A young Kalkadoon woman is addressing work opportunities in outback Queensland through the Indigenous Youth Parliament.
Tegan Burke, 18, is a role model for the youth of Cloncurry, a small community of just under 3,000 residents, in north-west Queensland.
Tegan has overcome challenges faced by many young people in small communities to achieve success in her career as a personal banker with Westpac; and will now address the issue of bush employment in Canberra on May 23.
“I would like to see a change in work opportunities. I believe there need to be more work or internship opportunities for indigenous youth in small towns like Cloncurry,” she said.
“For me it started at 14 when I received my traineeship with Westpac, so that gave me an opportunity to get out there, but I know there are some people who don’t have these opportunities.
“I definitely feel small town businesses should look into taking on a trainee who has left school, to build their skills and give them a starting chance in the workforce.”
Tegan has won a number of awards, including North Queensland Trainee of the Year 2015.
She believes youth are our voice and future and relishes the opportunity to share the challenges she overcame to inspire other young people.
She applies her positive mindset and strong desire to lead and influence by regularly visiting local schools to talk to students and teachers.
“I applied for the position to have a voice for Cloncurry and speak on behalf of those who may not wish to speak up and address issues in our community. I was one of 50 successful applicants to represent Australia,” she said.
“I would love for the youth in Cloncurry to come to me with any issues they would like addressed at the Youth Parliament.”
Tegan wants Indigenous people to have a voice in both Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities. She wants to apply her experience to continue to encourage other young people to achieve great things.