Indi Clarke

2016
Winner
Victoria

Certificate IV in Business

A couple of years ago Indi Clarke, a proud Aboriginal man from the Muthi Muthi and Lardil people, would not have recognised the man he has become today. “I had lost my way and really wasn’t doing much with my life. I had a job in retail but that wasn’t what I wanted my future to be. I wanted to be working for my community. But to do that I needed some training and some skills so I’d be in a position to help people,” said Indi.

Proof of the success Indi has had in doing just that can be seen in the ‘amazing’ 18 months he’s had, representing his community through his participation in leadership and political events, and receiving a string of awards, most recently the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year Award at the 2016 Australian Training Award 2016.

“I still have to pinch myself that this is happening to me,” laughed Indi. “I was lucky enough to discover what the VET sector had to offer and that is what saved me. My teachers cared about finding the best way for me to learn- I wasn’t just given a book and sent on my way - they walked the journey with me. I am very grateful I was smart enough to leap at the chance to make the most of the opportunities I was given through my studies.”

Indi completed his Certificate IV in Business as part of his employment with Mallee District Aboriginal Services (MDAS) as a Corporate Services Trainee. After a promotion to the role of Youth and Community Engagement Facilitator, he then took another career leap in February 2017, being appointed Manager of the Koorie Youth Council. He is ‘tremendously thankful’ for the support, guidance and opportunities both his RTO, Sunraysia TAFE, and MDAS provided in helping him to get where he is today. “The Certificate has had really positive effects on both my personal and professional life and I am only at the early stages of my career,” he said.

Indi is also very appreciative of the Australian Training Awards and the opportunity the award ceremony presented to meet other highly deserving nominees.

“The awards help to break down the stigma that VET is secondary to university and are instrumental in closing the gap between the two. The award ceremony was a great showcase for what could be achieved through VET and I felt really humbled to meet the other nominees, all of whom had put in a lot of hard work and achieved so much. I came away inspired, empowered and reinvigorated.”

Looking to the future, Indi says as long as he is working in Aboriginal affairs and contributing to his community he will be happy. “I love what I do and I have a great passion for working with my community and ensuring the best outcomes for them and our youth. As an advocate for my people I want to highlight that education and awareness are the keys to a strong community and the keys for every one of us. I think of my training and every one of the events, awards and initiatives I have participated in as learning opportunities that will forever assist me on my journey.”

Gaining his certificate has had positive effects on Indi’s personal and professional life and he is appreciative of the guidance and support he has received from his employer and RTO throughout his training.