A Shake-a-Leg Q&A with WPC Group trainee Chloe McDonald. Read about her journey as a Business Trainee with the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DELWP), and where this has now taken her career.
• What are your career and study achievements?
I completed my secondary schooling at Nathalia Secondary College. I subsequently obtained a Responsible Service of Alcohol (RSA) and Food Hygiene Certificates. I recently completed a Certificate III in Business through a traineeship in the Victorian Government’s Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning (DEWLP) Biodiversity Division in October 2019. I’ve since been selected to be part of the inaugural Barring Djinang Vocational Education and Training Graduate Program while continuing employment at DELWP.
• Tell us a little about yourself and your cultural heritage?
I am a 23 year old Gunditjmara woman whose mob was historically located at Lake Condah. However, I grew up in Nathalia – a small country town located between Echuca and Shepparton. I performed with an all Aboriginal Oprah, Peacan Summer, helping to share the story of how the Yota Yota people walked off their mission. At the end of our performances, we reheard the apology speech by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd, and I can promise you there was not a dry eye left on the stage, let alone in the crowd full of thousands of people from all walks of life and culture.
• Why did you choose to undertake a traineeship and how has it changed or impacted your career and life?
I decided to do the traineeship because I was looking for new opportunities and didn’t have direction. I ended up thriving off the traineeship. It helped me build on different aspects of myself (particularly my thinking and emotions). This traineeship has given me more than anybody could ever imagine. While I’m not a fan of my commute on the train, I now love waking up in the morning and going to work.
• What you have gained from completing your traineeship and qualification?
I now have a nationally recognised qualification to my name, and I can tell people that I have done things with my life. In addition, I have obtained a career within the Victorian Public Service (VPS) and was successful in getting into a graduate course that will further my knowledge and understanding and help to develop my career interests. A bonus is that I have met some really awesome people that I have the utmost respect for, who get me and my personality.
• What advice would you give to others who are considering an apprenticeship or traineeship?
Research the opportunities and talk to people like me about my experiences. In addition – it can’t hurt to try!
• What is your role now and what are your career or study plans for/within the next 2-3 years?
I am now a Graduate Project Officer working for the Melbourne Strategic Assessment program.
• If you could offer any advice to someone starting a traineeship, what would it be?
Be smart with your finances, complete your traineeship, it’s worth it and will open many career opportunities for you.