Working together for a shared future

8 July 2019

To coincide with NAIDOC Week, which celebrates the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, we caught up with 17-year-old Riley Layer on life at eHealth NSW – and what the theme of this year’s NAIDOC Week means to him as an ICT trainee under the Aboriginal Employment Plan.

Q: Hi, Riley. How are you settling in to your first full-time job?

A: The transition was a nice change from high school. Being able to watch and listen to other employees gave me an insight into what the work is like and how it’s handled. Fitting into the role was easier by taking each stage of the job at a time. The transition was still daunting, but the process and workload put in place for me made it a much more comfortable change.

Q: What has been a professional highlight of the past two months?

A: Receiving a call for the first time on an issue I didn’t know how to solve – but fixing it after researching and evaluating a few solutions – was an incredible highlight.

Q: What are your goals at eHealth NSW?

A: I want to improve with the type of work I take on. I’m enjoying helping people through their day-to-day work lives with different issues and learning how to solve situations.

Q: This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is ‘Voice. Treaty. Truth. Working Together for A Shared Future’. How do you feel that relates to your own experience joining the full-time workforce?

A: Change, opportunity for learning, and a calm relaxed attitude cannot be accomplished without a team environment. As I’ve transitioned into this role, the team environment has made a great impact on me with the kindness and care people have showed in helping me.

Q: What are you most looking forward to professionally in the year ahead?

A: Being able to progress in my traineeship to attain my certificate. I also want to assist others and improve personally in my own work as I get some experience under my belt.

Riley Layer is one of five young Aboriginal men who joined eHealth NSW’s State Wide Service Desk (SWSD) as an ICT trainee in June.

The SWSD is the 24/7 help desk servicing the 150,000+ staff members of NSW Health, and its Newcastle office welcomed Riley, Jackson Filmer and Tomas Woods, while Conway Oliver and Raymond King joined its Parramatta operation.

These young men’s traineeships form part of our Aboriginal Employment Plan, which aims to provide greater opportunities for Indigenous people, to support Aboriginal staff to build and develop their career with us, and to enhance staff understanding of the world’s oldest living culture.

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