Following the theme of 'educating for uncertainty in a changing world', this article delves into some of the issues that emerge for remote area indigenous Australians when change, cultural maintenance and an uncertain future collide. As a minority culture living alongside a Western colonizing culture, indigenous Australians confront a range of issues. This is particularly the case, as this paper argues, in the field of vocational education and training (VET). By discussing the establishment of the current VET system developed for a 'mainstream' context, and contrasting this to the remote area context, the article highlights the differences between the two and provides a basis for understanding the issues that arise. A discussion of the current social and political milieu furthers an understanding of these issues, which coalesce around the notions of control and access. It is apparent that these key notions remain pivotal if remote indigenous Australians are to educate for uncertainty in a changing world.