Graduation Ceremony Recognises QLD Talent

Graduation Ceremony Recognises QLD Talent

Graduation Ceremony Recognises QLD Talent

A Sunshine Coast teenager who showed exceptional leadership talent from the moment she started a traineeship with AFL Queensland has received the AFL SportsReady Busy at Work Trainee of the Year award at a special graduation ceremony in Brisbane.

AFL SportsReady QLD State Manager Shane Johnson said Michelle Poetschka, who began her traineeship after completing Year 12 at the age of 16, stood out among a high achieving group of 56 trainees who graduated last night from across the state. 

Mr Johnson said the QLD graduates, including 22 young Indigenous trainees, had completed studies in areas across sport and recreation, business, financial services and horticulture, while undergoing traineeships at sporting organisations, golf courses and sports stadiums aquatic centres, banks, and with the AFL.

Choosing the Trainee of the Year is never easy and we had a high calibre group work with AFL SportsReady across the state in 2012,” Mr Johnson said. “However, Michelle’s maturity and strong leadership skills made her a clear winner. Michelle had barely settled in her administration role at the AFLQ-Sunshine Coast office before she showed her leadership potential, taking on extra tasks and mentoring two other trainees as she completed her own traineeship.”

Mr Johnson said Michelle had finished her QLD Certificate of Education at the age of 16, before choosing to complete Certificate III in Business with AFL SportsReady, using the qualification as a springboard into university. She is about to start studying at Sunshine Coast University while continuing to work part time with AFLQ-Sunshine Coast.

AFL SportsReady is passionate about helping young people create a rewarding career in sport, recreation, business and other industries and we are proud of the high number of our trainees who go on to further study or work in their chosen fields,” he said. Last night’s graduation dinner, held at the Cricketer’s Club at the GABBA, also awarded honours to a number of other AFL SportsReady trainee graduates, including Thomas Beverley, who received the HOSTPLUS Rising Star award for his work with the Gold Coast Suns. 

Thomas, originally from Cairns, beat 80 other candidates for the Gold Coast role and proved to be a stand out choice, excelling in his role with the memberships team,” Mr Johnson said. “He was a dynamic worker and student, and received several written testimonials from happy members who had dealings with him last year. The Suns had no hesitation in giving him ongoing work once he completed his Certificate III in Business and he is now combining the work with further studies at Griffith University.” 

Other awards included the School-based Trainee of the Year, which was this year shared by two talented high school students, one from Brisbane and one from Hervey Bay. Mr Johnson said it was impossible to choose between Hervey Bay’s Knomie Drake, who completed a Certificate II in Retail as part of her QCE, and Jonah Chorley, from the Brisbane suburb of Morningside, whose Certificate III in Fitness studies also formed part of his studies during his last year at school.

Knomie took to her role with Australia Post at Pialba with determination and has been rewarded with ongoing work after finishing school,” Mr Johnson said. “Jonah also excelled in his role at Sasson Fitness and finished his QCE with an OP1. His Year 12 studies complemented the talented Muay Thai boxer’s personal interests, and he has now gone on to study civil engineering at university.”

AFL SportsReady CEO James Montgomery said the company was proud to work in partnership with sporting organisations, clubs and other businesses across the state to ensure all graduates had the best chance at success beyond the sporting field. “It is a huge honour for me to present certificates to this year’s QLD graduates who come from all walks of life,” Mr Montgomery said. 

The completion of their studies, whether it be at Certificate III, Certificate IV or Diploma level, along with the invaluable experience of a traineeship, will provide these students with a strong foundation for their future careers.” Mr Montgomery said it was also fantastic to see so many QLD graduates benefit from AFL SportsReady’s national partnerships with the ANZ, NAB, the Commonwealth Bank and Australia Post. 

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,” Mr Montgomery said. “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: Wednesday, 20 March 2013 
IMAGE: Cassandra Horan, Busy at Work’s Senior Industry Training Consultant, presents Michelle Poetschka with the QLD Trainee of the Year award.