Students attending the WEX career expo at PM&C.
In March 2017, 52 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students travelled to Canberra to learn about career opportunities available in the APS. The Year 11 and 12 students were hosted through the PM&C Work Experience in Government Program (WEX). The students visited Canberra institutions including Parliament House, AIATSIS and the Australian Defence Force Academy, where they met with career advisors and senior APS officers.
Patrick Hedlam, a Bardi Yamajiti young man from Derby in Western Australia said the program is a great opportunity to learn how government works.
'I learned that within the government there are multiple branches you can work in. Even within the defence force there are multiple opportunities, not only working as an officer but in business, in admin and that kind of stuff', Patrick said.
The final event of the four-day experience was a career expo where the students mingled with job advisors from 29 Australian Government Departments and agencies. As they perused the many stalls, they learned about career options and the various Indigenous recruitment programs available.
Ammbigai Muir, a Wongi young woman, said she wanted to be an inspiration to her family in Leonora, north of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
'I joined the WEX program because I wanted to develop leadership skills that you need to be a leader and be more confident in public speaking. I learned a lot about being proud of who you are and a lot more history behind Aboriginal people and all the different roles there are in government,' Ammbigai said.
William Bernard, a Yawuru and Nyikina young man from Broome in Western Australia said he wants to join the navy and was glad to receive information about that. Like many students in their last year of school, he hoped his future would be spent doing something he enjoyed and was passionate about.
'I've learned how to become a better leader from my peers and my mentors. I've learned how to work well with a team', William said.