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TOP HONOURS FOR YOUNG INDIGENOUS WOMAN

TOP HONOURS FOR YOUNG INDIGENOUS WOMAN

TOP HONOURS FOR YOUNG INDIGENOUS WOMAN

17 year old ANZ Mackay trainee Nikita Punch was all smiles after receiving the sought after Chris Johnson Award at the Queensland AFL SportsReady Graduation.

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,’ she explained.

Nikita said she took on a traineeship to expand her knowledge, gain valuable work experience and study a qualification to 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 Indigenous heritage extends from her grandfather who is Bidjara, her great grandmother from the Butchulla tribe and her other great grandmother who is from the Manburra community on Palm Island.

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 Aboriginal communities from all over the Cape and the Torres Strait gather together to participate in sport and cultural events.

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

DATE: 4TH of May 2016

IMAGE: NATIONAL ABORGINAL AND TORRES STRAIT ISLANDER PROGRAMS MANAGER, TRACI MCCORMICK WITH NIKITA PUNCH

AUTHOR: MARISSA PAGLIARELLO