Aboriginal Community Owned & Managed

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Community Housing Cadetship creates opportunities for Aboriginal community

Posted on 15 Feb 2022

SEARMS is proud to partner with the Community Housing Industry Association NSW (CHIA) for the CHIA Cadetship Program for 2022, to bring training and real-world experience to SEARMS’ Aboriginal community.

The 2022 program will offer 25 positions to successful candidates, with up to three getting the opportunity to work with SEARMS for 12-months in a paid role. They will also receive on-the-job training and will gain a nationally accredited Certificate IV in Housing. Not only that, but these unique positions create meaningful employment, where the cadets will help to broaden and strengthen community links through housing support.

This was exactly the rewarding journey that Iesha from Batemans Bay embarked on when she joined SEARMS in May 2021 as our first cadet.

Iesha enjoying some quality time with her son.

Iesha heard about the Cadetship Program during a yarn with her family. Despite having doubts regarding her lack of experience, having been a stay-at-home mum for the past 5 years, Iesha decided to give the cadetship application a go as she thought ‘what did she have to lose?’.

“I thought about it and I wasn’t sure. I had a family member who said, ‘you know, try it, as you never know how it’ll work’…so, I thought alright, I’ll try. I was surprised when I learned that I was exactly the type of person the program was looking for. Someone who needed experience.”

Fast-forward to the end of the year and the program has already changed her life for the better. Having limited work experience, Iesha wasn’t looking forward to the prospect of having to go back to a hospitality or service-related role. Like many in her position, she wanted the next big thing to move her career forward in the right direction for future opportunities.

“I thought to myself, if I can get into this industry, that’s just such a foot in the door for me. And I can hopefully make a better life for me and my son.”

The Cadetship Program provides strong incentives for Aboriginal community members that might not have access to a wide range of opportunities. The program is extremely positive for the South-Eastern region of NSW where access to meaningful employment can be hard to come by.

Iesha and Mel preparing to deliver Care Packs to the SEARMS Batemans Bay Community.

Reflecting on her experience in the program, Iesha has only positive things to say.

“I love my job. It’s just mind-blowing how much it’s changed my life since May. If you had told me just before the cadetship had started, how different everything would be now, I would have said, ‘no way’. It’s so nice to be doing something productive and working in a role where I get to help others in my community. I hope to continue working in this industry.”

Iesha encourages anyone thinking about applying for the Cadetship Program to just do it.

“Your life can be changed positively by the Cadetship Program. You might think that you don’t have the experience or the skills but that’s what this program is about, helping you get those skills.”

Following her successful Cadetship, SEAMRS is proud to announce that Iesha was formally offered a permanent full-time role as a Housing Officer at our Batemans Bay office and commenced her new role on January 4, 2022.

Interested in applying for the Cadetship Program in 2022? The Cadetship accepts places annually from 2021 to 2024 and aims at providing tangible career pathways, particularly for those effected negatively by circumstances out of their control including the fall-out from recent natural disasters and COVID-19.

Applications for the second year of this initiative opened on the 17 January 2022 and will close at 5:00pm on Friday 18 February 2022, so apply today!
In Iesha’s words, “what have you got to lose?