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Busy School Supported by 5 trainees

Busy School Supported by 5 trainees

Busy School Supported by 5 trainees

Long-time partner and supporter of AFL SportsReady’s Schools’ program, Catholic College Wodonga, believes the program is a win, win for both trainees and the school.

“We are a very busy school, so taking teaching staff out of class can be problematic. Having trainees on board means we don’t have to do that. They count as an additional staff member which means they help us out not only in the classroom but also on excursions and other school activities,” said Stacey Hockin, Catholic College Wodonga’s Sports and Recreation Coordinator and supervisor to trainee, Ellie Ainsworth.

“We wouldn’t be able to run our schools’ sports programs if we didn’t have the help of Ellie in our sports department,” she added.

Ellie is studying a Certificate IV in Sport Development and works within the sporting faculty as an Education Support trainee. She is joined at the school by four other Education Support trainees including, David Bon who is studying a Science Certificate III, Samuel Partridge who is studying a Catholic Identity Certificate III, Akira Kerr who is studying a languages Certificate III and Talisan Wilson who is studying a Technology Certificate III. All trainees are working in different departments across the school.

“I think the traineeship is a really great pathway program especially for those wanting to take a gap year. Our career teachers are great at recognising what students needs are and so we highly recommend traineeships to our students who might want to take some time off before further study,” said Stacey.

“It’s a huge benefit for the young person but also for the school and in so many ways too. The trainees bring a new and fresh perspective to the school, they promote diversity within the school, they are role models to the students because they are closer in age, so the students connect with the trainees which benefits their learning outcomes and it’s just amazing to work with someone like Ellie every day!”

All five trainees were former students at the college and saw the opportunity as either a way to do something meaningful in their gap year, to gain a first-hand look into the teaching industry or as an experience that would benefit them in their future endeavours. For Ellie, she chose the pathway so she could get valuable experience during her gap year in a field she is passionate about, sports.

“I always thought of taking on a gap year through school but wasn’t sure what I could do in that year so when I saw the traineeship, I thought it was perfect,” said Ellie.

“So far it has been a great experience. It has definitely been challenging with COVID but there is still so much to do in my role and the school is so supportive.”

Ellie’s role involves helping Stacey in the PE department, from assisting with classes, to helping with planning and coordinating events such as sports and athletic carnivals. Ellie also gets the chance to go on excursions which is a highlight in her role.

“I get to do some pretty awesome stuff in my traineeship, like today, I get to go ten pin bowling with the students.

I come to work every day and really love my job. I love everything I do in this role, and I think that is really important, to love what you do.”

Another thing that stands out for Ellie is the amount of support she receives in the school environment.

“Doing a traineeship in a school, especially one you have attended, you feel a sense of comfort and familiarity. It is a beautiful and nurturing environment. Everyone looks out for you.”

While Ellie thrives in her traineeship, Stacey and the school benefits from the support the trainees provide. It’s a win, win for both trainees and the school and it is no wonder why AFL SportsReady’s trainees in schools is one of the most successful programs.


Right now, private schools across Australia have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to consider taking on a trainee and joining our schools’ program with funding incentives available through the Australian Governments’ BAC funding scheme.

Click here to find out more.

DATE: 3rd of September 2021

IMAGE: From left to right:
David Bon (Science Cert III Education Support Trainee)
Samuel Partridge (Catholic Identity Cert III Education Support Trainee)
Akira Kerr (Languages Cert III Education Support Trainee)
Talisan Wilson (Technology Cert III Education Support Trainee)
Ellie Ainsworth (Cert IV Sport Development Trainee)

AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello