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Indigenous employment celebrated with largest graduating traineeship class

[supplied by 33 Creative]


 Image: supplied

The inaugural Deadly Dinner fundraiser was held on Gadigal country in Sydney last night, celebrating 25 years of the Aboriginal Employment Strategy, a not-for-profit social enterprise supporting Indigenous career opportunities.

The celebration event was the first major fundraiser for the Indigenous-run organisation, as they aim to increase their impact and partnerships with employers and accelerate First Nations employment outcomes.

AES Chair, Glen Brennan said the night celebrated the impact of AES and First Nation community driven success but highlighted the importance of partnerships to scale impact.

“For every $1 of government funding, we are delivering $4.50 in benefit to society. Our programs are run by mob, for mob, and we work in partnership together with some of Australia’s biggest employers, that’s why we have been able to continue to grow and increase our impact. Today, we are proud to have delivered more than 25,000 jobs for Indigenous Australians,” said Glen.

Federal Minister for Indigenous Affairs, the Honourable Minister Burney was unable to attend the celebrations providing a video message congratulating the AES staff and trainee program participants.

“Congratulations on creating 25,000 careers in Indigenous Australia, supporting First Nations people into jobs, into entrepreneurships is such a crucial way to ensure financial independence and self-determination in our communities,” Minister Burney said.

“What started in Moree on Gomeroi country is now a thriving national service, delivering careers for our people. Congratulations to all the staff and graduates on your success. ”

The gala dinner featuring performances by Microwave Jenny and Isaiah Firebrace was also an opportunity to the largest cohort of AES Traineeship Program graduates. 63 First Nations trainees from urban, regional, rural, and remote locations graduated as part of the class of 2021-2022. The successful traineeship program provides coaching and mentoring as well as an industry recognised qualification with hands-on work experience through host employers across a range of sectors and industries.

“It was so deadly to see our largest ever cohort of trainees recognised on the main stage at the Deadly Dinner in front of many of our amazing sponsor organisations and community members. They are the next generation of leaders showing the determination needed to complete their study and achieve their goals,” said Kristy Masella, AES Managing Director.

“The traineeship program is one of our most successful initiatives, significantly contributing to employer’s workforce and enhancing their customer experiences especially for First Nations communities. More than 50% of our AES trainee graduates go on to achieve full-time employment with their host employer, while many others go on to undertake university study or further training, or full-time employment with a new employer. Our program opens pathways to kickstart their career.”

Kamilaroi mother Brooklyn Allan is among the latest AES trainees to graduate, having recently completed her traineeship at Homes North Community Housing while studying a Certificate III in business. Since completing her traineeship Brooklyn is one of many trainees who gain successful employment, now working fulltime as a Client Relations officer at XXX helping the Tamworth local community. Brooklyn credits the unique support from AES that helped her to graduate.


“I really enjoyed the program and the training experience. The AES Tamworth office supported me throughout allowing me a quiet place to study in their office. This was such a lifesaver for me, having their support really allowed me to finish my study,” said Brooklyn.  


Managing Director, Kristy Masella thanked the AES staff, employment partners, sponsors and community for contributing to employment success for First Nations communities.


“We really are a family at the AES – we work together to make sure people have what they need to succeed – whether that’s extra support to study, or skills to be job ready – there is something for everyone to help them into workforce and achieve their career goals,” Kristy said.


“Every year I continue to be so proud and amazed at our First Nations people right across the country. Our people are strong and resilient and are showing our families and communities what Indigenous employment success looks like. We are so excited for the next 25 years, working to grow our reach even further.”

To find out more about the Aboriginal Employment Strategy programs and services or to find an office new you, visit


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