Doors open for Indigenous young people

Doors open for Indigenous young people

Doors open for Indigenous young people

Thanks to AFL SportsReady’s partnership with Aboriginal Housing Victoria (AHV) through the Government’s Jobs Victoria Employment Network (JVEN), more career pathways have been created for Aboriginal young people in need of support.

AHV is a not-for-profit community housing agency and is the largest Aboriginal housing organisation in Victoria, providing services for over 4000 Indigenous people throughout the state.

‘Our mission is to create opportunities with AFL SportsReady within our capacity for qualified Indigenous job seekers. They can develop knowledge and skills in the social housing industry and build their ability to undertake employment in the near future,’ said Lina Miao, Senior Project Officer at Aboriginal Housing Victoria.

Launched in 2017, the partnership aims to provide employment support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth who are living in or seeking public housing.  Since then AHV have had five trainees work within their organisation with two becoming permanent members of the team.

 ‘We work closely with AFL SportsReady to address any issues the trainees may have. As a result, most trainees finished their 26 weeks’ traineeship with a nationally recognised qualification and built a strong connection with AHV,’ said Ms. Miao.

‘Some trainees also chose to stay on in our organisation if they found themselves passionate about working in the social housing industry,’ she added.

Former trainee and full-time staff member, Anthony Vizzari describes his traineeship as a ‘life-changing and unforgettable experience.’

‘From the moment I arrived the staff here welcomed me and made me feel like I was a part of their family,’ Anthony explained.

The 23-year-old proud Wiradjuri Man from Melbourne started his traineeship in 2016 as Client Services Officer.

‘I decided to take on a traineeship because I had no luck finding employment. This seemed like the perfect opportunity to help me launch my career,’ he said.

Anthony moved around the organisation working in different departments and learning a diverse range of skills.

‘One of my highlights was having the opportunity to go out and about with one of the housing officers where I was able to engage with tenants. This was a powerful experience for and taught me a great deal.

I also was included in on the NAIDOC Day committee where I had the opportunity to help out with an event. It was an amazing feeling to be involved in something so important to my culture’

As part of his traineeship, Anthony completed a Certificate III in Business. While studying and working full-time Anthony was also caring for his newborn baby.

‘As a young father it was difficult to balance everything. However with the support of AHV was able to overcome these obstacles. They understood what I was going through and were there for me giving me constant advice and guidance.’

Upon completing his traineeship, Anthony was offered full-time employment as Receptionist.

 ‘I absolutely love my current role. I love where I work and I am so glad I pursued this. Any chance I get to refer a young person to AFL SportsReady, I do it. The whole experience was rewarding and I felt supported the entire way. It can change your life like it has done for me.’

To find out more about the diverse range of rewarding careers available through vocational education and training, and watch the real skills for real careers video, visit


Author: Marissa Pagliarello

Date: 20th of March 2018

Image: Anthony Vizzari