Mikayla White, a graduate student from St. Margaret’s School discovered a potential career path through volunteer work. Fortunate enough, Mikayla received a job as AFL trainee at her school. She shares with us her Gold Award experiences.

Tell us about your experiences as AFL trainee at St Margaret’s School? I’m an assistant to the Physical Education and sport teaching staff. I coach our sport teams for Girls Sport Victoria including, swimming, netball, softball, athletics, soccer and basketball and I administer the schools Phys Ed and sport program. A typical day in my position as AFL trainee would start with tallying up the sport scores from the matches the night before as well as organising the sport kits for GSV matches and checking equipment is ready and safe to use. I also help out with the PE classes which is always a bit of fun. At the end of the day I’m either coaching a training session for one of the GSV sports or a match. This term is basketball and I coach the intermediate team on a Wednesday and Thursday after school.

What are the highlights and challenges? Biggest highlight would have to be working with all my old teachers, as I used to be a St Margaret’s girl. I’ve developed such great relationships with them all and am so lucky to have been given this opportunity. Greatest challenges would have to be the long hours. A job as great as this has to have one downside to it, although I’ve never been one to shy away from a challenge sometimes the early mornings and late nights can be a little bit of a struggle.

Mikayla participated in Lady Somers Camp (pictured above) for her Residential Project. A definite highlight of her Gold Award experience.

Tell us about your Lady Somers Camp experience? Lady Somers Camp was the single greatest thing I have ever chosen to do so far in my life. It is a camp that tests you mentally, physically and emotionally, the duration of the camp is a week and you do countless numbers of activities throughout that time, from group sporting games, to listening to incredibly touching guest speakers. I also have attended multiple community camps that the Lord Somers and Power House community offers. These are all life changing camps and I highly recommend them to any one that is interested in applying. I’ve made so many friends and I’ve continued to volunteer with this organisation which has taught me many life lessons and skills that will stay with me for a life time.

Why did you want to complete your Gold Award? What advice can you give others completing theirs? I’ve always wanted to complete my Duke of Ed award, ever since I heard about it in year 7, I knew it was something that would be so much fun and may at times be challenging, so something definitely right up my alley. My advice would be to stick with it. At times it may get tough or like myself, you may not have much time to complete it. It is such a rewarding experience and over time you meet some inspiring people and may get the chance to help others in need or those less fortunate than yourself. Completing any level of your Duke of Ed award is something to celebrate as it an incredible achievement and to receive it shows great skill and perseverance.

Mikayla continues to work as AFL trainee as she pursues her interests in sport teaching and coaching. She is an excellent example of the skills that young Victorians gain from achieving their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. Her efforts will be celebrated amongst other great participants at the Gold Award Gala next month.

Check out the event here.

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