I’m a proud Kokatha woman from the far west coast of South Australia. I grew up as a shy country girl and there is no way I could have imagined being where I am today.
After high school I relocated to Adelaide to study a Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting). The move to Adelaide was a very dramatic one for me as I grew up in in a very small country town. Everybody knew each other and to get from one side of town to the other we would only have a short walk. Put it this way, there were only nine other students in my year 12 class.
Five students from my class, including me, moved away to attend university. When I arrived in Adelaide everything was overwhelming – from getting on public transport, to experiencing the city and attending a big university. Since then three of my five friends from home have now left university.
I was able to navigate university and see it through because of the support that I received through CareerTrackers.
CareerTrackers is a national non-profit organisation that provide internship opportunities to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Students.
I joined the program in in 2017, during my second year of study and was able to undertake an internship with BAE Systems last year. I’m incredibly grateful for the experience in this industry and I am glad I have made new friends and networks who have all encouraged me to succeed.
This internship experience helped me understand what my goals for my future career with BAE Systems are - I found a perfect match in the internship because it aligned with my interests.
I started as a Graduate Finance Officer at BAE Systems this year. I have always wanted to work in defence since I was young so this was an opportunity I could not turn down.
Partnerships between Career Trackers and organisations like BAE Systems should be commended. These partnerships can open many opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students, to help them realise their potential and receive inspirational guidance and opportunity.
What Aboriginal peoples want, and I speak for myself and my community, is the opportunity to work hard and build a realistic and successful life for myself, my family and ultimately my community.
For Aboriginal people, health means family and health means connections. My family are proud to be part of this journey with me and my whole community is uplifted by witnessing my professional developments. My sister is now also studying at university and I am excited to see the experience and opportunities she will have with CareerTrackers and the broader university.
Many Aboriginal peoples have been broken by Government policies of the past, such as stolen generations, segregation and assimilation. Intergenerational trauma from this agony from the past is a real thing.
This year’s theme for National Reconciliation Week is Grounded in Truth. At the heart of reconciliation is the relationship between the broader Australian community and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. To foster positive race relations, our relationships must be grounded in a foundation of truth.
This is why these programs are so important. To start conversations and give young people, like myself, the opportunities we need to succeed.