The first group of students enrolled in our School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships Indigenous program are about to complete their work placements.
Ruby, Annalise and Chase are three students who chose to enrol the program designed specifically for Indigenous students.
Ruby and Annalise are both in Year 12 at Bendigo Senior Secondary College and Chase, Year 11, at Castlemaine Secondary College. Each spends one day a week employed in a job learning new skills and undertaking a training program that could give them a head start into a career of their choice.
Annalise and Chase are employed with North Central Catchment Management Authority, with Ruby at Parks Victoria, where she has since secured fulltime work. Each will complete a Certificate II in Horticulture.
As part of their School Based Apprenticeships and Traineeships (SBAT) they have designed a polo shirt with artwork of animals that represent a totem. They are also making a possum cloak for the community.
Each student says the program has helped give them direction for future career and personal goals.
At Parks Victoria, Ruby has been helping manage six Indigenous parks. She is looking after plants and animals “while identifying what’s going right and what’s going wrong”.
“What I like about the SBAT is I feel like it has it has kept me in school. It’s kept me motivated, and on a real personal level it’s made me feel my culture and made me find myself. Before this, I didn’t know where I was going or what I wanted to be or who I really was. It has really helped me find myself…my confidence has boosted. I have found my career pathway, I have found a huge supportive family, and I have confidence in everything I do.”
For Chase, balancing school and work at North Central Catchment Management Authority has introduced him to new people and future career possibilities.
“I like how we get to go out work, get paid and we’re doing something that we like to do, like going out on country and learning about the culture that’s happened in that country. It’s made me want to go to school more because I feel this is making me mature.”
In her one day a week at North Central Catchment Management Authority, Annalise has been working with the Indigenous team “looking after land as well as the waterways”.
“When we go out on country we do cultural surveys, we do a walk and we if find any cultural heritage we put a plan in place to protect it and look after it. What I like about my job is … I get to go into the workplace and learn new life skills that I can take with me. I have grown to be a better person, I have more leadership skills, I have learnt more about my culture, which makes me who I am, which I really love. Our shirt design is another part of our culture. I’ve drawn a snake, which represents who I am. I am a part of that shirt. (SBAT) has been great because I want to do this stuff as a job when I am older.”
CVGT Australia’s Indigenous Communities Liaison Officer Rhonda Penney, who initiated the program with community support, says the students have thrived in the program.
“It’s fantastic to see all our students do so well. The program is already attracting interest from students for next year and we are keen to engage with more employers to ensure more young people can discover their ideal career path.”
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