Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander on her Father’s side, Ruby Stanley is from the Yirrganydji tribe of Townsville, North Queensland.

While 20-year-old Ruby currently lives in Pakenham, Victoria, her family ensures she maintains a close connection with her culture by sharing stories, teaching her parts of the language, and showing her how to play traditional musical instruments among other things.

After finishing high school, Ruby took a break to focus on strengthening her mental health. In July 2018, she felt ready to focus on her career.

Having never been employed before, Ruby’s friend recommended that she take part in the APpeTite program to prepare her for the world of work.

“I wanted to do the program to gain more experience, develop my skills and to get a bit of a head start,” Ruby says.

Along with 14 other young people, Ruby gained new skills and knowledge and graduated from the Dandenong APpeTite program.

Some highlights for Ruby included learning how to write a resume, learning how to make coffee at the barista course and gaining job interview skills.

“My key takeaway from the program has definitely been defining my skills,” Ruby says. “Also the confidence I have built from having people believe in me and instruct me and teach me things that are really valuable has really helped me.”

Ruby spent one week of the program doing work experience at Kangan Institute. She impressed the team there and was offered employment through Shake a Leg as a business trainee at Kangan.

“Doing a traineeship opens up opportunities,” Ruby says.

A keen learner, Ruby plans to use the traineeship as a stepping stone to continue developing her skills, with hopes of eventually gaining a Bachelor’s Degree.

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