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Photography by Carbon Media and supplied by National Indigenous Youth Parliament 2017, Australian Electoral Commission

Talei began her career in the Australian Public Service as a participant of the 2015 Indigenous Australian Government Development Program (IAGDP). After completing the 15 month program Talei was offered a position with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet, Community and Economic Development Division.

Talei comes from Seisia which is a small community of about 200 people in Far North Queensland. Her main hesitation about joining the Australian Public Service was that the role was based in Canberra. This meant relocating and living in a new city where she only knew a few people. However, since making the move, Talei has created log lasting friendships with members of her IAGDP cohort and colleagues.

Feeling proud working for the Australian Public Service Talei shares ‘I am working on projects and policies that can make a positive change to the lives of Indigenous Australians and to the broader Australian society. Knowing that I am in a position that can really make difference or have an influence on the decisions and policies that affect my community, and my family – that inspires me to do my job, and to do the best possible job I can.’

Talei has shown her family and relatives that no matter where you are from, or how far you may feel like you are from opportunities, this should not hold you back. Since joining the APS, Talei has been supported through her employer to undertake learning and development; she recently commenced a Bachelor of Business Administration with the Australian National University, and also participated in this year’s 2017 National Indigenous Youth Parliament.

Advice Talei provides to others is to “seize every opportunity that comes your way. I have recommended the APS to most my family members. I told them that it was an incredible opportunity to be at the frontline of decisions and policies, that it was an excellent place to build both a career and skills.’