Ben McGuire, a Noongar man and Wirrpanda Foundation participant, has been named Trainee of the Year by North Metropolitan TAFE for his work as the Customer Service Officer for UWA Sport.
Ben was selected to be part of our State-wide Indigenous Sport & Recreation Traineeship Project, which partnered with Indigenous community organisations, sport associations and local governments to facilitate Aboriginal sport and recreation traineeship positions. When asked about his experience Ben said:
"Giving young Indigenous people like me opportunities to excel in a degree or traineeship is so important. I've got a lot of responsibility because I'm the face of UWA Sport. I'm really proud of that and I want to set a good standard for myself and my team."
Working closely with the Wirrpanda Foundation, Ben learnt how to balance employment, education, and sport through the support of his mentor Chance Bateman. Completing his traineeship by achieving a Certificate III in Sport and Recreation and securing ongoing employment through his placement at UWA Sport has put him in a strong position for future opportunities. “I’m thankful for the opportunities I’ve been given and want to make the most of them,” Ben said.
While studying Ben continued to play for East Perth Football Club and made his WAFL debut this 2019 season. Through his personal experiences as an athlete Ben is able to better connect with the student athletes he is responsible for in his full-time role at UWA Sport.
The Wirrpanda Foundation thanks the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries for their support with the Indigenous Sport & Recreation Traineeship Project, helping make stories like Ben a reality.