The Department of Fire and Emergency Services (DFES) has celebrated the graduation of six Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trainees after successfully completing their Certificate III in Government (Public Administration).
Isaiah Klunder, Chris Narkle, Mason Nicholson and Michael Stobie-Morris were part of the DFES Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Trainee Program while Dakoda Hansen and Shaunece Jetta completed their qualification at DFES through the Public Sector Commission.
The trainees started with DFES’ Aboriginal Advancement Unit (AAU) before transitioning to other branches within DFES including Strategic Volunteer and Youth Programs, Human Resources, Media and Corporate Communications, Information and Communications Technology, and Built Environment.
Working with different branches gave trainees not only the opportunity to learn about the different roles DFES plays in servicing the community but also gave them the skills and experience they need to gain employment in the public sector.
The traineeship is normally conducted over the course of a year and, once completed, trainees are offered an additional year of employment with DFES, however this year’s participants completed their traineeship in just six months.
DFES Aboriginal Employment Development Officer Grant Bobongie said the accelerated course completion was a testament to the hard work of the graduates and it had allowed them to start working in Level One roles with DFES earlier than anticipated.
“All of our graduates showed the drive and determination that will hold them in good stead in their future roles with DFES and other agencies where they choose to take on career opportunities,” Grant said.
“DFES is very committed to employing a diverse workforce and this traineeship allows us to not only develop the skills of young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people but also to provide them with employment opportunities once they have finished.
“We want to maintain as many of our trainees in employment with DFES as we can, so we’re making sure they continue to develop their skillset and that our business units are considering them for further opportunities within DFES.”
Isaiah Klunder received the Trainee of the Year Award for his outstanding academic performance, reliable attendance and consistently going above and beyond in his tasks while working in different branches.
The Trainee of the Year was humbled by the award and thanked Grant and AAU Manager Trish Wall for their unwavering support.
“I can’t really put it into words but I’m really proud and feel like I’ve come a great distance,” he said.
“I was given a really great opportunity with DFES and I don’t think I would have achieved so much and made it through without the support of Trish and Grant.
“Having the opportunity to work with different areas in DFES gave me great experience across a range of tasks and it made the traineeship more exciting and fun to get to know the different people and their roles throughout the organisation.”
A new group of trainees will begin their traineeship in the coming months and for the first time a participant/trainee will be stationed at the DFES regional office in Bunbury.
The new position was announced at the recent unveiling of the Kaarla Artwork Project and will provide an opportunity for a local person to take on responsibilities in bushfire mitigation and land management.