A natural mentor finds her perfect fit

21 January 2021

Emily Fien began her career in public service before becoming a television presenter and an advocate for young Aboriginal people. Following a family tragedy, the Kulin/Yorta Yorta woman decided to focus her strengths as a mentor into a rewarding career, beginning with VU Polytechnic's Certificate IV in Training and Assessment.

“I am a proud Aboriginal woman and mother of two beautiful children. I’ve always been passionate about empowering and working with people from all ages and backgrounds.

By age 19 I had completed two traineeships – with the Department of Justice, and the Department of Innovation, Industry and Regional Development. I soon obtained full-time employment with the Koori Business Network.

I was one the original Tiddas (sisters) on the Marrngrook Footy Show when it started in 2007. I presented on the show for two years while working full time at City of Melbourne. But in 2008 I suddenly lost my sister to suicide, and while I tried to keep going, it was so important for me to take time out to grieve, so I left that position.

I began working part time at Victoria University on the development of a new program, based at Moondani Balluk Indigenous Academic Unit, when I decided to study the TAE40116 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment to develop my skills in learning facilitation.

During the course, all our classroom learning was hands on, with direct access to teachers. The staff are extremely helpful and supportive. It’s a very encouraging environment, especially for students who need the extra support – like those newly arrived in Australia or returning to study.

Since graduating from the course, one of my greatest career highlights was working at the Aboriginal Employment strategy and employing 50 trainees within six months, with 88% retention the following year. I've also worked as an Indigenous mentor and field officer for the AFL, and am currently enjoying my role as an Aboriginal employment consultant.

I thrive while working with my community and I’m passionate about fostering positive relationships, and building my people’s self-determination and economic development through Aboriginal-owned organisations.”

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