VoiceOver users please use the tab key when navigating expanded menus

Saying yes paves the way to a bright future


“Just do it. Say yes to opportunities that come your way and keep focused on the things you’re passionate about.”


Jemasin Joyce at work at the ANZ branch in Wollongong.

I’m a proud Indigenous woman from the Wiradjuri mob.


I started my school-based traineeship in year 11. From there I was able to experience the NSW training awards and then the national training awards. At its completion (which was the same time as I finished high school) I moved into my current role as a full-time trainee with ANZ.




The journey all started with my careers advisor in Year 11. Call it self-doubt but I wasn’t 100 per cent sure I could see myself within a career in the finance industry. With a bit of a push from my careers advisor however, I ended up doing it and actually really loving it.


I’ve been so humbled by the amazing people at ANZ, the Australian College of Commerce and Management and 1300 Apprentice. The support I’ve been shown is really what has taken me to where I am today.


The traineeship process has given me so many opportunities – being a representative at the National Training Awards and then being able to move straight into a full-time work position is something I highly doubt I would be doing otherwise.




I didn’t love maths at school and I thought this was something you had to be good at to work at a bank. I had it in my head I would be spending my days endlessly counting money and performing maths equations.


Once I started in the role, those barriers were soon broken down and I quickly discovered it’s more about providing quality customer service through your conversations, meeting new people and working well with your teammates.


I don’t think I would have gone down this path if it weren’t for the support I received from 1300 Apprentice. My trainee left-field officer was continually pushing me and encouraging me - letting me know I could do it. She actually still reminds me today about how hesitant I was to take the role.




Working at the branch through COVID-19 has been very different from anything I’ve ever experienced in my life. Wearing a mask at work is something I’ve had to get used to.


I feel really proud to be an essential worker and to have a job where I’m able to provide people with the services they need.


Another rewarding part of it is being able to connect with my Indigenous customers who come into the branch. I can often tell they’re not very comfortable in the bank branch environment so it’s good to be able to smile, say hello and just support them in that sense.


I now have regular customers with whom I’ve developed good relationships – they’re now more than just customers. They’re people I actually have a solid bond with.




This process has really taught me not to doubt myself and my capabilities. My confidence has grown exponentially and I now know I do have the ability to do well out in the world as a young adult.


Winning an Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year award last year was a complete shock. Although it was very unexpected, I was extremely proud - not only to do it for all my teachers and ANZ but also for my culture. It was an honour to be up there and representing something I truly believe in.




If I were to give a piece of advice to other students looking to undertake a similar pathway, it would be this:


Just do it. Say yes to opportunities that come your way and keep focused on the things you’re passionate about. When the opportunity does come your way and it’s something you can relate to – don’t be afraid to say yes and just go with it because you don’t know what it might bring.


Jemasin Joyce is Banking Consultant, Wollongong, Australia Retail & Commercial at ANZ



The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award recognises the achievement of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander student who displays a strong understanding and knowledge of the vocational education and training system and demonstrates the relevance of lifelong learning for themselves and their community.


Jemasin Joyce was the 2019 runner-up recipient of this award.