With the help of Souths Cares Indigenous mentors, School to Work Program (S2W) graduate, Shiana Honeysett, has taken some huge steps to move herself closer to achieving one of her career goals.

Having graduated from South Sydney High School in 2014, Shiana, with the help of Souths Cares mentors, identified working at the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence (NCIE), as a career aspiration.

Alisha Parker-Elrez, Indigenous Employment Programs Manager, said that after discussing options and career pathways with Shiana, Souths Cares was able to assist her in identifying an entry point.

“Shiana made the decision to take on the challenge of training to be a lifeguard,” Alisha said.

“Together with Souths Cares, Shiana commenced working towards gaining competencies that would help her to obtain her Pool Lifeguard certification.

“Souths Cares booked and paid for her training, which included training in First Aid, Bronze Medallion and Pool Lifeguard competencies.

“Shiana flew through the first aid training, but hit a stumbling block when it came to her endurance swimming. But this is all part of the learning and development process. It’s very rare to find anyone who will meet all the job criteria perfectly first up.

“To her credit she commenced swimming on a regular basis and we booked a number of stroke correction classes, across all four strokes, which saw Shiana training twice a week where we would also attend and track her progress.”

All her efforts were rewarded recently when Shiana successfully completed her course and attended a job interview with NCIE.

“The initial feedback on her interview was nothing short of fantastic,” said Alisha.

“Landing a job can prove difficult, and everyone at Souths Cares was more than happy to see Shiana appointed as a Lifeguard at NCIE.

The S2W Program offers Indigenous students from Years 10 to 12 with a range of support such as one-on-one mentoring, assistance with homework and tutoring, access to training and traineeships.

“At any one time Souths Cares is working with a cohort of 50 students,” said Alisha.

“Our two Indigenous mentors work really hard to assist the Program participants with support, guidance and advice which goes a long way in helping them to complete their education.

“The success of the Program took its 2014 completion rate to 100%, which is an increase on the 2013 cohort’s efforts of 93%.

“Our growing success clearly demonstrates the Program is working and Souths Cares are on the right track in the way we mentor students and provide them with ongoing support.”

The Program is offered to all Year 10-12 Indigenous students from the South Sydney catchment area and is delivered in a culturally sensitive way.

Any students interested in signing-up to the S2W Program should contact Souths Cares by phoning 8306 9900.

* The School to Work Program is supported by the Australian Government