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Increasing employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students


Mater Education, Metro North Hospital and Health Services (MNHHS) and Group Training Organisation, Australian Training Works (ATW) are proudly partnering to deliver the Deadly Start School Based Traineeship program. The Deadly Start Pathways program is a workforce development initiative created by MNHHS, to increase health related training and employment opportunities for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander high school students. It is a great opportunity for young people to kickstart their career in the health sector, whilst earning money.

Students undertaking the Deadly Start Pathways program gain a nationally recognised HLT23215 Certificate II in Health Support Services qualification offered through Mater Education. Upon completion of the Certificate II, they will be employed by ATW to commence a paid school-based traineeship and acquire a Certificate III at MNHHS in one of the following areas:

  • Nursing
  • Patient Support Services
  • Dental Assisting
  • Allied Health (Speech Pathology, Physiotherapy, Social Work, Occupational Therapy)
  • Health Administration

Where students pursue a nursing, allied health or patient support services traineeship, Mater Education will continue to deliver training through a Certificate III In Health Support Services or Certificate III in Allied Health Assistance.

Natalie Fraser, Project Officer (MNHHS) is passionate about the benefits this program offers not only to our young people but also the wider community. “I think it is a great program for growing our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce in the health sector. We don’t have enough of our mob working in health and this program has the capacity to provide a clear pathway into employment and/or further education in health-related programs. Participants will be scaffolded by a dedicated and culturally strong network of clinicians and professional staff from Metro North’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce and wider community, both internal and external to MNHHS.”

“With the traineeship being paid, it is a great incentive for our young people to earn money, whilst also developing their knowledge and practical skills in a clinical setting. Further to this, trainees will have opportunities to connect with Metro North’s existing Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander workforce, where they will be encouraged, supported and inspired to contribute to the advancement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in their community. We want our young people to complete their traineeship at MNHHS with a tool-box of skills and strategies that will prepare them for a career in health and community”.

This year, 29 students from Metropolitan and the Greater Brisbane region in year 11 have chosen to take part in the Deadly Start school-based traineeship program. Moving into 2021, the plan is for the program to expand to 60 trainees. Students wishing to undertake the program in 2021 will enrol in the Certificate II with Mater Education and engage in study from January 2021 through to June 2021. Once they have completed their Certificate II, they will transition into the Certificate III of their choice and complete their paid traineeship program throughout the remainder of Year 11 into Year 12.

The program acknowledges, respects and celebrates the diverse life experiences of our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander trainees and considers these experiences as personal strengths, which are highly valued by Metro North Hospital Health Service and Mater Education.

If you or someone you know is interested in the Deadly Start program, applications for our January 2021 intake are now open! Click here to connect with the team for your opportunity to undertake a school-based traineeship in healthcare.