I’m Laurence. I’m of the Noongar tribe, South West of WA, where I have lived all my life. I now live in Derby, WA and work for the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet.
I relocated to the remote town of Derby for the Indigenous Apprenticeship Programme (IAP). It was hard being 2400km away from home but I have adjusted well to the community. I currently volunteer as a fire fighter.
Before applying for the IAP I worked in state government. I applied for the programme as it was a great opportunity to work in the Australian Public Service. I work as an adviser within contract management for the Indigenous Advancement Strategy. I formulate grants and look after inter-agency supports and intelligence within the community. I love the variety of work and that I have direct contact with the community.
As an apprentice, my Indigenous mentor eased any concerns I had around cultural understanding. My managers were also a great support in helping me prioritise my apprenticeship over my workload. They understood what I needed to do to meet the training components of the programme.
The IAP has given me the opportunity to develop my capabilities. I now aim to seek out a senior position within the APS. I want to influence internal and external policies and contribute to Indigenous development. I want to help my mob and be the broker between government and the community.
A highlight of the IAP for me would be the graduation ceremony. Being part of such a large Indigenous cohort gave a sense of pride and unity. I would definitely recommend the IAP to everyone. I am so glad I took a chance and relocated for IAP. The benefits I have had from the programme have been phenomenal.