Year 11 and 12 students Ethan Atkinson and Zaine Davis have a lot to celebrate after becoming the first ever Indigenous school-based trainees to be signed up to the Corroboree attraction at the Dreamworld Amusement Park.
Dreamworld Corroboree showcases Aboriginal & Torres Strait Islander history and culture (the world’s oldest living culture) and features over 800 native and barnyard animals located in their natural habitats within the Dreamworld grounds.
As part of their traineeship the pair will continue to spend four days at school while working one day a week at the Dreamworld Corroboree. During their training Ethan and Zaine will also complete their Certificate III in Tourism.
BUSY At Work Project Development Coordinator – Programs Team, Vanessa Parry said BUSY was delighted to sign up Ethan and Zaine to their traineeships and provide mentoring support throughout their studies.
BUSY At Work is being funded by the Indigenous Advancement Strategy (IAS) to deliver the mentoring during the program. The IAS is a commitment by the Australian Government to achieving better results for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in three priority areas – getting children to school, adults into work and building safe communities.
“We are excited to see Ethan and Zaine performing very well in the Corroboree area and working with people of their own culture.”
“As their dedicated mentor I will engage with each student and act as a central point of contact for each of the stakeholders including their employer, parent/guardian, Registered Training Organisation and the school.”
“Our goal is to ensure they continue to perform well both at school and at work while successfully completing their Year 12 studies and their traineeship,” Ms Parry said.
Dreamworld Learning and Development Manager, Karen Thorburn said Dreamworld was proud to have both Ethan and Zaine on board.
“Ethan impressed us when he came for work experience while Zaine showed us he was ready to make the commitment towards a full time career with Dreamworld.”
“It’s been a really good challenge for them to learn not only about their cultures and find their roots but also a great opportunity to learn life skills as part of working with the public and in a team environment.”
“In the short time they have been with us they have both excelled and it has been great to see them take pride in learning about their culture,” Ms Thorburn said.
Ethan already has a vast understanding of his own heritage the Wiradjuri/Bangerang and Yorta Yorta people of New South Wales and Victoria and said since joining the Corroboree, he was keen to learn more about the aboriginal heritage of other mobs.
“I’ve been learning a lot about my culture through playing the didgeridoo and performing shows to visitors that connect with the land and animals.”
“During the presentations we perform music and weapons demonstrations that showcase indigenous stories from around Australia.”
“It’s really great talking with people from different countries and getting to know a little a bit about them as well,” Ethan said.
A proud Aboriginal and South Sea Island man from the Cobble-Cobble people (dad’s side) and Yugumbeh people (mum’s side), Zaine said teaching people about indigenous culture was always a positive experience.
“I really enjoy it when visitors ask questions about my culture. Most guests are sincerely interested in what we do here and if they like our performance are always keen to ask for a photo,” Zaine explained.
As well as helping to develop the award winning Deadly Jarjums Dance Troop while in primary school, Zaine has performed in dance routines at Suncorp stadium, Woodford, and Parliament House.
BUSY At Work CEO, Paul Miles said BUSY was pleased to be part of the Indigenous School Based Traineeship Program and the preferred apprenticeship provider for Dreamworld.
“We are extremely happy to be working with Dreamworld in providing tailored mentoring support for Ethan and Zaine.”
“Both Ethan and Zaine have demonstrated a very positive attitude and a great work ethic and with the right training and mentoring will create not only a better future for themselves, but for their family and the community,” Mr Miles said.
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