By Jen Gourley
When you’re 16 years old, the thought of how to take that next step into further study or work can be overwhelming, even intimidating.
However, a group of 20 Year 10s and 11s (all aged 16) were fortunate enough to be able to participate in a workshop dedicated to helping them feel more confident as they head towards a career.
The Biloela State High School girls spent three beneficial hours at the LEAP WRQ (Leading Effective Action Program for Women in Regional Queensland) Workshop, held at the high school under the guidance of Maree Franettovich and Dr Pamela Greet.
The two LEAP WRQ Project Leaders guided the teens on how to build a Career Personal Development Toolkit, including presentation and the fundamentals of work readiness.
The girls were able to share their career interests, complete a personal strengths profile, discuss career opportunities, form a career action plan and learn practical skills such as developing an elevator pitch (how to successfully put yourself forward and introduce yourself to others with confidence) and the value of having mentors.
A highlight of the workshop for many of the students was listening to the five guest panellists share their stories about their careers, how they achieved their goals, learned from their mistakes, did further study, switched careers (sometimes several times) and much more.
The thoughtfully chosen guests on the panel came from a variety of different business and industry sectors, with the girls listening attentively to each woman’s story of her journey to her current career and how she achieved her goals, and then participating in a Q&A session.
The panellists were:
Kim Stevens – CQ Regional Extension Officer Cottoninfo
Karla Lovell – Founder/Owner of Karla’s Dance Collective
Emily Hodda – Light Vehicle Mechanic and Apprentice Heavy Commercial, BMAS
Sally Bulten – Environment & Stakeholder Business Partner CS Energy, Callide Power Station
Cr Judy Pender – Banana Shire Council.
All of their stories were inspiring and the message that you don’t need to know exactly what you’re going to do in the future right now reassured the high schoolers in attendance.
Afterwards, the students were able to enjoy a delicious lunch catered by Red Cherry Kitchen and mix and mingle with Maree and Pamela, BSHS Industry Liaision Officer Tamara Moretti, and the panellists, with the opportunity to ask questions and receive helpful advice.
LEAP WRQ is funded by the Commonwealth Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources and supported by the Callide Dawson Chamber of Commerce.