Employment forum provides invaluable experience for local Clontarf students

Published on Friday, 9 September 2022 at 10:00:00 AM

The Shire of Carnarvon and Clontarf Foundation partners Rio Tinto and Water Corporation attended the Carnarvon Clontarf Academy’s annual Employment Forum held on August 24 at the Carnarvon Bowls Club.

Seven academy students took part in the day, meeting with community leaders and mentors and engaging in activities to develop their work-readiness skills. The forum kicked off with a competitive game of lawn bowls between attendees and was followed by a productive day of networking and skills building. The Clontarf students took part in mock employment interviews and received feedback from mentors to help them progress.

A highlight of the forum were presentations by Shire staff members Max Tangi and Keneth ‘Keno’ Phillips, who shared their stories of how they got to where they are today, underscoring the importance of finishing school. Keneth spoke about growing up in Carnarvon, following his passion for football into adulthood by playing in the WAFL for as little as $80 per game, and pivoting to working in labouring and agriculture before finding his calling working with youth in the region as a Community Development Officer for the Shire. Max shared insights on his work as People and Culture Officer at the Shire, teaching the students about onboarding procedures including interviewing, conducting reference calls for prospective candidates, and supporting new hires.

“The students got so much out of Keno and Max’s stories,” said Carnarvon Clontarf Academy Director Michael Plumb. “It’s important for them to have mentors who are accessible and relatable, and the wisdom shared by both Keno and Max struck a chord with the boys. They encouraged them to find their life’s passion in their work and contribution to their community, just as they have done.”

In addition to Shire staff, representatives from Rio Tinto and Water Corporation also took part in the day, as both organisations are long time partners of the Clontarf Foundation and provide employment opportunities and assistance with developing students in the program.

The annual Employment Forum has been held by the Carnarvon Clontarf Academy since the program started in 2011. Forums been held with different formats over the years, including site work tours, information and Q&A sessions, and programming contributions from academy alumni. The event is attended annually by senior boys in Years 10 through 12.

About the Carnarvon Clontarf Academy and the Clontarf Foundation

The Carnarvon Clontarf Academy is a program by the Clontarf Foundation, a not-for-profit organisation that supports young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men in completing their high school education and transition into employment. The academy is nested within the host school, Carnarvon Community College. Academy programs are integrated into host schools across Australia. The foundation currently has 142 academies within 152 schools nationwide supported by 530 staff, with 10,500 boys enrolled in the program including 900 Year 12 students.

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