Richmond Valley Council events officer Ebony Nowlan was offered her full-time role after completing the council's two year trainee program.
Richmond Valley Council events officer Ebony Nowlan was offered her full-time role after completing the council's two year trainee program. Richmond Valley Council

How Ebony scored a dream job in her home town

EBONY Nowlan always wanted to live and work in her home town, Casino, and she made it happen in large part thanks to Richmond Valley Council’s youth employment program.

Now 20, she became the full-time events officer at the council after completing a two year council traineeship starting in 2013.

“If I didn’t start my traineeship at council I wouldn’t have a job at all,” Ebony said.

“Because of the training I’ve been able to upskill and move departments and get a lot of experience.”

“I’ve been lucky that through my training I’ve ended up in a job I really love, and being able to work locally.”

During the traineeship she also completed two business administration certificates at TAFE, and last week was awarded the North Coast TAFE Trainee of the Year.

That was the icing on the cake for a stellar career start – but the true gold was getting to stay in her home town.

“I love Casino, and I’ve always lived here so it’s been great that I’ve been able to stay,” she said.

But she’s not the only one - since it launched officially in 2014 Richmond Valley Council’s Youth Employment Strategy (YES) has helped more than 32 local young people gain the skills, work experience, and qualifications they need to enjoy a career in local government.

It offers scholarships, apprenticeships and traineeships in areas including business administration, engineering, finance; horticulture, planning and development, mechanical, to name just a few.

When the youth employment strategy launched, the council’s then general manager John Walker said it was formed in response to the emerging issue of the lack of youth employment opportunities in the community, as well as the need for Council to future-proof its workforce.

He said helping young people find meaningful employment would have a lasting impact on Council’s competitiveness and the long-term strength of its workforce.

Last year the program won the NSW Training Award for Large Employer of the Year, beating out McDonalds and Westpac.

NSW Minister for Local Government Paul Toole even visited Richmond Valley Council last month and said YES could form part of a new government policy encouraging other NSW councils to take on local young people.

Ebony is now planning to buy her first home – a goal which is actually achievable for a young working person in Casino.

EBONY’S TOP FOUR JOB PREPARATION TIPS

Have a goal, and know what you want - employers look for someone driven and passionate about what they want to do.

Do your research: if you’re nervous, read up about your employer, and practice what they might ask you

Think about your experience in the past and how it can help you

Make sure you have a casual or part-time work experience before you launch your career - if gives you some fundamental skills.



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