Stanthorpe trainee shows real commitment to career
STANTHORPE-based event management company SlyDogz is singing the praises of 18-year-old employee Kayla Jordan who was announced among the top three finalists for the Queensland Trainee of the Year award for the Darling Downs South West region.
The Stanthorpe State High School graduate started her traineeship with owners Ian and Karen Wade-Parker at the beginning of last year after impressing the pair with her enthusiasm at their first Stanthorpe Rocks Concert at the end of 2013.
"We approached the high school to ask if any of their students would be interested in some work experience and they mentioned Kayla," Ian said.
"She virtually finished school on the Friday and came down to volunteer on the Saturday.
"Giving up going to Schoolies to gain work experience showed real commitment to us."
So Ian and Karen tracked Kayla down in the new year, poaching her from her casual job at Red Rooster.
For Kayla, the opportunity to work in her chosen field and still be able to live in her home town was a dream come true.
Which is exactly the point Karen and Ian Wade-Parker wanted to highlight by nominating Kayla.
"We wanted to showcase that opportunities for local people do exist," Karen said.
"But of course we wouldn't have been able to do it if Kayla wasn't a worthy candidate."
As her final piece of assessment, Karen and Ian gave Kayla a project - a not-for-profit event that she was to organise herself.
So, on Valentine's Day, Kayla held Colour for a Cure - a Colour Run along Quart Pot Creek raising money for Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
With a pool of $6000 at the end of the event, Kayla became the top fundraiser in Australia.
"I wasn't expecting it to be as big as it was."
What started out as a joke between sisters planted the seed that would eventually grow into Kayla's burgeoning career.
"My sister took me along to a Nickelback concert a while back and suggested that I become an event manager so she can see bands for free all the time," she said.
"I didn't think I could do something like that but the more I looked into it, the more it seemed like a really good idea."
If Kayla is successful at the Queensland Trainee of the Year awards ceremony in Toowoomba on August 7, against Briahna Pritchard studying a Certificate III in Business Administration and Jordan Williams studying a Certificate II in Civil Construction, she will go on to the state finals in Brisbane.
The winners will compete at the national finals in November.