Andersyn never imagined she’d land a traineeship after her Work for the Dole placement at the Mackay and District Australian South Sea Islander Association (MADASSIA).
MAX Work for the Dole (WfD) Field Officer Dannielle Wiseman said Andersyn started her first day with a huge smile across her face, eager to keep working with the grassroots community organisation.
“Her new position is Trainee Business Administration Officer with MADASSIA and she’ll be there part-time for 12 months,” she said.
“Andersyn is one of the most remarkable young women I’ve met. She takes on so much responsibility for herself and her family and I couldn’t think of a more worthy candidate for this position.”
Andersyn started off doing general cleaning and gardening, and when the activity finished she took the initiative to continue working at the centre.
“We were looking for someone to do administration work for us, so she stepped up and brought in all the required paperwork,” Supervisor and President of MADASSIA Starrett Vea Vea said.
“WfD is a great programme and this is one of the many great outcomes I’ve seen. Danni and the whole MAX team have a done a great job behind the scenes to make it come together.”
Andersyn said she’ll be at the centre for about 20 hours a week during her traineeship.
“I’ll be trained by my mentor Melanie to do a Certificate III and then qualify as a Business Administration Officer,” she said.
“Before I started WfD, I didn’t know much about the organisation and how helpful it is, fulfilling the needs of the community.
Starrett said they like to get young people working in a team, the younger generation so they are motivated to further develop their skills and experience.
“We started in 1994 as a voice for the Australian South Sea Islander community, providing advice and access to vital services.
“We’re descendants from South Sea Islanders who were brought here to work in the sugar cane industry during the late 1800s.”
Last year, Starrett was part of a Work for the Dole project that helped uncover the unmarked graves of more than 100 South Sea Islanders in the Mackay Cemetery, revealing a lost chapter of the region’s history.
“We aim to preserve our cultural heritage and significant sites and over time we’ve also grown to recognise the needs of Indigenous people and the wider community,” he said.