Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme – Samantha
I’m Samantha and I’m an apprentice in the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP) 2015 intake. I work as a Procurement Officer for the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA) in Brisbane.
I’m proud of my heritage – my mum is Aboriginal and Chinese and my dad is German. I belong to both the Kalkadoon tribe on my grandfather’s side and the Waanyi tribe on my grandmother’s side. I was born in the Mount Isa region and moved to Townsville when I was 3 years old. Now I live with my fiancé in Brisbane.
When I finished school I did a traineeship with Queensland Government, which I really enjoyed. I then decided to start a Bachelor Degree in Contemporary and Indigenous Art in Brisbane, but 2 years in I felt like I needed a break from study. It was then I moved back to Townsville and started working in the beauty industry. When I met my fiancé I decided to move back to Brisbane to be closer to him. I also wanted to find full time, ongoing employment – something I was not guaranteed while working in the beauty industry. I saw the IAP advertised on SEEK and decided to give it a go.
The IAP has been wonderful. Although it’s been a steep learning curve I’ve enjoyed being involved in some meaningful work which is really important to me.
I work in a small team of 6 people and they’ve all provided me with a lot of support. I’ve also developed a strong connection with the other apprentices in the IAP. I’m the only apprentice with DVA so it’s been invaluable to receive support from other apprentices in different departments across the country. We keep in regular contact via email and social media and I know if I have a problem, help’s just a phone call away.
I’m currently working as an APS 3 and when I graduate from the IAP I’ll progress to the APS 4 level. When I finish the IAP I’d love to stay with the Australian Public Service (APS) and eventually see myself working in Indigenous retention. Helping other Indigenous people by working in the APS is definitely the career path I want to take.