Knowing the drill

Jane Alia was a teenager when she arrived in Australia as a refugee.

At age 17, with a keen desire to understand more about health care services she undertook an Australian School-based Apprenticeship and is now a fully-qualified dental assistant.

“I believe my past has really shaped me to be the young person I am today," Jane said.

"I wanted to join the medical profession because it is so important to have your health, and understand how to be healthy.

“When my high school career adviser told me of the Certificate III in Dental Assisting, and explained to me how helpful it would be as a beginning to my career, I started an Australian School-Based Apprenticeship.

“Now, not only have I finished my Year 12 Certificate, but I already have a profession. To me education is the key to success."

Jane is now enrolled in a Bachelor of Nursing at Charles Darwin University having completed a Certificate III in Aged Care and a Certificate IV in Disability in 2016.

In her spare time, Jane volunteers at various community organisations in Darwin, is a Student Ambassador for Charles Darwin University, formal chair of Multicultural Youth  Northern Territory and is the Ambassador for World Refugee Week Northern Territory.

Jane was the recipient of the Minister for Young Territorians' Excellence in Youth Leadership Award and a Layne Beachley Aim for the Stars Foundation grant.

Jane was also the 2012 Northern Territory School-based Apprentice of the Year and was a finalist the same year at the Australian Training Awards.

“I would tell other young people especially coming from a migrant or refugee background to really approach these opportunities.

“We are given so many opportunities here in Australia. It really is the lucky country!

“If you're passionate about something, if there's an apprenticeship or traineeship available, take it. Don't let anything put you down. It doesn't matter where you come from.

“Let your past go and shape your future now,” Jane said.

To see Jane in action watch The Dental Assistant: Jane’s Story.

If you are interested in an Australian Apprenticeship and how to get started, download An Australian Apprenticeship - Endless Career Possibilities brochure or contact your local Australian Apprenticeship Support Network provider.

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