Kayla Mallie became a mother at 14 and, as a result, left school early. “I dropped out at the end of year 8… I took that year off to look after my son.”

But with a strong determination to provide her children with a better life and build a career for herself, she later returned to TAFE to complete her high school certificate. “It was very hard, especially being a full-time mother and studying… you have to deal with people judging you—people thinking that your life was over… and that’s where I had to prove them wrong.”

In early 2014, Kayla was employed by Bama Services as an Administrative Assistant in a traineeship position. Kayla has gone from strength to strength at Bama, growing her administration and work skills, and building a strong foundation for a future career that will set her up as an excellent role model and source of support for her children.

After showing an interest in working with the Support and Wellbeing Program, and performing at a high level throughout her traineeship, Kayla was recently promoted to the position of Support and Wellbeing Program Coordinator, with a career plan in place to eventually run the program.

In August this year, Kayla’s efforts were also recognised when she took out a major training award—Far North Queensland’s Trainee of the Year. She also went on to become a finalist in the State division.

Kayla had to undergo a series of rigorous interviews while in the running for the award, and came out on top. Kayla describes the award as a “big achievement”, but she is also continuing to look to the future.

In terms of what comes next, Kayla wants to “get qualifications now, and help other young mothers and Indigenous people—that’s what drives me… and to be a good role model for my children.”

Kayla continues to be a much valued member of the Bama Services team, and we are proud as we watch her continue to grow.