NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings with Rabbitohs Nathan Merrit and Yileen Gordon
NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings with Rabbitohs Nathan Merrit and Yileen Gordon

Jessica Slow from Stroud and Ethan King from Holsworthy are about to start their first full week as the new recruits of NSW Maritime’s Aboriginal Maritime Services traineeship program.

Jessica, 33, who is a descendant of the Awabakal people from the mid-north coast of NSW and 17-year-old Ethan who identifies as Kamilaroi, were successful from a large line up of applicants for the two year maritime traineeships.

NSW Maritime Executive Director Mark Hutchings said the NSW Government program was developed to assist young people with practical skills and boating knowledge to receive a Certificate II in Maritime Operations.

“The NSW Maritime Training and Capability team is rolling out the Certificate II in Maritime Operations by delivering training at the workplace and utilising existing maritime resources.

“NSW Maritime has a long and successful history of employing Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander people in our workforce,” Mr Hutchings said.

“This program aims to produce positive outcomes for the community and gives the trainees hands-on experience across all areas of NSW Maritime, including product services, operations and compliance, maritime environmental services and boating education.

“NSW Maritime is pleased that Boating Safety, Product Services, Environmental Services and Boating Education Officers are able to share their knowledge and offer mentoring and support to the trainees during their traineeship.

“Given the wealth of knowledge and experience at Maritime, the trainees will learn in an operational environment rather than a classroom to provide the most ‘hands-on’ experience.

“During the two-year traineeship, candidates learn about the functions of the agency, the industry as well as hands on practical training which enables them to operate a domestic commercial vessel.

Mr Hutchings said more than 22 people applied for the roles and underwent a rigorous four-part application process.

“The application day in June provided candidates an operational experience with a day on the water learning new skills on the training vessel Wingara.

“Rabbitohs stars Nathan Merrit and Yileen Gordon are mentors in the Aboriginal community and awarded all candidates with a certificate of participation after the application process was complete,” Mr Hutchings said.

NSW Maritime works with Yarn’n Employment Agency to connect trainees to a friendly and knowledgeable external mentor throughout the traineeship.

The traineeships are offered every two years.

For more information visit www.transport.nsw.gov.au/about-us/reconciliation-action-plan