Austral Academy: Cairns Youth & Careers Expo

Austral Academy: Cairns Youth & Careers Expo
September 05, 2023

Last week was a busy week for the Austral Academy team with school engagement activities planned in Perth, WA and Cairns, QLD.

One stop was the Cairns Youth & Careers Expo 2023 organised by the Business Liaison Association. This marked the first careers expo in Cairns Austral has attended!

Ash got to catch up with the Cairns team without the hustle and bustle of crew getting the vessels ready to depart for the season and check out what they get up to when the boats are out (hint: lots of turtle excluder devices being sewn into nets!).

By the Wednesday afternoon, Austral’s stand was set up and ready for over 4,400 students and job seekers from Cairns toAtherton, Woree, Innisfail, and Gordonvale to visit and learn about all things careers and commercial fishing.

Joining Ash at this expo was many of our Cairns team- Bryan (Fleet Operations Manager- Northern Prawn Fishery), Isaac (Fleet Operations), Anthony (Fleet Engineer) and Marianne (Quality Consultant). Isaac got to showcase his rope splicing skills, Bryan demonstrated the devices the fishery uses to reduce our bycatch, Anthony shared how students completing a trade could become Marine Engineers and Marianne stopped by to show her support- all this happened in between running the virtual reality prawn trawling experience, doing giveaways, chatting with industry and other businesses about their services, educating teachers about the Austral Academy and of course, engaging students and visitors about the rewarding adventures they could embark on with a career in commercial fishing.

“It was fantastic to have some of our Cairns team take the time to attend the expo. Students really enjoyed hearing about career pathways from the people who live and breathe it every day. If anything, it was great to have keen local fishers there to chat with students and visitors about their most impressive catches or best local fishing spots. Exhibitors, job seekers, students, and teachers asked some great questions to understand our operations and opportunities in our industry better. For many it came as a surprise that one of Australia’s largest commercial fishing companies operates in their backyard, so it was great to raise awareness about what we do and highlight the importance of sustainable fishing for future generations and the supply of wild caught seafood,” said Ash, Human Resources.

Once again, the VR proved a huge hit with some scores not quite high enough to beat the official top score of 6500. Isaac and Bryan had a great time watching students attempt virtual prawn sorting whilst reliving memories of actually sorting prawns at sea on a rocking vessel.

Our stall alone was packed with all sorts of action but wandering around the expo hall, there were so many job opportunities available to students and fun, hands-on activities for them to try from a variety of businesses and industries: film and television, defence, manufacturing, professional services, health and more!

It was great to see the students from Redlynch State College and Smithfield State High School we had previously delivered a talk to earlier in the year, stop by for a chat and express interest in joining our crew for the 2024 Banana prawn season. Of course, it was also exciting to share with students and other attendees the possibility that they could be paid to do what they enjoy doing in their down time.

Safe to say, this wasn’t an average day at work for our Cairns team but it was a great opportunity for them to share what they do and how they got to where they are today with the next generation.

If you enjoy fishing and being at sea, a career with Austral Fisheries might be for you! Get in touch with us today to find out how you can have a sea change and Adventure with Austral.