Val Williams started out with the Cape York Leaders Program as an Academic Leader from 2006–2008. “Ever since then I have always followed and checked on events and news about CYLP…  In 2012 I heard about the new program intake, but was too late to apply… But I still kept an eye out, as I knew there would be another program again in 2014. Early last year I received an email from my cousin… who was a graduate of the CYLP in 2013.

So I applied and was successful.”

Val is currently completing the Youth Leaders phase of the program.

“I decided to join the Leaders Program because I knew this was my opportunity to further and broaden my knowledge in leadership and gain skills to improve… professionally. Listening to guest speakers throughout the program I found was very helpful to me. It helped me to think more about life; what I have and know that makes me who I am today.”

Val says that the Leaders Program has helped her to improve her skills in a variety of areas, including “…public speaking and decision making in my own personal life and in the workplace. Doing the Cert II in Business was a bonus. I have learnt a lot…”

Val is a hard worker and strives to achieve her best in life—not only for herself, but for those around her. “My daughter is my motivation.

As a single mother I keep telling myself, I have to be twice as better as the person I was yesterday. After all, I am her influence, she is with me every day.

Choices I make will always have an effect on her, which is why I make decisions wisely. I tell this to people because I want them to know that, most of the things I do is not about me or all for me, but it is for the people around me; particularly for my family and most importantly my daughter.”

Val attended Youth Leaders training in Cairns in July and while she was there, identified a vacancy at Bama Services—an Indigenous building and landscaping business offering employment, traineeships and multidisciplinary support to Indigenous youth as part of the Cape York Partnership’s economic engagement strategy.

Val prepared her job application, and won the job; she is now employed as a Business Administration Trainee with Bama Services and is enjoying it so far. “I am really enjoying it at Bama. The staff are very helpful and supportive… I am so lucky to be part of this team with such amazing people.”

Val has already achieved so much; we can’t wait to see what her future will bring.