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Indigenous Trainee Makes History at Basketball ACT

Indigenous Trainee Makes History at Basketball ACT

Indigenous Trainee Makes History at Basketball ACT

Lachlan Mayo, a Proud Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander man with ties to the Mudburra people in the Northern Territory and Mabuiag Island in the Torres Strait, has made history by being the first Indigenous trainee to work at Basketball ACT.

“I feel really proud that I am doing something for the first time as an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Island young person and therefore breaking down barriers, promoting diversity and bringing my experience and culture to the workplace”, said Lachlan, 18.

“My family were part of the stolen generation, so I never had the chance to go back to country to trace my roots. But I feel deeply passionate and connected to my culture and want to be someone who can lead the way for other young Indigenous kids to step into industries and organisations that may have never taken on an Indigenous person before.”

Lachlan is a passionate basketball fan and has been playing the game for over six years, so the traineeship felt like the perfect opportunity.

“Basketball is my greatest passion, so this traineeship is a dream come true. I want to learn more about the industry, be around players, teach kids about basketball and use it as a way to make a positive impact in their lives.”

I also love learning and the traineeship offers this amazing opportunity to get industry experience and a qualification, a Certificate in Sport & Recreation which is something I am interested in.

Plus, my parents were incredibly open to it and they are so proud and excited that I get to work in an industry I’m really passionate about.”

After finishing school in 2019, Lachlan took a year off to explore his career options. With the challenge of COVID he found it difficult to find employment with little experience behind him.

“So many places you apply for require experience and for someone coming out of high school it’s difficult. That’s why this opportunity appealed to me because it gives me workplace experience and a foot in the door. And applying for a traineeship doesn’t require you to have a whole resume of experience.”

Lachlan also believes that going into the traineeship with an open mind is essential.

“The sporting industry is broad, and I am only learning about all the different pathways you can go down and all the different areas you can work in.

The beauty of a traineeship is that you not only get a feel of the industry but you also get an insight into what area you might be drawn to. So, I am excited to go in with an open mind and to go with the flow and see where this opportunity takes me.

I just want to learn as much as I can and take in all the knowledge and experience. I believe in making the most out of the opportunities you are given so I want to make the most out of this one so it can help me later down the track in my career.”

One of Lachlan’s greatest inspirations is AFL SportsReady’s Master Coach and National Basketball League Legend, Cal Bruton, who will be his Field Officer throughout his traineeship journey.

“I have known Cal for some time through basketball and he has been an important mentor to me. I have gone to his Basketball camps and he has taught me not only about basketball but how to be a better person.

He has always been there for me to answer all my questions and has been that pillar of support. He is also deeply passionate about encouraging diversity, breaking down barriers and seeing more Indigenous people enter the workforce. I feel grateful and proud to be on this traineeship journey with him.”

Mentoring young kids is also something Lachlan is passionate about and he feels one day he would like to mentor kids the same way he was supported.

“I want to be that positive influence for young Indigenous kids, that role model figure. I just want to make a real difference, that’s one thing I know for sure.”

Lachlan has just begun his traineeship and we are so excited to see where this opportunity will take him.


To find out more about the support and opportunities we create for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people through quality education and employment, please click here.

To view our current Indigenous employment opportunities, click here.

DATE: 23rd of February 2021

IMAGE: Lachlan and Cal Bruton

AUTHOR: Marissa Pagliarello