Trainees shine on the Gold Coast

Trainees shine on the Gold Coast

Trainees shine on the Gold Coast

Since their inception in 2012 the Gold Coast Suns have taken on an impressive fourteen AFL SportsReady trainees, six of whom are still employed by the football club along with three current trainees.

Human Resources Officer at the Gold Coast Suns, Janessa Thompson, is thrilled with the program and believes traineeships are a huge benefit to any organisation especially in the sporting industry.

‘Traineeships give young people a real opportunity and a foot in the door. It’s a learning experience, a chance to understand and see first-hand how an AFL Club runs,’ said Ms Thompson.

‘A lot of our trainees have learnt a great deal during their time with the SUNS and as you can see we have a great success rate,’ she added.

The SUNS trainees have been model employees and have been instrumental to the club during the busy football season.

‘My experience as a host employer has been extremely positive and rewarding.

The trainees have been a great support to managers and their team members as they are so willing to learn and want to get as much exposure as they can so they are more than happy to get in and get things done.

Taking on trainees really does improve our workplace because having more resources results in better outcomes.’

Having had a number of trainees as part of the team full-time, staff are experienced in supervising and supporting these young people through the program. As a result both the football club and the trainee benefit greatly from the experience.

‘Every trainee has been exceptional in their own way. They all have their own professional growth and learning experience during their time in their traineeship whether it has been practical experience or the study side of things. For example, Chelsea Robertson did a Finance Traineeship and is now our Accounts Officer, so she has come a long way in her department.’

The six trainees who are currently employed have worked their way up in the organisation such as Thomas Beverley who was one of the first trainees to complete a traineeship with the SUNS in 2012 and is currently employed as their Media and Communications Manager.

‘At the moment we have three trainees employed at the SUNS and I can already see the impact they are having on the organisation.

An opportunity like this really goes a long way and the trainees really thrive on these experiences because they always get something out of it and so do we.’ Ms Thompson said

Kalinda Howarth graduated from her traineeship in 2017 and completed a Certificate in IV in Sport and recreation. She now works for the SUNS part-time as their Diversity Programs Officer.

My experience as a trainee at the Gold Coast SUNS was extremely fun, eye-opening and allowed me to develop both my professional and personal life skills. I was presented with a number of amazing opportunities from the SUNS, some of which included a trip to Melbourne to help bid for an AFLW license as well as hosting Prime Minister Turnbull on a tour of or facilities.

The opportunities I was presented, the relationships I was able to build and the belief my manager and other staff showed in me allowed me to showcase my skills and excel in my traineeship, which ultimately led to being offered a role following my traineeship,’ Said Kalinda.

To find out more about the diverse range of rewarding careers available through vocational education and training, and watch the real skills for real careers video, visit



Author: Marissa Pagliarello

Date: 14th of March 2018

Image: Current and ex-trainees who are still at the Gold Coast Suns – Back row L-R Milli Rainger, Brandon Coles, Thomas Beverley, Harrison Peucker, Kalinda Howarth, Front Row L-R Abdullah Haddad, Isabel Fisher, Chelsea Robertson and Sarah Ahrens