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First Nations trainees join inaugural program

10 Jun 2024
  • Employees

Two new business administration trainees are ready to further develop their skills and early careers as part of CS Energy’s inaugural First Nations traineeship program.

Cory Dowd and Chloe McKellar joined the Brisbane office in May 2024 and will learn the administrative functions of a corporate office in line with their TAFE Certificate III and Certificate IV in Business.

CS Energy's Indigenous Engagement Advisor Neville Hoehne said this experience will boost Cory and Chloe’s personal and professional growth, and also strengthen their communities economically and socially.

Chloe McKellar and Cory Dowd 850px

“Traineeships like these empower First Nations jobseekers by providing them with the skills, knowledge, and experience needed to thrive in our workforce,” Neville said.

“These traineeships are key parts of our Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) because they offer real job opportunities, help us connect and learn from each other, and bring Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities together. And it shows that we are serious about building a diverse team that values the unique skills and perspectives of Indigenous peoples."

CS Energy is looking to implement similar traineeship and apprenticeship recruitment opportunities at Kogan Creek and Callide power stations in the future, Neville said.

“This is also a pathway that we will use with our partner organisations – who help to build and operate our renewable projects – to train and employ more First Nations jobseekers through Indigenous Land Use Agreements and Cultural Heritage Management Plans," he said.

CS Energy has partnered with Mandana – one of our First Nations vendors – on recruitment of our trainees. Cory and Chloe will continue to work closely with Mandana on cultural and workforce mentoring throughout their two-year traineeship.

What’s ahead for our trainees

During their time at CS Energy, Cory and Chloe will rotate between Plant Operations, Asset Management, Corporate Affairs, Finance, and People & Culture in six-to-eight week rotations, and be provided guidance and on-the-job training from a mentor in each team.

The pair started working on basic administrative skills to build a strong and capable foundation in admin support.

“In the few weeks Cory and Chloe have been with us, they have created morning routines to ensure office supplies are available, organised quotes from suppliers, helped to organise catering for events, and completed travel bookings, stationery orders, and PPE deliveries,” said Stacey Barron Executive Assistant of the Chief Financial Officer's division.

“While these tasks will grow as their traineeships progress, a majority of the learnings in the workplace will complement the units of the respective certificates they are completing, and they have dedicated time during the working week to complete their studies."

Cory and Chloe recently spent three days at Callide Power Station where they were given a tour, met with the Callide administration team, and attended a lunch and initial meeting with the Gaangalu people. They will also spend time at Kogan Creek Power Station in the future.

“This will provide an invaluable experience in understanding the role the Brisbane office has in supporting our sites,” Stacey said.

Get to know…

Cory Dowd

Cory Dowd 850px

Cory comes from the Gamilaraay people from Coonabarabran.

She says she is most looking forward to rotating between departments and learning about the different functions of the company.

"I hope to develop my knowledge and understanding of different functions of the company and how to utilise them not only in future careers, but life," she said.

"I’ve also really enjoyed meeting new people – everyone is so friendly and welcoming!"

Chloe McKellar

Chloe McKellar 850px

Chloe is a descendant of the Kunja people of South-West Queensland (Cunnamulla).

Her goals are to expand on her computer and communication skills.

"I'm looking forward to seeing how and where my skills align within the company, and to meeting new people," she said.