From Trainee to Working in the AFL

From Trainee to Working in the AFL

From Trainee to Working in the AFL

Thanks to his traineeship at AFL NSW/ACT, Josh Rozairo got a foot in the door of the industry he is most passionate about and now, six years on, he is still employed at the organisation as the AFL NSW/ACT Multicultural and Inclusion Lead.

“My Traineeship gave me the perfect skills and understanding of what it meant to work in the sports industry in particular the AFL,” he said.

“It helped me create a network of contacts and provided me with the knowledge that saw me land my first full time role with the AFL, where I still work today,” he added.

Josh completed his traineeship over two years, studying a Certificate IV in Business and a Diploma of Leadership Management. His traineeship was part of the Young Leaders Program, an initiative of AFL NSW/ACT, giving trainees the chance to work within the AFL Game Development team.

“When I first took on the traineeship, I just saw it as a full-time job, an opportunity to work in sport. I didn’t realise how much I would gain. From the experience, to the networks to the incredible outcome of securing a job and setting me up for a career in the AFL.”

In his traineeship Josh worked under AFL NSW/ACT in Western Sydney where he learnt all about the industry and how it operates.

“It was a vital learning experience. I got to know the ins and outs of the organisation as well as coach kids, provide support to other areas of the organisation and also learn about leadership and management in the AFL.”

Josh believes above all, it’s the practical experience that is the key benefit that sets traineeships apart.

“In a traineeship you get to put what you learn into practice immediately. When learning about management and leadership you get to see it in action and practice it, which helps to better set you up for the future. Unlike Uni where it’s a mass learning environment and mostly theory so you have to hope you can retain the information down the track.

It’s the on-the-job experience that is the greatest advantage point for any young person going for a job. Especially when dealing with an industry as competitive as the AFL. It’s everything.”

After completing his traineeship Josh was offered on going employment with AFL NSW/ACT as a Development Coordinator where he continued to help develop and implement AFL programs across the state. Two years later Josh was promoted to Multicultural and Inclusion lead, a role he believes is the perfect fit for him.

“I absolutely love what I do. It’s a cool job where I get to create partnerships and come up with new initiatives to help people from diverse backgrounds get involved in the game of AFL.

It’s pretty amazing when I look back and see where I started to what I am doing now.

My traineeship didn’t just set me up for a career, it actually provided me with a career. A career that I love and that I hope to be in for years to come.”

This article is part of a series to highlight the real stories of young people who chose a Traineeship as their career pathway.

The ‘Careers are made through Traineeships’ article series features AFL SportsReady alumni demonstrating ‘where they ended up’ post Traineeship.

​To find out more about our Traineeship program and the opportunities it can lead to, click here.


Date: 16th of March 2021

Image: Joshua Rozairo

Author: Marissa Pagliarello