Indigenous Trainee finds sense of purpose and security thanks to his traineeship
Proud Wotjobaluk man, Jay McCartney, is completing a Certificate III in Business traineeship within the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP) within the Victorian Government. Thanks to the opportunity, Jay feels he has not only found his purpose, but this role has given him a sense of security in a time of uncertainty.
“I really loved the sound of the traineeship! I was really impressed because It would give me a sense of security rather than going in and out of casual jobs,” he said.
After losing his travel agency job through COVID, Jay was looking for something more secure. His dad told him about the traineeship opportunity and that it was for one year and that it could potentially lead him to full-time work.
“It gives me confidence and reassurance to know for a year I have a job that gives me quality work experience, a qualification and a steady income. So even after the year is up, this is really going to help me when I look for another job.”
An average day for Jay is focusing on basic admin jobs within the company including, answering calls, emails, engaging with clients, working on policies, and planning events. Once lockdown is over, he will be involved in going on trips to country where Jay will be meeting face to face with Traditional Owner groups to understand what they do and how government can assist with those projects and what government could improve on to ensure the relationship with Traditional Owners stays strong.
“Working closely with Traditional Owners is inspiring, although we don’t do face to face yet, I still communicate with them. It gives me a great understanding of what really happens in community and the amount of work that goes into safeguarding our land. It’s quite eye opening to see how many spots are scared to First Nations and why it is important to protect them,” said Jay.
“Once the state opens up my role will involve going out to country and hearing the Traditional Owners’ stories first-hand.
I feel really inspired by the traineeship and it encourages me to learn more and to do more for community. I really feel like working in this area is my purpose.” he added.
The traineeship opportunity has given Jay new life-long skills, self- confidence, and networks. It has allowed him to form amazing relationships within community that will help him throughout his traineeship and future ventures.
“It’s really great to be able to talk to people and gain social skills. I am involved in meetings and all that kind of stuff and I get to connect with people who I don’t normally connect with. So, it really helps to build my self-confidence.”
Jay’s role also gives him flexibility so in lockdown, he has the opportunity to work from home.
“Through lockdown we work from home, which is what I am doing now. It is really flexible which is great because you can do everything you need to at home. This also gives me a chance to help my mum out as I have two younger sisters so with me home it makes her less stressed.”
Jay’s passion for community and the hard work he is doing in his role is evident, and recently DELWP has given Jay the opportunity of being in charge of setting up and managing the finances of an Indigenous conference.
“It’s a pretty big step when you’ve only been a trainee for a few months. To be trusted with something as important as this.
At the moment, I’m working on setting up a conference for 100 odd Indigenous staff. It really feels like an honour.”
Every Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander trainee has an Aboriginal Mentor as well as a Field officer who is there with them every step of the way. For Jay his experience with this has been –
“Absolutely amazing, since I started Brett my Mentor checks up and wants updates on how I am settling in. He makes a lot of effort to reach out which is greatly appreciated because he did make the settling in phase a lot smoother.”
Jay believes his traineeship has given him an opportunity to take on a meaningful role that not only has given him purpose and security but a role that impacts the wider community. Without the traineeship, he said, this wouldn’t be possible. His advice to anyone thinking of taking on a traineeship is –
“Be yourself and don’t under estimate how valuable your skill sets are to a certain team or a business. Even with limited skills and experience, you can still take on a traineeship and it will get you places. When you come into jobs like the public service sometimes they like to have a fresh set of eyes and they really value you.”
Learn more about our Warumilang program and the work we do with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.
We have heaps of amazing Indigenous traineeship opportunities on our jobs board right now! You can see them here.
DATE: 11th August 2021
AUTHOR: Dakota McCarthy
IMAGE: Jay McCartney