Finding joy in teaching and mentoring young apprentices

Posted on 03/07/2023

Max Browne, a Larrakia Wulna and Wakka Wakka man, started his apprenticeship when he was 17 years old. He completed a Certificate III in Refrigeration and Air Conditioning and went on to do another Certificate III in Electronic Technology before becoming an electrician.

Switching his career and becoming a Field Officer with Apprenticeship Careers Australia was a natural progression for Max because he gained satisfaction from teaching apprentices when he was working as a tradesperson. “I thought I would do all right teaching young kids – apprentices and mentoring them.”

Through his work as a Field Officer, Max believes he has made a difference in his community. “Even if it’s just a small win, I get a sense of satisfaction seeing people succeed. I am enjoying my current role and I highly encourage any First Nations peoples out there to do an apprenticeship or traineeship. There are lifelong skills that you’ll learn; you get a qualification out of it, and you really build some confidence in yourself too.” 

This year’s NAIDOC Week theme is For Our Elders, and Max thanked his mother, Julie, for supporting him. She said: “As an elder, my role is to help maintain traditions, stories, and culture. I am also responsible for strengthening family connections for today’s and tomorrow’s generation. There is an old proverb that states those who respect the elderly pave their own road toward success. This is so true for my son Max.”

Julie shared that Max has great reverence and respect for his elders and through them, and herself as his mother, Max has carved out his own road toward success by listening to his elders’ wisdom and guidance. “He has achieved many things in his career. I am confident that Max can also encourage other apprentices and trainees on the same road to success.”