Aboriginal Council trainee Malcolm Saunderson is thrilled to have a job with Lismore Parks and Gardens Depot. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star
Aboriginal Council trainee Malcolm Saunderson is thrilled to have a job with Lismore Parks and Gardens Depot. Photo Marc Stapelberg / The Northern Star Marc Stapelberg

Traineeship road to success

"CLASS clown" to motivated council worker, Malcolm Saunderson said the decision to take up a school-based traineeship was the best decision of his life.

The Goonellabah man said he was a stubborn student who hated studying, but after completing his traineeship (textbook work included) he wished to inspire other young kids to aim high.

"If I could pass this on to so many young indigenous kids out there I really would," he said. "I'd love to see them succeed.

"The study side of the traineeship, I was never even good at study in school.

"My old supervisor, he knuckled down with me, met with me, and I eventually got sick of being told to 'pull your finger out and do your work, you can end up on here permanent if you do well'.

"That's what I wanted to do so I chased it down and I finally got there."

Mr Saunderson now has aspirations to further his study in management training, and eventually start a business.

He also hopes to visit kids at different schools and speak to them about traineeship and apprenticeship options.

"I went to Kadina High and spoke to students about my role, what I do ... any school they want me to go to I'll talk to anyone, just to get the message out," he said.

Mr Saunderson's school-based traineeship began with a few days of work per week and ended as a two-year, full-time traineeship as part of Lismore City Council's Aboriginal Employment Strategy.

He completed the traineeship in September and he is now a full time employee for the council's Civic Pride department.

"I maintain all the parks in Goonellabah, Lismore and surrounding areas," he said.



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