Racing NSW, TAFE NSW Western Sydney

Indigenous Strategy

Darby McCarthy

Darby McCarthy Indigenous Strategy

The Darby McCarthy Employment Program is delivered jointly by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, Racing NSW, and TAFE Western Sydney Institute.

Fittingly named after one of Australia's best Aboriginal riders, Darby McCarthy, the program also provides support and assistance to secure and maintain a job, including traineeships and apprenticeships in the industry.

Darby McCarthy is a mentor to successful applicants during the program, which includes a day at the races and graduation ceremony. Students also have the honour of gaining skills and tuition from a variety of industry experts including former champion jockeys Ron Quinton and Malcolm Johnston.

More than 400 jobs are currently vacant in the racing and breeding Industries, with graduates of the Darby McCarthy Program hoping to help fill the void of skilled worker shortages.

“The Darby McCarthy Employment Program recognises that Aboriginal people have a wealth of skills, knowledge and experience which can greatly benefit our industry,” said Racing NSW’s General Manager-Regulatory, Keith Bulloch.

The Darby McCarthy Program has a high employment retention rate with 88% of graduates still employed several years after graduating

“The previous two programs have been very successful producing many very fine horsemen and women. The training leads to employment for many different positions in the industry, and with Darby McCarthy’s help we are always on the lookout for our next top indigenous jockey,” Mr Bulloch added.

The entire program is free of cost for Indigenous students, thanks to the support of the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and TAFE NSW.

Training is delivered by the Australian Racing Equine Academy (“AREA”), a partnership between Racing NSW and TAFE WSI. Job placements commence directly after the completion of the introductory course.

This is an Australian Government initiative.