CareerTrackers is helping Indigenous students thrive at university, setting up long-term internships and ensuring they get great jobs at the end of their degrees. 

Story Ken Eastwood   

As she prepared to finish her schooling at Longreach State High a few years ago, Keely Perry got in touch with CareerTrackers. A national non-profit organisation with more than 1,000 successful alumni stories, CareerTrackers aims to help Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people  successfully transition to university and ultimately work. It sets up long-term paid internships and provides support along the way. Since starting her Bachelor of Biotechnology degree at the University of Queensland, Keely has had five successful internships with four different companies, and is now doing her Honours degree.

“The really broad outline of CareerTrackers is to improve your chance of being successful when you go to uni,” Keely says. “Even if Indigenous people get to university, the chance of them graduating is very low.”

Thankfully, CareerTrackers is changing those odds. According to the organisation’s partnerships manager, Emma Guest, CareerTrackers alumni outperform their non-Indigenous peers. They complete their degrees faster and graduate at a higher rate. Almost 90% graduate from university and 95% of the graduates are in full-time employment within 3 months of completing their studies, starting on median salaries of $62,000 a year. “Since 2009, we have been changing the face of corporate Australia,” she says. “The CareerTrackers ecosystem supports our community to achieve generational change, and create long-term sustainable pathways for our students to enter professional employment.”

This story excerpt is from Issue #143

Outback Magazine: June/July 2022