• Thomas Hammond with his peers at Qantas. (Supplied)Source: Supplied
Clontarf Academy students realise the sky is the limit thanks to a $450k funding boost from Qantas.
Tara Callinan

4 Feb 2016 - 10:50 AM  UPDATED 4 Feb 2016 - 12:02 PM

Thomas Hammond, a young Gamilaroi man from Tamworth in NSW, has been spending one day per week at Qantas to get a feel for adult life.

“I normally work an 8-hour shift; I get in, check my emails, see my supervisor and get a range of tasks to complete over the day.”

“I’ve learnt how to work in a professional environment, perform stocktakes, be organised and work to deadlines ... as well as life skills, and just knowing how to talk to adults,” said Mr Hammond.

Thomas is one of 70 students from the Clontarf Foundation taking part in Qantas’ Indigenous School Based Traineeship program.

This week, Qantas announced its continued support for Clontarf, with a $450,000 sponsorship deal.

This will be used to fund traineeships and employment opportunities offered to Indigenous students over the next three years.

Qantas Group Executive for Brand Marketing and Corporate Affairs, Olivia Wirth said the partnership with Clontarf is more than a monetary donation.

“At Qantas, we are in a unique position to be able to offer these students real experiences in many dynamic and varied roles, whether it’s through our Indigenous School Based Traineeship program, or as part of our Qantas Graduate Program which offers placements specifically for Indigenous candidates,” she said.

Thomas, who is currently completing year 12 at Oxley High School, is already guaranteed full-time employment with Qantas at the end of this year.

Clontarf Foundation Chief Executive Officer, Gerard Neesham says it’s important that regional students like Thomas get the same opportunities as boys from the city.

He welcomed Qantas’ continued support and thanked them for improving the education and self-esteem of young Aboriginal men across Australia.

“This funding will enable us to keep providing intensive support and mentoring to young Indigenous men in our academies around the country."

“Allowing our full-time staff to complete early morning school pick-ups, provide meals for the boys, purchase appropriate clothing and equipment and immerse the boys each day in as many rich experiential learning activities as possible such as leadership camps, carnivals, worksite visits and a whole lot more,” Mr Neesham said.