This National Reconciliation Week (27 May - 3 June) Illawarra South Coast Employment shared and were celebrating stories of Indigenous new employees.
They recently shared APM employee Ainsley's story, you can read their interview below:
What is your name and where are you from?
My name is Ainsley Aldridge, I am a proud young Wodi Wodi Wandandian woman which identifies from our local nation, which is known as Yuin.
Where do you currently work?
I am currently working with APM Employment Services as an Employment Consultant. I have been working with APM for 3 months now.
How did you get the job?
I was lucky enough to gain this employment opportunity through my link and connection with Warrigal employment – An Aboriginal based employment support service. I had been connected with Warrigal and supported by them for a long time since I moved from my local home town of Nowra to Wollongong.
APM Regional Manager Goran Drleski and Business Manager Chantal Marais contacted Warrigal to see if they had any suitable candidates that could work with them as an Employment Consultant. Within a day my interview was organised and within days, I had the job!
What is the best thing about your workplace?
The best thing about my workplace at APM Employment is the rewarding feeling I get when I can help and support community around me. I have always been a person who is invested in helping community – I have the ability to support and guide people every day through my role as an Employment Consultant with APM Wollongong.
This makes me want to be the best version of myself each day. I love that I get to communicate with different individuals from all ages, all backgrounds with each having a different story to tell and journey they are on and I support them in finding a job. I get to meet so many people daily and learn so much about people, my days are never boring.
I get enjoyment out of working with highly motivated people who are taking steps to gain employment with my assistance. After completing my onboarding and training, I look forward to having an identified Aboriginal caseload where I can support them to “Enabling Better Lives”.
What tips would you give to others looking for a job?
The tips I’d give to others looking for a job would definitely be yourself and always have a smile. Be positive with great examples to back you up to interview questions you may get asked. Tell the employer how hard you can work, provide instances of when you have done this.
I believe what gave me my chance at APM was what I said in my interview, which was: “I just want to get past through this interview stage so I can show you how hard I work. Just give me that opportunity” is what I told Goran and Chantal.
Be prepared to take constructive feedback to better yourself and your skills. Search for a job you can do right now, while preparing and developing the skills you need for your dream job – Right now, any job is better than no job is my own motto.
Where do you see your career going? What are your hopes for the future?
I have many goals for my future, right now, I want to continue to work as an Employment Consultant at APM. I have been fortunate that they are also investing in me and I am now completing my Certificate IV In Employment Services. I want to save money and enjoy my life.
My long term future goal is to work as a National Park Ranger, working within National Parks in the bush as well as working closely with the youth within our region. To be able to pass down cultural teachings with women and youth within my community. Working at APM gives me excellent life skills that I will take with me to my dream job.
My managers are very supportive and encouraging and are very serious in supporting me reach my full potential as an Employment Consultant. I am so glad I took this role, I really love my job and the skills I get to learn every day.