HAZEL Douglas has 2000 reasons to smile - the same number of kilometres she travelled to take part in a year-long training program at the University of Southern Queensland.
The university last week welcomed its 2018 cohort for the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traineeship Program, with four new trainees starting on campus to work towards an accredited Certificate III in Business qualification.
It took Ms Douglas three days to travel from Doomadgee in the Gulf Country to Toowoomba.
She said the journey was worth it and she looked forward to the opportunity to boost her skills and gain qualifications before taking her experience back to her community.
Ms Douglas will join the USQ Institute for Agriculture and the Environment Executive Director's office, gaining key organisational skills as she provides administrative support to various researchers.
Other 2018 trainees include Chloe Short (Internal Audit, USQ Springfield), Mikaela Boase (Student Success and Wellbeing, USQ Toowoomba) and Maddison Pashley (Professional Experience Placements, USQ Toowoomba).
The USQ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Traineeship Program is an initiative of the University's Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Career Development and Employment Strategy.
Indigenous employment and inclusion officer Sharron Jackson said it was part of the university's efforts to help close the gap in education, training and employment outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous people.
"Our traineeship program graduates have ventured into further education or employment," Ms Jackson said.
"The program is a great success with its alumni proving to be excellent employees out in the workforce."
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