Convincing a group of breakdancers to leave their homes on the coast and come to Dubbo in the middle of summer is no easy feat.
But for two local teenagers, it was all part of a day’s work and an experience the pair isn’t likely to forget.
Alicia Fuller and Ashleigh Knight’s internship with the Department of Housing in Dubbo wrapped up last week and one of their roles during the four weeks included organising some activities for the city’s upcoming Youth Week.
They’ve arranged for a group of breakdancers and DJs to come to Dubbo during the week, and are working on a hip-hop project and a pile of possible activities for NAIDOC week.
The department started the program to give young Aboriginal people an opportunity to work for a government department and gain insight into a human services agency and the career options available to them.
Alicia said she worked on proposals, helped organise community events and learned how the processes within the department worked.
“We were told about it by our Aboriginal education assistant at school and then went through an interview process,” the 18-year-old said.
“We weren’t sure whether we’d get accepted into uni and this was a good employment opportunity.”
But the pair will be going to university this year – Ashleigh studying primary school teaching and Alicia starting a PE teaching course at Charles Sturt University in Bathurst. They’re both hoping to score some casual work at the department in their holidays.
Four high school students from Orange and Bathurst also took part in the program and according to Ken Bone, the department’s general manager for southern and western NSW, the program still has the potential to grow.
“The department has set itself some challenging targets for employing Aboriginal people and this is part of our ‘ground up’ attitude to gaining more Aboriginal employees,” he said.
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