My Journey of Empowerment and Mentorship

My Journey of Empowerment and Mentorship

In a world where opportunities can be few and far between and personal obstacles a challenge, the power of empowerment and mentorship can shine as a guiding light. Helping individuals rise above their circumstances to discover their true potential and make lasting changes in their lives.

This is the story of my personal journey—a journey of empowerment and mentorship that has not only transformed my own life but has also ignited a passion within me to empower and uplift others. From facing the harsh realities of unemployment and self-doubt to becoming a mentor myself, I have experienced firsthand the profound impact that mentorship can have. Join me as we explore the transformative power of mentorship and the ripple effect it creates in the lives of individuals, particularly for First Nations people in traineeships.

When I reflect on my life at 18, the path ahead seemed limited to receiving government benefits. Unemployment was my reality, weighing in at a staggering 220 kilograms.

Overlooked and dismissed, my future appeared bleak. Little did I know, a beacon of hope was about to shine my way.

Thanks to a First Nations-focused training organisation that offered me a life-changing opportunity.

A mentor from this organisation extended their hand, offering a traineeship that would forever alter the course of my life. It wasn’t an easy journey, but with their guidance and unwavering support, I completed the traineeship and secured a full-time position with the same employer. Finally, I had a stable income, enabling me to make a significant difference in my own life.

One of the most transformative changes came when I could afford private health insurance, which allowed me to undergo gastric sleeve surgery. This once-distant procedure empowered me to shed an astonishing amount of weight. Not only did it impact my physical health, but it also ignited a fire within me—a fire to create meaningful change in the lives of others.

Motivated by my own personal transformation and the profound impact of my mentor. I made the decision to embark on a new career path. I enrolled in Certificate IV in Training and Assessment program and became an educator in disabilities and individual support. For five years, I poured my heart and soul into this work. Striving to empower those who doubted themselves, those who felt unworthy and those who were often overlooked by society.

But my journey didn’t stop there. I yearned to make an even greater impact, and in a moment of reflection, the memory of my traineeship mentor resurfaced. Inspired by their profound influence, I chose a new career path—one focused on giving back.

[📷️ Rod Jackson, Kylie Penehoe, Tshanti Parry, Duean White, John Hollows, Maxwell Kooreman, Madison Cassady]

In my current role as the First Nations Mentor for AFL SportsReady, I have the privilege of guiding and supporting trainees across New South Wales, Queensland, and the Australian Capital Territory. Through this position, I have the opportunity to work with young individuals who may have faced similar challenges to the ones I experienced. I fully relate to and understand their struggles, their doubts, and their fears.

The impact of mentorship is profound. It goes beyond simply providing guidance and support—it creates a ripple effect of empowerment and transformation.

When young people witness someone who has overcome adversity and achieved success. They start to believe that they, too, can do the same. They begin to envision a brighter future and recognise their own worth and potential.

[📷️ John and Maya Jones]

As a First Nations mentor, I bring cultural sensitivity and understanding to my role. I am aware of the unique challenges and barriers that young people face.
Through mentorship, I strive to bridge the gap and create opportunities for these individuals to thrive.

[📷️ Tamanu Gibia with John]

Mentorship is a powerful tool for empowerment. It provides a safe and supportive space for young people to explore their dreams, set goals and develop the skills and resilience necessary to overcome obstacles. It offers guidance, wisdom and encouragement when self-doubt creeps in.

With mentors like myself, dedicated to making a positive impact, the transformative power of mentorship continues to uplift First Nations trainees and enrich their lives for the better. By empowering the next generation, we are creating a ripple effect of change that will resonate for years to come.

In conclusion, mentorship holds immense importance for First Nations people in traineeships. As the First Nations Mentor for AFL SportsReady. I have witnessed firsthand the vital role that mentors play in guiding and supporting trainees. Through mentorship, we have the opportunity to uplift those who may doubt their capabilities and those who have faced challenges.

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With over 29 years of experience providing quality job opportunities and launching the careers of thousands of young Australians. AFL SportsReady offers diverse and thrilling opportunities that could take your career to the next level.
Whether you’re just starting out in your career or looking to take it in a new direction. AFL SportsReady has something to offer. With a commitment to quality training and support, you can be sure that you’ll have the tools you need to succeed.
So why wait? Kickstart your career today by exploring available Traineeships.

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