Indigenous Apprenticeships Program - Celina and Danielle

Sisters and co-workers from Services Australia, Danielle and Celina completed the Indigenous Apprenticeship Program (IAP) together.

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From the Anaiwan Tribe in Armidale, NSW, Danielle and Celina never thought they’d work for a government department.

Read Celina and Danielle’s story or watch the video about their experiences in the program.


I was so glad I overcame my fears and applied for the IAP. I’m now a Customer Service Officer in the Newcastle Smart Centre. Before the IAP I was working as a legal secretary.

When I first started my apprenticeship, I worked in the Coffs Harbour Smart Centre. They went above and beyond for me there. They made me feel very comfortable and we had an awesome trainer.

Since my apprenticeship, I’ve had the opportunity to work in various areas in Services Australia. This includes the Families and Seniors teams within the Centrelink Smart Centre Division. I’ve been able to progress from an APS2 to an APS4 from the experience I’ve gained.

I recently returned from maternity leave and was welcomed into the Carers Processing Team. We are responsible for assessing Carer Payment and Carer Allowance claim forms.

Although my older sister Danielle and I work in different offices, it was rewarding to be able to share the IAP experience together.


Before the IAP, I was a single, stay at home mum with 2 kids. I was worried about applying for the IAP after Celina told me about it because I hadn’t worked in many years.

I just said I won’t be able to do it because I didn’t have any faith in myself.

Now I’m a Customer Service Advisor in the Redfern Service Centre. I help customers across a range of payments, programs and services.

Four years after being an apprentice, I’m working on becoming a team leader.

When I applied for the apprenticeship, I had to do an online application then a phone interview. I was nervous during the face-to-face interview, but the interviewers made me feel relaxed about the process.

As part of the apprenticeship you get a mentor, and my mentor is the person who interviewed me. He’s now my team leader, which is good. We’ve got a really close bond because of this.

The most memorable experience I have of the IAP was graduating in Canberra alongside my sister Celina.

Page last updated: 18 March 2024.
QC 49801