Future Leaders Honoured at MCG Graduation Ceremony
Melbourne’s Lauren Byrnes has taken out AFL industry prize the Jill Lindsay Scholarship, at a special AFL SportsReady trainee graduation ceremony at the MCG.
The Jill Lindsay Scholarship was created by the AFL and is awarded to the female graduate with the most potential to come through the AFL’s SportsReady program. The award was set up by the AFL to honour Jill Lindsay after her death from cancer in 2011, in recognition of her outstanding service as the game’s longest-serving administrator.
Ms Byrnes, who has been employed by AFL SportsReady since beginning her first of two traineeships in 2007, was chosen for the award thanks to her determined and innovative approach to her work. AFL SportsReady Victorian Manager Paul Broderick said Ms Byrnes had proven herself as a dynamic and professional ambassador for AFL SportsReady throughout her two traineeships and since becoming a permanent member of the team in 2009.
“Lauren’s practical pathway from trainee to full time employee, combined with her education pathway of Certificate III and Certificate IV in Business, going on to study a Diploma of Business post her traineeship, is a terrific example of how a traineeship model can support education and career development” Mr Broderick said.
“AFL SportsReady has watched Lauren’s confidence grow from a shy fresh out of school student to an assertive, confident and valuable asset to the company and we couldn’t think of a more deserving candidate for the Jill Lindsay Scholarship.”
The scholarship will allow Ms Byrnes to undertake further education to the value of $20,000, while she will also be mentored by leadership development expert Andi Pert, who once played softball for a team coached by Jill Lindsay. The scholarship announcement was one of several highlights of last night’s graduation ceremony at the MCG dining room, attended by 300 people, which also included the recipient of the Trainee of the Year.
This year’s top trainee honour went to Kym Taylor, who completed a Certificate III and IV in Sport and Recreation with Victoria University. AFL SportsReady Indigenous mentor Matthew Whelan said Mr Taylor grew in confidence and skill throughout the traineeship, becoming a group exercise and gym instructor. “Staff at Victoria University constantly receive glowing endorsements of Kym’s professionalism and positive approach to work and he has been successful in securing employment with the university post traineeship, which is testament to Kym’s ability and commitment to the role,” Mr Whelan said.
“Kym was among over 200 trainees across the state, including 31 Indigenous trainees, who have graduated this year, making the Trainee of the Year award all the more difficult to select.”
The trainees completed studies in areas across sport and recreation, business, information technology, hospitality and horticulture, while undergoing traineeships at sporting organisations, schools and in the community and finance sectors. Mr Broderick said choosing the annual award winners was never easy and the job was all the more challenging this year, with a high calibre group working with AFL SportsReady across the state. “However, Kym’s maturity, enthusiasm and strong leadership skills made him a standout trainee,” Mr Whelan said.
AFL SportsReady CEO James Montgomery said AFL SportsReady was passionate about helping young people create a rewarding career in sport, recreation, business and other industries. “We are proud of the high number of our trainees who go on to further study or work in their chosen fields,” Mr Montgomery said.
“We are also proud to work in partnership with businesses and organisations across the state to ensure all graduates had the best chance at success beyond the sporting field.
“The completion of their studies, whether it be at Certificate or Diploma level, along with the invaluable experience of a traineeship, will provide these students with a strong foundation for their future careers. “As a national not-for-profit company we are driven to give all our trainees and students the best kick start to their career possible, which is why at AFL SportsReady you can expect real education, real jobs and real careers.”
“The graduation ceremony is a fantastic way to recognise the achievements of these graduates, who have all worked hard to achieve success in their chosen areas, and we wish them all the best for their future endeavours.”
DATE: 5 March, 2013
IMAGE: Lauren Byrnes, Jill Lindsay Scholarship Award Winner