Trainees meet Minister

26 June 2018
Sport and Recreation Minister Mick Murray recently met with four of the recipients of the Wirrpanda Foundation’s Indigenous Sport and Recreation Traineeship.

Trainees with Minister Mick Murray

Blake Little, Ben McGuire, Andrew James and Ashleigh Woods have received an Indigenous Sport and Recreation Traineeship through the foundation.

The traineeship gives them 12 months of employment placement (with a strong focus on facilitating an ongoing employment opportunity) and they will do their Certificate III in Sport and Recreation.

They will also be given culturally appropriate mentoring support through one of Wirrpanda’s Aboriginal youth employment mentors and the opportunity to engage with their local community.

The project is a partnership between the Foundation and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries. The trainees are aged 17 – 24 and working around the state.

Meet the trainees

Ben McGuire                                                                                    

UWA Sports

Finished Year 12 at Trinity College 2017, as well as completing a school-based traineeship in customer service with Qantas. Ben is very committed to playing with East Perth FC Colts and potentially a long-term football career. He has enjoyed previous experiences doing voluntary and sports mentoring work in remote North West WA and with children from Ireland. As a young Nyoongar man, Ben is passionate about his Aboriginal culture, learning more about it and sharing this with others.

Andrew James


Andrew is a local boy from Broome who completed his schooling through the Clontarf Aboriginal College as well as at home through Broome SHS, finishing last year. A talented footballer, Andrew has been excited to take up an opportunity in his home town where he can progress his sport and recreation career. Andrew continues to be involved in a range of sporting development initiatives locally and throughout the Kimberley including remote communities which he is thoroughly enjoying.

Ashleigh Woods

Albany Leisure and Aquatic Centre

Ashleigh entered into the sport and recreation traineeship program after successfully starting an internship at ALAC where her skills and attitude made a positive impression. As a more experienced trainee, Ashleigh brings experience working in the mining industry, having done previous certificates in business administration. She is committed to sharing her passion for health, sport and fitness with the local community, especially contributing to making a positive social and health impact within the Aboriginal community in Albany.

Blake Little

Nyoongar Wellbeing and Sports

Finished Year 12 at Sevenoaks College 2017 and was part  of the Clontarf Academy. Blake impressed in the work he did as a school-based trainee with the WA Football Commission.  He obtained certificates in sport and recreation as well as woodworking before finishing high school. He also won a variety of outstanding awards during this time: Aboriginal Student of the Year, Trainee of the Year, Phys Ed Award (whole school) and Clontarf Rising Star Award.

Blake plays with Perth FC Colts and is driven in pursuing his football goals and becoming a role model to other Indigenous boys.

Allee Bartlett                                                                  

Geraldton Sporting Aboriginal Corporation (not pictured)

Allee is a Wadjarri woman born and raised in the Mid West region. She entered the sport and recreation traineeship program after finishing Year 12 last year at Geraldton Secondary College. Allee brought her experience in the sport and recreation community in Geraldton to the role, having been involved in playing, coordinating and officiating across a number of different sports. She has broadened her skills and experience through successive involvement in both Imparja Cup (cricket) and Kirby Bentley Cup (football), representing her region and WA as a proud Indigenous female.