Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray recently met with four of the recipients of the Wirrpanda Foundation’s Indigenous Sport and Recreation Traineeship.
The Wirrpanda Foundation, founded by West Coast Eagles premiership player David Wirrpanda exists to improve the quality of life for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People by working together to empower and build capacity amongst Aboriginal individuals, their families and their communities.
Andrew James, Ashleigh Woods, Blake Little, and UWA Sport’s Ben McGuire have all received an Indigenous Sport and Recreation Traineeship through the Wirrpanda Foundation.
The traineeship gives them 12 months of employment placement (with a strong focus on facilitating an ongoing employment opportunity) and they will do their Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.
Ben has been working at UWA Sport, where he has spent his time assisting the Student Athlete team.
He finished Year 12 at Trinity College in 2017, and previously completed a school-based traineeship in customer service with Qantas.
Outside of work, Ben is still heavily involved sport. He is a committed player at East Perth FC Colts, and has his eye on a long-term football career.
Ben has also enjoyed previous experiences in voluntary and sports mentoring in remote North-West WA and with children from Ireland.
As a young Noongar man, Ben is passionate about his Aboriginal culture, learning more about it and also sharing this with others.
The Wirrpanda trainees will also be given culturally appropriate mentoring support through one of Wirrpanda’s Aboriginal youth employment mentors and the opportunity to engage with their local community.
The project is a partnership between Wirrpanda Foundation and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. There are six trainees this year aged 17 – 24 who are working around the state.
Graduate Officer, UWA Sport Marketing, Communication and Events