2021 South Australian of The Year, Amber Chapman, Finds her True Calling

2021 South Australian of The Year, Amber Chapman, Finds her True Calling

2021 South Australian of The Year, Amber Chapman, Finds her True Calling

Thanks to her traineeship at Mount Carmel College, recent Trainee of the Year award winner for South Australia, Amber Chapman discovered her true career passion, working with kids with disability. Now, she works full-time at the school as a Teachers Aid and has never been happier.

“My traineeship experience was a huge eye opener. Before I started, I had my heart set on working in the Sport and Recreation industry, but the staff at Mount Carmel college gave me opportunities to explore different areas.

They suggested that I would be really good working with kids with disability and when I took on the opportunity I never looked back, I realised this was something I am not only really good at but something I wanted to seriously pursue as a career.

I can’t believe how far I have come from when I started my traineeship.”

Amber took on a traineeship in 2020 at the school, working in the tech and sport area while studying a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation. She felt the traineeship was best suited to her learning style.

“I was worried that uni wasn’t the best pathway for me because I am such a hands-on learner. I was never into the theory side of things, so when I saw how practical a traineeship was, I knew this was the best career path for me.”

Being in a hands-on work environment, Amber absorbed as much as she could from her colleagues and believes this was a highlight in her experience, learning from others.

“In a traineeship you are constantly, doing, you are watching, learning and adapting. This is why the hands-on experience is so important because you are so immersed in the environment that there is no better and faster way to learn.

I loved watching my colleagues teach, I loved seeing the different methods and techniques they were using and that really inspired me to bring in some of those methods into my own style of teaching.”

Amber also believes the on-the-job experience helped her to discover her strengths and allowed her to work on her weaknesses.

“I didn’t realise my potential until I did my traineeship.

My traineeship was bringing to light strengths, skills and talents that I had no idea I was capable of.

Coming into the traineeship so young at 17, I was full of self-doubt but each day I would overcome those beliefs because I was gaining confidence in my abilities.”

Another benefit of the traineeship program for Amber was the exposure she received to different tasks and projects.

“I loved that through my traineeship I was always doing something new and different. I was involved in the food and hospitality area where I was prepping food and running audits, but I was also involved in the sport side of things so organising events and helping with PE classes.

I don’t like doing the same thing every day, so the traineeship was perfect for me because it offered me new and exciting possibilities every single day!”

Amber also commended the support she received from her host employer and said it was the people around her who contributed most to her growth.

“I would 100 % say that the people at Mount Carmel are the most welcoming and kind-hearted people I have ever met. I felt so supported through my traineeship because they helped me work through challenging mindsets, they encouraged me to explore new opportunities, they believed in me and in turn I believed in myself.”

Amber said she gained more from her traineeship than she could have ever imagined, including a full-time job. So, winning AFL SportsReady’s 2021 South Australian Trainee of Year award was the icing on the cake.

“After my traineeship finished I was encouraged to apply for the teachers aid job working with kids with disability at the school. Low and behold, I got the gig! I now work at Mount Carmel permanently, working with kids who are verbal and non-verbal and have other disabilities. I am proud to say I love coming to work every day.

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better, I won AFL SportsReady’s 2021 SA Trainee of Year award. This moment was really special because I realised how much I grew as a person. All my memories of my traineeship and achievements came to light and It helped me to look back on my journey and at that moment, I felt truly so proud of myself.

There is no doubt that the traineeship was the best thing I have ever done.”

If you would like to kick-start your career we have heaps of amazing traineeship opportunities on our jobs board right now! You can see them here. 


DATE: 20th of July 2021

AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello

IMAGE: Amber after she was presented with the Trainee of the Year Award