Prioritising Yourself and Your Future

Prioritising Yourself and Your Future

Growing up, proud Bundjalung Woman Jasmine Pilling faced significant challenges that shaped her resilience and independence from a young age. Emphasising the importance of prioritising yourself and your future, Jasmineā€™s story highlights how overcoming adversity and focusing on personal growth can lead to profound life changes and new opportunities.

Having been on my own since I was 14, I developed a strong sense of self-reliance and determination.

The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted her education, causing some setbacks.
In 2022, during her final year at Richmond River High School in Lismore, NSW, a catastrophic flood devastated both Jasmine’s home and school, forcing a tough decision to leave school and start working to rebuild her life.

May 2023 marked a significant turning point as Jasmine left a domestic violence relationship and began, prioritising her future.

I left a domestic violence relationship, a significant turning point in my life.

Starting over from scratch, I realised the importance of prioritising myself and my future.

This led to pursuing a traineeship with AFL SportsReady’s Warumilang Program, as an opportunity to invest in personal and professional growth.

I saw this as an opportunity to invest in my personal and professional growth, leveraging my desire to build a stable, fulfilling career.

The journey has not been easy, but each challenge has taught me valuable lessons in resilience, perseverance and the importance of self-care.

Her experience with AFL SportsReady has been overwhelmingly positive. Concerns about online education were quickly alleviated with the support of her educator Phoebe.

Any issue I faced during the 12 months of my traineeship was met with the best support from both the AFL SportsReady and the UCRH.

I felt safe to make mistakes and learn from them.

The traineeship boosted Jasmine’s confidence and provided a taste of a stable career lifestyle, something she had lacked growing up.

The University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) played a pivotal role in herĀ development. Over the past 12 months, Jasmine worked across various disciplines, including Medicine, Allied Health, Research, Simulation and Administration, greatly expanding knowledge and skills.

As a young Aboriginal woman, I have always felt somewhat disconnected from my culture. Being part of the First Nations Group at UCRH has provided me with a deep sense of cultural connection.

As a young Aboriginal woman, she found a deep cultural connection through the First Nations Group at UCRH.

This group offered a supportive environment where I could engage in cultural learning, ask questions, and further my understanding of my heritage.

Her daily tasks at UCRH varied, from managing the front reception to acting as a mock patient for medical students.

Each day brought new challenges and learning opportunities, whether it was engaging with different departments, tackling unexpected issues or participating in special projects.

This dynamic environment ensured continuous learning and kept the role exciting.

The support received from AFL SportsReady and UCRH was invaluable. (Educator) Phoebe provided personalised assistance, while (First Nations Mentor) John offered guidance on both professional and personal matters.

The AFL SportsReady team as a whole played a crucial role in my development,

fostering a belief in my abilities even during times of self-doubt.

Looking ahead, Jasmine plans to complete a bachelor’s degree in Social Work and a Diploma in Youth Work.

When my traineeship came to an end, I initially felt uncertain about my next steps. However, the support from AFL SportsReady and UCRH has been instrumental in guiding me towards a fulfilling career path.

Their encouragement and resources have helped me identify a direction that aligns with my passion and personal experiences.

Growing up without a stable childhood has fuelled my desire to provide support and stability to others, particularly young people facing similar challenges.

Reflecting on her traineeship, Jasmine highlights the diverse and enriching activities, from engaging in mock exams to connecting with her culture and receiving unwavering support.

These experiences have equipped me with valuable skills, providing me with a sense of purpose and direction for my future career.

Being part of the First Nations Group at UCRH was another significant highlight. Providing me with a deeper connection to my culture and a chance to learn from others within a supportive community. This group offered a safe space where I felt comfortable asking questions and expanding my knowledge about my heritage.

This cultural enrichment was something I had been longing for and it became one of the most rewarding parts of my traineeship.

Jasmine’s family, including great-grandmothers and grandparents, have been supportive of the decision to pursue a traineeship.

If you’re considering a traineeship, I wholeheartedly encourage you to grab the opportunity and aim high. The lessons learned and skills acquired will not only benefit your immediate career prospects but will also lay a strong foundation for long-term future success and personal development.

Since 2000, we have kick-started the careers of over 3,000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trainees.

The Warumilang Program is our dedicated Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Program to assist First Nations peoples.

With tailored employment and training pathways that aim to provide opportunities for First Nations peoples to thrive and be successful.

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