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Indigenous apprentices graduate in Townsville

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Indigenous apprentices graduate in Townsville 15 July 2013

Senator the Hon Jan McLucas Minister for Human Services

A bright future and rewarding career lies ahead for seven Indigenous apprentices who graduated today from an Australian Government apprenticeship program in Townsville.

Minister for Human Services, Senator Jan McLucas today presented the graduates with their certificates and congratulated them on their achievements.

"Each and every one of the graduates here today has worked incredibly hard throughout their training," Senator McLucas said.

"Congratulations to them on their terrific results; they are building a bright future for themselves and their families.

"Some have overcome big obstacles to graduate today so it is particularly pleasing to see them now as skilled staff members and valued colleagues."

All seven graduates successfully completed a level three certificate in either Business or Business Administration in conjunction with the Barrier Reef Institute of TAFE.

"They've also undertaken intensive internal training in order to perform the tasks of their specific roles.

"I also thank the supervisors who have passed on their valuable experience and thoroughly prepared their apprentices to excel, not just in their roles within the department, but in their future careers."

New graduate, Patricia Songoro joined the apprenticeship program after moving to Townsville from Thursday Island. She said the apprenticeship challenged her to overcome obstacles and take charge of her future.

"I am a visually impaired, single mother but I haven't let this stop me from doing the things that I want to do, and the apprenticeship program has helped me get closer to my goals in life," Ms Songoro said.

"I highly recommend an apprenticeship with the Department Human Services to other Indigenous applicants, as this a great career opportunity to work in the public service while furthering your education through study."

Senator McLucas also announced the department will engage 10 additional Indigenous apprentices in the coming weeks, who will take on positions in a number of Service Centres throughout Northern Queensland.

"The new intake of apprentices will be mentored in a range of customer services roles over a 12 month program which will provide them with the right skills and knowledge to commence a career in the Australian Public Service," Senator McLucas said.

For more information about Indigenous apprenticeships or the Indigenous graduate intake, visit[6] or connect with the department via Facebook and Twitter @Grads4HumanServ.