Journey of a Host Employer – Blog 1

Journey of a Host Employer – Blog 1

Journey of a Host Employer – Blog 1

Before taking on an ArtsReady Social Media trainee, I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had never been a supervisor, but nonetheless, I was excited, because from the initial interview I had with Dakota, our trainee, it felt like she was going to be the perfect fit.

Our marketing department is only small, and the workload is constant and there are times it can be overwhelming for all of us. Having to manage the social media channels, creating content and videos and write the website articles, it felt like I was spreading myself too thin, and often being so focused on one area, others were neglected. I was also eager to learn more about Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander culture, to tap more into this community on a deeper level. Since AFL SportsReady does so much work in this area, I wanted to create more content to reach our Indigenous community.

So, it felt right for us to bring on an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander young person into our team. Someone our team could learn from, while also giving them the opportunity to expand their knowledge, connection and reach in community. At the same, we would be giving this young person a chance to gain real life work experience in an industry they are interested in, and help set them up for the future of work.

When Proud Worimi and Biripi woman, Dakota, came on board she was an instant fit for our team, like the perfect puzzle piece. You could see and feel her passion, that she is here to learn, to work, to soak in as much as she can. Dakota also has an avid interest in social media and marketing and has a yearning to delve deeper into her ancestry, so it was all so exciting for her and for us!

The great thing is that you feel completely supported as a host employer, from the information you receive in the induction pack to the check ins from the AFL SportsReady Field Officer assigned to the trainee. Although it was my first time, I didn’t feel alone in this. The process flowed and there wasn’t a moment of doubt in my mind when we decided to take Dakota on.

Dakota adapted so beautifully to our team within weeks. With some training she understood the processes of the department, learnt and understood the mechanics of social media, adapted to the style of writing we use in our news articles, was out and about conducting interviews with trainees and even produced videos for our Instagram channel.

As well as this, she took on a range of administration tasks allowing the team and I to focus on the bigger projects and campaigns. Before taking on a trainee, I wasn’t sure if this would mean more work for us, but actually, it feels like a weight has been lifted. My role doesn’t feel so overwhelming anymore, I have a greater sense of clarity around what I do and a feeling of renewed motivation.

Dakota has provided us with a breath of fresh air, she brings in a new vibrant and beautiful energy that has uplifted the department. Her ideas are incredible, and our social channels are thriving. She is also finding her voice, as a proud Aboriginal woman. Dakota, through National Reconciliation Week and NAIDOC week took the lead on the content creation and the things she produced were inspiring. It feels she is connecting and learning about her culture more and more and as her supervisor and mentor it is pretty amazing to witness.   Last week for NAIDOC week, Dakota and I went out to Williamstown to visit the 49 years of NAIDOC exhibition. It was a great day for us to get to know each other and also learn more about the significance of NAIDOC.

I am excited for the next 9 months with Dakota!

By Marissa Pagliarello, Social Media Content Coordinator at AFL SportsReady


Click here to find out more about our traineeship program and the benefits of employing a young person in your business.

Eligible businesses could also benefit from a 50% wage subsidy thanks to the Australian Govt’s BAC funding scheme. Click here for more.