Learn how Peta became a finalist below.
Queensland Training Awards
What was the driving force behind you commencing your qualification or course?
Growing up in kinship care, my passion for justice was established at a young age. Genuine and unconditional love drove me to dedicate my life to the industry. From experiencing a trauma-filled childhood to then receiving the gift of compassion and unconditional support, my experience purposefully prepared me to pursue youth work. In order to break the cycles of intergenerational trauma for all young people who are or are at risk of experiencing out-of-home care, I decided to study a certificate IV in Youth Work to equip me and perfectly complement my passion for justice.
What are the top 3 reasons you would encourage others to take up an apprenticeship, traineeship, or vocational study?
I would encourage anyone to pursue a traineeship, apprenticeship, or vocational study for the sheer experience and opportunities that arise from being guided through the qualification. The top three reasons I appreciate the experience of my traineeship and why I would recommend it to others would firstly be the insight into the industry gained by learning the correct and relevant skills firsthand from professionals in the chosen sector.
Secondly, a traineeship design ensures sufficient assistance from the RTO, Workplace, and vocational support service organisations for the trainee as we learn. Initially, we are patiently tutored as expected. Throughout the course, confidence and empowerment are promoted where we, the trainees, become assets to the companies we are employed, as we begin to offer fresh perspectives, and as the experienced workers refine their skills by teaching practically or through leading by example of how a productive workplace should function.
Finally, throughout the traineeship, I was encouraged to build my professional network, which allowed me to gain further insight into the broader sector of the industry. Completing a traineeship was an advantage that improved my employability once I received the qualification.
What has been the most challenging part of your journey?
The most challenging part of the journey was towards the mid-to-end of the traineeship when I was encouraged to put the theory of my traineeship into practice. Even though Cert IV well equipped me for my role as a qualified Youth Worker, I had to learn to trust I could be confident in my knowledge to perform well. My supervisors always motivated and assured me that I was supported as I strived for improvement.
What has been the most interesting part of your journey?
The most interesting part of my journey was how much the traineeship gave me confidence and taught me skills that were not solely relevant in the workplace but to life in general. I had a God-given passion for the industry I work in now. Still, it was because of the traineeship opportunity and all it entailed that I have a basis for endeavoring confidently and welcoming challenges in my career.
What has been the most unexpected part of your journey?
The most unexpected part of the journey was building relationships with people in my workplace, industry, and community. I was continuously surrounded by professionals in the community services sector who inspired me so much that the opportunity to study another course seems all too possible now when even two weeks before my traineeship started, I doubted I would be able to complete it. The friendships, mentors, and professional relationships I’ve formed throughout the traineeship have been a definite highlight, apart from graduating, because now I have lifelong support in the industry.
What has been the biggest highlight/achievement for you?
I was nominated to recognize my commitment to my role as a trainee. I was a finalist for the Mackay Young Citizen of the Year 2020 Award and the Mackay Regional Council Jason Vassallo Trainee or Apprentice of the Year 2021 Award. I had also built a positive reputation as a Youth Worker trainee. I was approached by various organisations and charity groups in my region to exercise my passion for community, specifically advocating for vulnerable young people. My perseverance during the traineeship allowed me to refine the skills needed to support and advocate for young people throughout the Mackay region. As an officially qualified Youth Worker, I enjoy working daily within the community to strive for a safe, productive, and unified society for future generations. I regard the Youth Worker traineeship opportunity as my greatest blessing to date. My greatest achievement is completing my studies three months ahead of the training plan.
What are the biggest lessons you’ve learned through your journey?
The biggest lesson I’ve learned through my journey is that every undesirable situation, i.e., setbacks, challenges, the consequence of poor decisions of myself or others against me, etc., will purposefully prepare me for my future. They are growth opportunities; if I choose to, I allow myself to learn and focus on the lessons of these situations and trust that they will be turned around for good.