Growing up in the small town of Devonport in Tasmania, I never knew what I wanted to be when I grew up but I was always good with numbers.
In school, I followed that passion but questioned where it could take me. What career path could I take? In which city? With which companies?
I asked myself these questions but never seemed to find an answer.
As I finished year 10, my teachers advised if I wanted to continue with learning and pursue a corporate career I would have to go to college and eventually university.
I worked with my school’s pathway planner and decided to pursue my passion for maths and numbers. He suggested I apply for an Indigenous school-based traineeship. So at the age of 16, I began a traineeship at my local ANZ branch. I worked as a bank teller for two to three days a week while completing my final years of school.
The two years went by so fast but they were the most valuable years of my life. The lessons I learned and the people I learned from were so special and it was an absolute privilege to have that experience at that age.
Simple lessons like how to talk to and help a customer, follow up an A-Z review or work with my branch manager to set targets, plan out my day and hit those targets taught me how to take responsibility for different tasks and are just some of the many lessons I learnt on the traineeship.
But I also experienced mistakes along the way and they allowed me to learn from them, grow and improve each day.
I continued to work for ANZ as a full-time trainee for a year after I completed high school but I was still unsure where to go or what I wanted to do with my career.
Looking back now, it was actually a pivotal point in my life.
I was learning the different responsibilities of being a business banker and slowly taking on more responsibilities. Talking to business customers and hearing about how they were going inspired me to learn more about this side of banking. My interest and drive to learn more about business banking in Devonport grew.
Whenever I was on my lunch break, I’d sit in the business bankers’ offices and ask them questions.
At the end of that year, I was nominated by our branch for the Indigenous Trainee of the Year award.
To be nominated was a huge accomplishment and acknowledgement of my hard work and I ended up winning the award which came as a real shock.