CQ trainee's journey from humble beginnings to award winner
A new role model for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders has been anointed in Rockhampton.
Hastings Deering diesel fitter Jarred Armstrong-White is celebrating winning a prestigious 2018 Queensland Training Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year in the Central Queensland region.
Mr Armstrong-White, 27, rose from a humble beginnings making beds at the motel at the Dreamtime Cultural Centre to working as a groundsman for Rockhampton's Regional Council Parks and Gardens Jarred before taking "the long way" to achieving his dream of becoming a diesel fitter.
"Growing up as an indigenous person in North Rockhampton during the 1990s was tough: there was little focus on education and learning was much different then: no internet and mobile phones," Armstrong-White said.
"Despite that it was obvious to me from very early on, that hard work and sticking it out at school was the path to success and making something of myself.
"I was the first person in our family to finish school. I am so grateful my family encouraged and supported me to stay at school, study and achieve to the best of my ability."
He joined Hastings Deering in 2012 under their indigenous pre employment program, becoming a Trades Assistant in 2013 and in 2014, started his diesel fitting apprenticeship.
Last week, the Hastings Deering worker capped off his remarkable career trajectory, celebrating winning the prestigious 2018 Queensland Training Award in CQ.
Mr Armstrong-White acknowledges with his career success comes with built in responsibility and he is both a role model for his siblings and extended family as well as a mentor to help other indigenous students in Rockhampton.
"In my work as diesel fitter in the Rockhampton Component Rebuild group I assist with on-the job training of junior apprentices and trades assistants which is very rewarding.
"I also take every opportunity to speak to community groups and students about my journey.:
He said he was also part of the advertising campaign for the 2018 apprentice intake and was committed to encouraging anyone, but especially indigenous youth to go after their goals and look for opportunities.
"It's my turn to give back," Mr Armstrong-White said
"A career as a diesel fitter not only allows you to travel anywhere but working on Cat machinery means you get a Cat-passport that opens up work anywhere in the world there is Cat machinery.
"Hastings Deering's training is second to none. It is such a positive environment to work in. Everyone learns from each other."
Hastings Deering's General Manager-People and External Affairs Vincent Cosgrove said Jarred continued to improve his credentials signing up a variety of courses including the electronic control management course to better understand the computer management of large machinery.
"We are proudly an equal opportunity employer who actively looks to recruit across the broad community spectrum including female and indigenous apprentices," Mr Cosgrove said.
"Jarred is a perfect example of why our workplaces should be more diverse: he brings with him a genuineness to be part of a team. We at Hastings Deering congratulate him."
Mr Armstrong-White will join Mackay Hastings Deering Technology technician Laura Carrodus, who was a finalist for the Harry Hauenschild Apprentice of the year, in attending the Queensland finals at a Gala Dinner in Brisbane in September.