As part of a long-running program to inspire students and develop young employees, VCAL students at Bendigo Senior Secondary College were visited by Young Industry Ambassadors on 1 March to find out about their career pathways.

In partnership with several regional organisations, Goldfields Local Learning and Employment Network (GLLEN) has trained young employees to become Ambassadors for their industry since 2010.

Young Industry Ambassadors provide an interactive session for students by discussing their current job and the pathway they took to their career, whether by apprenticeship, university or TAFE study. The interaction with young employees aims to inspire students to strive towards finding careers they will enjoy.

Two Young Industry Ambassadors – Shari, a Project Manager at North Central Catchment Management Authority, and Chloe, a Human Resources and Payroll Officer at Mount Alexander Shire Council – explained their experiences with a remarkable ability to connect and relate to the students. Both Chloe and Shari had inspiring stories to share, taking different pathways to reach their current positions.

Chloe completed a traineeship with Mount Alexander Shire Council and was offered a full-time position as a HR officer. She has also recently taken on the responsibility for the payroll of 250 employees.

“Just make sure that you enjoy what you’re going to do in your life. Don’t choose to study something if you’re not 100% sure you’ll like it, try a few things out first and you’ll find your way,” said Chloe.

Shari is completing a postgraduate degree in law while working as a project manager responsible for $2.4M in government funding. She emphasised the importance of a mentor to help young people progress.

“I really recommend that you get yourselves a mentor. Someone to guide you through your career and life as well. I have one myself and she is amazing at keeping me in line and giving me advice on what to do in situations,” commented Shari.

Both Chloe and Shari embraced the opportunity to become Young Industry Ambassadors, seeing it as an ideal way to “give back” by sharing their stories with the younger generation.

Anne Brosnan, GLLEN Executive Officer, said the program was a win/win for employers, employees and students, and there was an opportunity for more diverse industries to participate.

“We’re fortunate to have some really generous employers with fantastic Young Industry Ambassadors, but we are looking for even more! We’re aiming to recruit another 10 young people this year from a wide range of professions and workplaces.

“Becoming a Young Industry Ambassador is a great opportunity for employees in the early stages of their careers to receive free professional training in areas such as public speaking and leadership. And in return they provide a no-cost service to local primary and secondary schools by speaking at the school or hosting students at their workplace.”

To enquire about becoming a Young Industry Ambassador or getting your business involved, email