After much research into the Aquaculture Industry, it was decided to extend our enterprise arm once again.


ATSIC provided assistance in the form of funding to determine the most appropriate corporate structure, financial management procedures and legal structures for TWT’s enterprise activities.

Incorporation of Ceduna Clear Water Oysters took place in September 1993.

Ceduna Clear Water Oysters was set up with shares being owned by TWT, the Commercial Development Corporation and the existing owners. It is anticipated that within 5 years, TWT will be in a position to buy out some shares and within 10 years purchase the rest of the shares. All shareholders are on the Ceduna Clear Water Oysters Board of Management.


Day-to-day operations are conducted by the major shareholder, who is responsible for product and industry maintenance and financial records, as well as employment of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal staff. 

The oyster lease provides on-the-job training for all workers, and obtains assistance through DEET in the form of TAP funding (Training for Aboriginal People).



Phone  + 61 8 8625 2066
Fax + 61 8 8625 3855

February 1994 saw the opening of our Emu Farm, known as Kalaya Tjina, meaning Emu Foot. Assistance was obtained through ATSIC for the purchase of 446 hectares of land, and Bureau of Resource Sciences who provided initial funding for plant and stock, including our first 20 birds. TWT have provided a manager/trainer as well as Aboriginal workers to staff the project.

The first major task was to run fences and emu pens, and set up drinker systems and reticulation. Once this was achieved and the birds had settled into their surroundings, attention was then turned to erecting sheds to house machinery and equipment as well as incubators and breeder pens. This work was done by our Building Gang.

We now have 100 birds and yearling chicks on the range and with our breeding program taking off this year, it is hoped that our stock will increase markedly. We now have emu chicks hatching. 160 chicks have so far hatched, with more due to hatch in the next 6-7 weeks. It is anticipated that 300 chicks will be successfully hatched before the end of the season.

Once bird numbers have increased, we plan to establish an abattoir and slaughtering can take place, again increasing employment. Processing will include not only the meat, but also most of the bird will be able to be used for leather, oils, cosmetics, jewellery, arts and crafts. Overseas export markets are already being investigated.


Feed for the birds is a combination of grains, most of which are sown locally by the emu farm workers. This reduces the cost of purchasing seed and provides invaluable farming experience.

This project is giving enormous experience to the workers in animal husbandry, land management and revegetation and also in long-term wildlife utilisation and product marketing, as well as the tourist industry. 

The tourism side of the venture is now being developed through the assistance and employment of our Jobskills team. Plans include a Dreamtime Walkway and an emu sculpture created with trees and shrubs to be seen from the air.


In the long term tourism on our emu farm will ensure that a lot of Aboriginal culture is highlighted in different areas – with egg carving on site, the Dreamtime trail, an artefacts store and a restaurant, all staffed by Aboriginal employees.