Top Honours for ANZ Trainee

Top Honours for ANZ Trainee

17 year old ANZ Mackay trainee, Nikita Punch, proud Bidjara, Butchulla and Manburra woman was overwhelmed with joy, as she received the esteemed Chris Johnson Award – at the Queensland AFL SportsReady Graduation. This award recognises outstanding initiative, leadership qualities, and workplace excellence demonstrated by a First Nations Trainee aged between 16 and 30. Nikita expressed her gratitude and pride in representing her community.

Having secured a full-time position at the branch upon completing her traineeship, she described her experience with AFL SportsReady as motivational, inspiring, and life-changing. Nikita’s dedication and maturity were acknowledged by her manager, Nicole Watson, who praised her work ethic and willingness to explore new opportunities.

The Chris Johnson Personal Development Award is presented to an Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander trainee, aged between 16-30 years of age. Who has excelled in the workplace and demonstrated incredible initiative and leadership qualities.

“I am still in shock! It is an amazing feeling to receive this prestigious award and I feel very honoured to represent my Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community,” she said.

Nikita became an integral part of the team landing a full-time role at the branch after completing her traineeship.

If I could describe my whole experience with AFL SportsReady in a few words it would be motivational, inspiring and life-changing,”she added.

Manager Nicole Watson commended the trainee on her amazing work throughout the year.”She shows great maturity for her age and naturally is a very dedicated person bringing to the team a great personality. This polite young lady has never shied away from trying new things,”.

Nikita said she took on a traineeship to expand her knowledge, gain valuable work experience and study a qualification. So that she could hopefully get her foot in the door of the business and finance industry.

“I assisted customers in their everyday banking needs on a day-to-day basis,’ Nikita said.

‘Winning this award has been a highlight of my life. It has inspired me to work harder, to mentor and help others and to continue to make my family and community proud,” she added.

Nikita’s next stop will see the quiet achiever fly up to Bamaga on the tip of Cape York, to attend the Chris Johnson and Angie Nadrere Cups in October. The occasion sees First Nations communities from all over the Cape and the Torres Strait, gather together to participate in sport and cultural events.

Nikita is also a representative netballer and will be given the chance to share her achievements, experiences and stories with many other students at the major event.


Traineeships are paid, employment and education training programs that give you a nationally recognised qualification. They are usually full-time, but can also be part-time or school-based. If you’d like to find out more and a place to submit an expression of interest at this link.

View current Traineeship availability and apply at the Jobs Board.
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