Tristan takes first step on pathway to new career Just how far would you go to put yourself on the pathway to success? For Tristan Drury that answer is 950 kilometres. Tristan moved from Cunnamulla to Bundaberg after he secured a 22-week traineeship in Conservation Land Management through IMPACT Community Services. And while it’s been a big step for the 20-year-old, as he nears his graduation it’s one that is already starting to bear fruit. Under the guidance of course trainer Rob Alder, Tristan is blossoming. Tristan said he was enjoying the traineeship and was optimistic about his employment prospects. It’s a far cry from the journey of rejections he encountered in the years after finishing his grade 12 at school. “I’ve always wanted to work outdoors,” Tristan said. “It’s been so hard to get work, there’s just not much in the field that’s out there. “And with the drought, and everything being so dry, that hasn’t helped. “Life’s tough when you’re not working.” Tristan said he found out about the traineeships, which are delivered through the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative, through family living in the Bundaberg area. “They saw the position on Seek and encouraged me to apply,” he said. “There aren’t too many programs like this out there and so I put my application in.” He said Rob, who takes on 10 trainees each intake, was preparing him well for the workforce. “It’s hard work, but going well,” Tristan said. “We’ve been planting and watering and doing plenty of jobs around the area … it teaches you what you need to know and also highlights what you don’t know.” For Rob, Tristan is displaying the approach employers want – disciplined, punctual, polite, someone who follows instructions and works well with others. “For many of those who come through, these traineeships are a real eye-opener,” Rob said. “Our courses not only teach them the skills they will need, but also help build up self-esteem.” Rob started supervising the traineeships in 2018. The current group has planted hundreds of trees in the Steptoe St area, erected fencing, installed irrigation, restored and painted footbridges, helped with projects at Baldwin Swamp and installed protective cages for baby turtles at Elliott Heads and Moore Park. “My goal is to build trust and have the trainees trust me,” Rob said. “We do everything with the crew, even help them look for jobs once the course is completed.” If you’re interested in joining Rob on his next course, which starts in March, make sure you keep an eye on Seek for the traineeships which will appear in late February.