Issue 10
Monday, 03 December 2018
Charles Darwin University
Business Administration student Kimberly Brewster with her Australian Training Award trophy
Business Administration student Kimberly Brewster with her Australian Training Award trophy

Kimberly’s star shines brightly

By Patrick Nelson

Shining star Kimberly Brewster’s heart was full of pride and gratitude in the moments after being named Australian Trainee of the Year, an award she thought she had no chance of winning.

She was so sure that the prize would go to an interstate rival, Kimberly didn’t even have her speech notes at hand.

“Like all the finalists, I had a speech prepared,” Kimberly said. “Mine was typed on my phone, but just before we all went up on stage, I thought I won’t need this, so I gave it to a friend to look after.”

But win she did; the only one of eight Territory finalists to collect a trophy at the Australian Training Awards ceremony this year.

“So, I thanked everyone who has helped me during my training journey and shared some of my experiences,” she said.

Her story touched some deeply.

“Someone said that I made some people cry.”

Kimberly has come a long way in the short few years since she was a homeless teenage mother of two. Having just given birth to her first child while in Year 12, she was worried that a lack of formal training and experience would mean that she would never be given a chance.

But she secured a traineeship with Programmed and host company ConocoPhillips, which marked the beginning of a life-changing time.

“My whole life has changed since starting the traineeship, from my expectations to the way I communicate. I have gradually taken on additional responsibilities as my skills and knowledge have developed.

“I am an example of what hard work and determination can lead to.”

A “Gurindji girl”, Kimberly is studying Certificate IV in Business Administration at CDU’s Waterfront campus, having previously graduated with a Certificate III.

“My employer allows me to study one day a week. It helps a lot to spend the day here, isolate myself in a classroom environment, meet the lecturers at a personal level and ask lots of questions. It works for me.”

She’s already thinking about further studies next year.

“Maybe in human resources or project management. My wish is to become an advocate and visit schools, communities and mothers’ groups, and reach out to those students who, like me, could fall through the cracks.

“I’m a proud Territorian and very proud working with ConocoPhillips,” she said.