July 7th, 2017

NAIDOC Week held from 02 July to 09 July is a time to celebrate Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander history, culture and achievements and an opportunity to recognise the contributions that Indigenous Australians make to our country and our society. This year’s theme, Our Languages Matter, highlights the importance, resilience and richness of Indigenous languages showcased through the various events and activities happening, that mark the celebration of the week. In recognition of NAIDOC Week, SkillsOne celebrates the career success of notable vocational education and training (VET) achiever, Indi Clarke.

Indi Clarke, winner of the 2016 Australian Training Awards’ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award, has changed his life significantly over the course of the last few years.  Working in retail, Indi knew he was not fulfilling his passion and decided to make a change, leading him into a career he loves working for his community.

Completing a Certificate IV in Business as part of his employment with Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) as a Corporate Services Trainee, Indi’s career progression propelled with promotions to Youth and Community Engagement Facilitator and in early 2017, Manager of the Koorie Youth Council.

“I wanted to be working for my community. But to do that I needed some training and some skills so I’d be in a position to help people… I was lucky enough to discover what the VET sector had to offer and that’s what saved me”.

“My teachers cared about finding the best way for me to learn- I wasn’t just given a book and sent on my way – they walked the journey with me. I am very grateful I was smart enough to leap at the chance to make the most of the opportunities I was given through my studies,” says Indi.

Representing his community through participation in leadership and political events, Indi has applied his passion to ensure the best outcomes for Indigenous people and in particular Indigenous youth.

“I love what I do and I have a great passion for working with my community and ensuring the best outcomes for them and our youth. As an advocate for my people I want to highlight that education and awareness are the keys to a strong community and the keys for every one of us,” says Indi.

Speaking on his award achievements, Indi said, “The awards help to break down the stigma that VET is secondary to university and are instrumental in closing the gap between the two. The award ceremony was a great showcase for what could be achieved through VET and I felt really humbled to meet the other nominees, all of whom had put in a lot of hard work and achieved so much. I came away inspired, empowered and reinvigorated.”

SkillsOne will be showcasing VET qualifications during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. During this week, Australia will highlight the breadth in career opportunities available through a VET qualification, including those careers with a focus on community development.

National Skills Week, is Australia’s primary week to celebrate vocational education and training and provides an opportunity to celebrate the success stories of those undertaking vocational qualifications.

“Vocational education and training provides first choice pathways, allowing you to connect your passion to a fulfilling career,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manager at SkillsOne.

To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.

For further information on Indi’s story, or other engaging career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager at SkillsOne)

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email: kirstin.casey@skillsone.com.au


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