Nicole Forrester, from Fujitsu Oceania, and Cherbourg mayor Elvie Sandow, centre, cut the ribbon at Nurunderi TAFE, watched on by South Burnett mayor Brett Otto, left, and Local Government Association of Queensland president Mark Jamieson, right (Photo: CASC)

May 18, 2022

Cherbourg’s trailblazing new community call centre was officially opened on Wednesday at a ceremony which attracted a mix of Council and State Government officials.

Mayor Elvie Sandow said the project was exciting.

“It’s the first call centre in an Indigenous community, and I’m very proud to say that,” Mayor Sandow said.

“Ten local people are employed. We can only build on this … the sky is the limit!”

Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport Deputy Director-General Lea Diffey said the opening of the call centre was a real achievement, which had taken a lot of hard work.

“It’s the Cherbourg community and Fujitsu that have made it happen and have been the ones who want to see this model expand into regional communities across Queensland,” she said.

“You’re leading the way. It’s a tremendous achievement for Cherbourg.

“The contact centre will allow and help people to work on country …  it will provide local people with the digital experience and career opportunities that many others have.

“And it’s owned and operated by the community. The benefits stay right here.”

The staff will gain on-the-job training as well as working towards obtaining Certificate III qualifications from TAFE.

Fujitsu is the call centre’s foundation customer.

“Without Fujitsu we wouldn’t actually be standing here today,” Ms Diffey said.

“Fujitsu have provided not only the first job opportunities but have also provided all the equipment, the computers, headsets and phones to make this dream a reality.”

Nicole Forrester, from Fujitsu Oceania, said the success of this project would grow corporate Australia’s interest in partnering with First Nations’ communities.

Ms Forrester said there had been one silver lining from the COVID pandemic.

“The world has taught us with the right support, digital connectivity, equipment and training we can live work and earn from anywhere on this planet,” she said.

Ms Forrester said “talent” was no longer defined by geography, it was defined by aspiration for a different future.

“The future is bright,” she said.

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Cherbourg and South Burnett councillors joined with Cherbourg residents and government officials at the ceremony (Photo: CASC)

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