Aboriginal Employment Strategy traineeships pave the way

Australia’s largest Aboriginal recruitment and Group Training organisation Aboriginal Employment Strategy (AES) celebrated their 2018 Traineeship and Apprenticeship Graduation Ceremony last night in Gadigal Country Darling Harbour, Sydney.

The AES Traineeship and Apprenticeship programs are one of the organisations most successful initiatives creating significant contributions to employer workplaces and to their customer experiences. More than 50% of AES graduated trainees go on to achieve full-time employment with their host employer, while many others go on to undertake university study or further training.

AES CEO, Kristy Masella says, “Our 2018 graduates are re-writing the narratives in our communities to one of strength, resilience, excellence, and innovation. They are all exceptional role models for other young people and should be commended for their achievements.”

To acknowledge this milestone, certificates were handed out to 65 traineeship and apprenticeship participants, and two major awards were announced – The first Les Tobler Program Excellence Award presented to Lend Lease construction Trainee Tarni Proberts-Roberts and the Chairperson’s Award presented to National Australia Bank Trainee Lahkeisha Cook.

The 2018 graduation ceremony featured performances by Muggera Dancers, Aboriginal singer/songwriter, Mi-kaisha, and Aboriginal rappers, Kobie Dee and Nookie.

AES currently works with many corporate partners such as Westpac Group, Wandiyali, Scentre Group, Apprenticeship Support Australia, and Awabakal in delivering Traineeships and Apprenticeships.

Jess Gale Support Unit Co-ordinator from Wandiyali comments, “We have been working with AES since May 2016. It’s been an absolute pleasure to create a fantastic partnership and friendship with the AES and we appreciate the ongoing support in giving us trainees who have become invaluable staff members and have brought Wandiyali a long way.”

Over the past 21 years, AES has provided more than 21,000 employment opportunities and 2,500 Trainee and Apprentice programs to young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians in urban, regional and remote locations. The Traineeship and Apprenticeship programs provide coaching and mentoring, alongside hands-on paid work experience with a host employer across a range of employment sectors and industries.

AES Commonwealth Bank Lismore graduated trainee Darcy Clarke says, “There were many times I had enough of school, but working at the Commonwealth Bank really got me through to finish. I was getting paid and could see a future for myself in the workforce. The best part of the traineeship was being out in the community. It made me feel good being acknowledged by the local Aboriginal people who came into the bank regularly. The traineeship made me realise I want a job to help the community.”

AES hosted annual graduation ceremonies in Sydney and in regional locations across Australia. The graduation events showcase the talents of local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people and provide a platform for them to encourage their peers to follow in their footsteps and aspire to careers, not just jobs.

AES CEO Kristy Masella adds, “Through supporting Indigenous people into careers, we have reinvested millions upon millions back into local communities and have been a solid investment for the government as a transformation strategy. We have walked shoulder to shoulder with our communities to regain hope, aspiration, pride, and self-determination. This is our story”

The AES has over 95 new traineeship opportunities available for 2019.


The Aboriginal Employment Strategy empowers Indigenous people through brokering employment opportunities and supporting candidates to have successful careers through mentoring, coaching, training and specialist support.

Over the last 21 years, AES has led a transformative, social and economic movement that has been highly successful in changing the narratives in our communities to one of excellence, opportunity, partnerships and deadliness!

The AES now operates 13 offices nationally.

Link to images