New trainees (l–r) Kyeoma Caldwell, Jaihana Roberts and Bindjarla Cook with Lismore GM Gary Murphy.
Bindjarla Cook is 16, Aboriginal, and wants to be prime minister.
He said he’s ‘always wanted that job’ and his first stepping stone is a new school based traineeship with Lismore City Council (LCC).
‘I saw this as a good opportunity as I have those political aspirations – I’ve always wanted to do business or politics and council offers the chance to experience both so it’s just excellent,’ said the Alstonville High School student.
‘I’ve always been interested in equality and I’ve always wanted that in school so everyone’s on the same playing field. As the prime minister I could really push equality for all.’
Bindjarla is one of three new Aboriginal school based trainees who have started working for LCC. Bindjarla is in the Human Resources department while fellow Alstonville High student Kyeoma Caldwell and Ballina High student Jaihana Roberts are both with Richmond Tweed Regional Library.
Meanwhile, 26 year old Aboriginal trainee Joe Gordon has started full time work as a customer support officer with LCC after completing a 12 month traineeship.
The new appointments are all part of fulfilling the charter of Council’s recently adopted Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) to increase the number of Aboriginal people employed at LCC.
The RAP clearly identifies that more employment opportunities are a key driver in helping to actively ‘close the gap’ in Aboriginal communities. Lismore City Council already has 14 Aboriginal employees and the appointment of Joe and the three school based trainees is another important step in realising more Aboriginal jobs.
The school based traineeships are funded through the Elsa Dixon Aboriginal Employment Program (funded by the Department of Education and Communities).