Sanetta loves to help

When she’s not looking after junior residents at her NRL Cowboys House home, Sanetta Nona is studying for her year 12 exams and undertaking a health traineeship part time to one day be a nurse.

Earlier this year the 17-year old from Badu Island accepted a traineeship at the Mater Hospital in Townsville. Sanetta works there one day each week while studying a Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.

“This traineeship will provide me with experience in the different areas of the hospital, teaching admin skills, customer service and how to interpret medical terminology,” she says.

“I’m in hospitality at the moment, so I take food to the patients, like morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea and help the staff in the café.

“So far, the skills I’ve developed are for communication, and that’s helped me to become more confident with people that I don’t know. My next rotation will be to work with older people in the hospital and I’m really looking forward to that part.”

Sanetta [far right] pictured with fellow Mater trainees from Kirwan High School

Sanetta says she is motivated by the thought of returning to the Torres Strait Islands one day to provide nursing care for her family and women and Elders living in remote communities.

“After my traineeship, I want to go to TAFE and study for my diploma, and then work my way into university to study nursing because it will give me the opportunity to help others.”

“Members of my family have health problems and can’t afford health care. With the skills I’ll develop, it will make it easier for them.”

Sanetta is a resident at NRL Cowboys House in Townsville – a supported accommodation for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students from remote North Queensland communities.

The House is funded in part by the Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy, and the staff there help the young residents develop life skills and find pathways into work, training or higher education.

Antonio is a career transitions advisor at the House and says Sanetta sets a good example for other residents.

“Sanetta is so proactive with her career plans and for finishing year 12,” he says.

“She’s setting a really good example for her younger peers here at Cowboys House and also back home in her community, to show people what you can achieve if you focus hard – for example, education, training and employment.”

Sanetta says the tutors encourage her to aim high for success and since joining the House nearly three years ago, she’s been able to pass that encouragement on to the junior residents.

“The juniors here they find hard because they’re new, and they’re a long way from home and so I help them settle in,” she says.

“There’s two of us who are seniors here, and we look after the juniors as though they are our young siblings.

“So I’d say there’s a strong sense of community spirit here – it’s a good place to be.”

First published as Traineeship connects Cowboys House resident to career in health by the Queensland Department of Communities, Housing and Digital Economy.

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