Past and Present Trainees Together

The City of Greater Bendigo is proud of the fact that it runs a successful and coordinated traineeship and apprenticeship program. At any given time, there are multiple trainees working for the City in different teams, whether that is Property Services, Community Strengthening, Bendigo Venues and Events, or YO Bendigo.

In 2023 YO Bendigo hired its first trainee, Ella Filsell. Ella started with YO Bendigo in February 2023 and was able to use this experience to coordinate her future pathways and open doors that she previously hadn’t known about. At the beginning Ella found herself at a crossroads. Unsure of whether to pursue a career or to further her education, she grappled with uncertainty about her future. Ella is a self-proclaimed planner and likes to know what is coming. The YO Bendigo Business Administration traineeship provided her with the invaluable gift of time—to pause, reflect, and chart a course for what she wanted to do with her future.  

Throughout the role, Ella found countless opportunities for personal and professional growth. She discovered a passion for writing and content creation, and honing skills in administration. The supportive environment fostered a newfound confidence, both in her work but also in herself.

Since completing the Business Administration Traineeship Ella joined the casual admin pool at the City of Greater Bendigo and was able to assist in the planning, development and execution of the 2024 Be Well Be Connected Expo for older adults and people with disabilities. Now she is back in the YO Bendigo team on a short-term contract. Her whole journey has come full circle, and we can’t wait to see what Ella does next.

Caitlin and Ella

YO Bendigo hired their second trainee in February of 2024, Caitlin VanDolderen. Caitlin sees the traineeship as a great stepping stone to a future career in the hope of supporting herself and her three-year-old son. In the 3 months since her starting with YO Bendigo she has learnt so much and already feels as though she has gained so much knowledge that will be able to help her in the future. She is grateful of the team she works with every day as well as Greg Harris who supports the City of Greater Bendigo’s trainees, and Rochelle Whalen who is her support and contact from CVGT. Caitlin feels grateful for the opportunity and looks forward to where she will go next once the traineeship is finished.

Leon Moulden, Youth Lead who supervises the YO Bendigo trainees said, “YO Bendigo has been lucky to have two wonderful engaging young trainees in a row with Ella Filsell and now Caitlin VanDolderen our current trainee.”  He continued by saying “This is a practical example of the City's commitment to empowering young people - providing a hands-on traineeship that allows young people to learn and earn at the same time, and while supporting other young people in our programs to learn skills, develop their voice, and have a say in our community.”

Greg Harris the City’s Work Placement Officer who oversees all trainees and apprentices had this to say regarding Ella Filsell and Caitlin VanDolderen, “With a wealth of information of YO Bendigo, Ella took Caitlin under her wing in Caitlin’s first week to provide the knowledge that was required, along with a comprehensive handover on the role. Thank you both for ‘paying it forward’ you are a credit to yourselves and the team. Well done!”

Through the City of Greater Bendigo’s Youth Action Plan 2023-2024, YO Bendigo is committed to providing skills development, career planning, and pathways to employment opportunities. Traineeships are a real-world expression of this commitment, along with the work experience and volunteering opportunities that YO Bendigo offers. The City’s Youth Action Plan speaks of empowering young people to make the most of life’s opportunities so that they are inspired, heard, and valued. What better way to do this than to provide a young person with a pathway to a professional career.

Caitlin and Ella

Article written by Ella Filsell and Caitlin VanDolderen