ArtsReady Trainee Blog: Dakota’s updates for 2022

ArtsReady Trainee Blog: Dakota’s updates for 2022

ArtsReady Trainee Blog: Dakota’s updates for 2022

After a three week break over the Christmas/New Year’s period I have entered 2022 with a new insight on myself. As my traineeship is nearly at full-term in April, I have been taking this time to really focus on completing my studies. I had the opportunity to attend online zoom classes and I’m feeling a lot more confident in what I have learnt throughout my traineeship.

Getting back into the work schedule was a bit tough after such a nice break but once I started delving into work tasks it became a lot easier. I have been working on content for socials, updating our Vimeo page, taking part in organising A First Nations Art Competition, working on our regular Hotjobs campaign, and helping with other tasks that come my way.

I am starting to get back into article writing and contacting trainees for interviews which is my favourite part of the job and I really enjoy and feel I thrive in. By working together with AFL Mentors and Field Officers we find inspiring stories about our former and current trainees and their achievements.

My Mentor, Ralph White has an abundance of knowledge and runs amazing programs that involve many of his trainees and some AFLSR staff. This is a space where we get to hear from First Nations peoples outside of AFLSR. I have mentioned this in a prior blog how much I particularly enjoy these sessions as I love hearing and learning people’s stories before and where they are up to now.

A recent speaker to join us was Jimmy Kyle, a Proud Dunghutti man from Kempsey. He spoke of finding one self and his journey of learning his history and being proud of who he is. This really stood out to me because he is only an hour away from where I grew up on Worimi Country, so some of the stories he told of history were also related to my Mob. He is a singer/songwriter and speaks of the hardship that was put upon First Nations, relaying stories to educate and inform of what took place. Encouraging strength and determination to all involved on the call to continue educating ourselves about who we are, our native language and what we can do to recognise and acknowledge culture.

Another amazing opportunity Ralph allowed me to have was to attend the Australian Open, he had organised Eliza (AFLSR Staff Member) and myself to have ground passes on the First Nations AO day. Never having been to a Professional Tennis game I was blown away by how many people take part in it. I was able to watch multiple games around the grounds with two games that were a highlight for me. Nadal vs Hanfmann in the Rod Laver Arena and the Men’s Double’s which included 4 Australian players – Thanasi Kokkinakis & Nick Kyrgios VS Alex Bolt & James McCabe.

The atmosphere of this game was like no other, the crowd was amazing to be a part of. The energy both around the court and on the court was contagious. I really enjoyed this day out altogether and it was amazing to attend such a well-known event.

Coming back into work I have been able to connect with new peers at AFL SportsReady. One being Sherri Chapman, we were able to come together and talk of our journeys and what we aspire to do within our careers. She has an amazing career portfolio which really inspired me to look more into what it was that I was aiming to achieve. I left that conversation feeling refreshed and energized to really work towards my career goals.

A real highlight for me about my traineeship is working within such an amazing team. There is an ongoing flow of new connections, ways to enhance and build upon your networking skills and so many interesting conversations and learnings to take on-board. For me I believe working on networking is one of the most valuable skills you can have because you never know when it could benefit you in the future. I am continuously learning and loving every part of my traineeship and I am excited to see what lays in store for me next.

DATE: 22 February 2022

AUTHOR: Dakota McCarthy

IMAGE: Dakota (Ash Barty Artwork)