Determined AFL Development Trainee, Mabel Soon, has discovered a newfound confidence in herself and her career path thanks to her traineeship with AFL House. She believes this traineeship is setting her up for future success in an industry she loves.

“With big companies, like the AFL, it’s really hard to get your foot in the door, so when I learnt I had got the job I was stoked, you don’t come across an opportunity like this too often,” said Mabel.

“A traineeship is your ticket into the AFL industry and honestly it feels like a dream come true that I am actually working here. I wasn’t sure if I would be right for the industry, but this traineeship has assured me that I am.”

Being part of the Development Team Mabel organises events, school programs, holiday programs and halftime games like Auskick.

“There are some really cool elements to this role!

One of my favourite things to do is organise the halftime Auskick. I help with the game set up, organise tickets and seating for the parents, distribute accreditation passes and help out with any behind the scenes stuff.”

This pathway has opened-up new opportunities, networks, and friendships for Mabel and despite the lockdown in Victoria she is still making the absolute most from the experience.

Even the transition from working face-to-face to now working from home has been easier than she expected.

 “We were working from home about 2/3 days a week before as the office hadn’t fully returned back, but now we are working from home and everything is virtual, – it’s been really great with the switch because we have been really supported by the AFL.”

The Grand Final experience will be a little bit different this year, with the game being hosted in Perth. However, Mabel and her team are still heavily involved with the big event.

‘Our team is working grand final eve, making sure that everything runs smoothly, correct staff are deployed and understand what their part is – and afterwards is when we get a break for the celebrations’

Although Mabel is not in the office she stays busy, especially during the AFL Finals series.

“We do everything online – meetings with the AFL, catch ups within our teams and staying in contact with staff and the schools we provide programs for.

‘It’s been a really busy time with the finals on and there is just so much to do! We do a lot of work with the AFL clubs and heaps of online events for schools.”

This traineeship has been everything Mabel has hoped for and more! From studying a qualification to learning about the AFL business, making important networks, and gaining knowledge and exposure in different departments within the industry.

‘It’s nice because I have a really supportive manager who wants me to be exposed to a lot of different areas; for example, Rhiannon my manager, wants me to have a go at some of the diversity stuff. She thinks it’ll be good to be exposed to it and try different environments and see different parts of the business to see if there is an area, I might like best.”

Mabel says she has still so much to learn at the AFL but one thing she knows for sure is that she is in the right place.

“There is no doubt that the best part about this traineeship is that it is giving me a good steppingstone and is leading me into the future that I have always wanted.

It’s also a good thing to have a Certificate III in Business under your belt and to have that on your resume. It’s really flexible the way AFL SportsReady do their learning too and so that makes it even more appealing.

Really, this whole traineeship is the best thing I have ever done.”


If you or someone you know is keen to get a start in their career, we have heaps of amazing traineeship opportunities on our jobs board right now. You can see them here. 

DATE: 22nd September, 2021

AUTHOR: Dakota McCarthy

IMAGE: Mabel Soon, Development Trainee AFL