I’m Ashlen and I’m a proud Wiradjuri woman working in the Indigenous Affairs Group at the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet (PM&C) in Canberra.
I joined the department through the Indigenous Apprenticeships Programme (IAP) in 2015 and enjoy my role in the Broadcasting and Telecommunications section.
I applied for the IAP after attending the Work Exposure with Government Programme (WEX) which is for year 11 and 12 students. It involves 5 days of education and learning about the Australian Parliament and working within the Australian Public Service (APS). The programme showed me a range of career opportunities within the APS and government so I was keen to apply for the IAP when I saw it advertised.
Participating in the IAP was a fantastic experience which gave me the opportunity to combine both work and study. I am really interested in government. I used to watch Question Time with my dad! So completing a Diploma of Government as part of the IAP was a perfect fit for me.
My team looks after more than 500 Wi-Fi and pay phones and 5 Wi-Fi trial sites in remote communities across the country. I engage with community members and regional staff from PM&C at these sites and really enjoy communicating with people on the ground.
I’m about to start a Diploma of Business and eventually I’d like to see what it’s like to work in a regional office.
I’ve had many standout experiences during the IAP but the most rewarding and proud moment was being nominated for the 2016 NAIDOC Youth of the Year and attending the awards ceremony in Darwin.
I would recommend the IAP to anyone. It’s a fantastic opportunity for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians to learn and progress in a rewarding and supportive career in the APS.