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Training the next generation of Aboriginal leaders

Training the next generation of Aboriginal leaders

Orange Local Aboriginal Lands Council CEO Annette Steele believes Joan Shillingsworth could one day take her job.

Joan, who just finished high school last year, has agreed to undergo an apprenticeship in finance and administration with the Orange LALC — a position that is much in demand,

“There are not enough Aboriginal people out there in finance and administration,” said Orange LALC Finance Officer Jenny Hall.

“We had our sights on Joan just before she left school. She was part of a group of girls who were in a dancing troupe and like a lot of young kids don't know what she wanted to do. We’d advertised out in the community for finance and we could not find an Aboriginal person to fulfil the position, so I though how about we train somebody.”

Joan was brought in on a four week cadetship but has now agreed to take on the apprenticeship and TAFE studies that go with it.

“In the four weeks she has been here we've seen her confidence grow,” said Jenny, who is excited about where Joan could go from here.

“Joan is in a very supportive environment where she has all of us trying to encourage her to be successful. She may not even like finance or administration, but it will give her the skills to learn and maybe go do something else in the future… in ten years’ time she could be managing the Lands Council!”

That’s a prospect current Orange LALC CEO Annette Steele is happy about.

“We'd love to see more young people like Joan jump into traineeships and have the confidence to do these things,” Annette said.

“What we are trying to do is build capacity within our youth, so that one day they are sitting in the chairs that we are sitting in…This is such a great starting point for Joan!”

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