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  • Hear from recent Indigenous cadets

    Read about the experiences of some of our recent cadets and what attracted them to our Indigenous cadetship program.

    Program participants


    Roshene Cowburn

    Roshene Cowburn

    I started a Bachelor of Laws at university straight out of high school. After completing my first year of study, I decided to apply for the ATO Indigenous cadetship program to gain practical experience in a professional environment. This would allow me to apply and develop the skills that I had been learning at university.

    The application process was relatively straightforward. The most challenging aspect was the panel interview which was nerve-wracking at first, but the panellists do their best to ensure that you are comfortable and relaxed. They made the overall interview process as easy and stress-free as possible.

    The highlights of my cadetship so far are the opportunities to apply and develop skills I have been learning in my studies, and to network and make connections with other staff in the office. The flexibility with work hours has allowed me to comfortably balance my work, study and personal commitments. I also appreciate the guidance and support I have received from my managers and work colleagues.

    The advice I would give to future applicants is to make sure that they capitalise on every opportunity that they are given, and take the time to network and make connections with others in the office.

    I strongly urge Indigenous university students to apply for the Indigenous cadetship program at the ATO. It opens you up to opportunities and experiences that can set you up for a rewarding career.


    John Berry

    John Berry

    I'm originally from Darwin and had worked in the public sector for a few years before going back to university. After starting my studies overseas, I am now completing a Commerce degree with a major in Finance at Monash University.

    I applied for the ATO Indigenous cadetship program to gain experience in a professional environment that matches my degree, allowing real life application of the skills I've been learning.

    The financial assistance with university fees and generous salary has been a real bonus.

    The application includes a range of support tools to help you succeed. The panel interview may seem daunting at first, but the panellists really help you to relax and feel comfortable. It also provides you an opportunity to network with other Indigenous cadets from various universities and disciplines.

    The main highlights of my cadetship so far have been the opportunity to network and to practically apply my education in a corporate environment.

    The level of support that I have received from my manager and various rotation teams has been amazing. My manager has made every effort to place me in business lines that complement my degree. Team members really make you feel welcome and are more than helpful in explaining any concepts that you are unsure of.

    My advice to future applicants is to be confident in your own abilities; you never know what you can achieve if you just give it a go. Also take every opportunity to network and make new connections.

    The ATO is more than just accounting. I'd strongly recommend Indigenous full-time university students undertaking a degree in a wide variety of fields to consider being part of the Indigenous cadet program at the ATO – it can be a rewarding career path.

    Program Manager

    Entry Level Programs team

    Karen Ahern

    Karen Ahern

    I am a proud Aboriginal woman and my people are the Kurnai/Gunnai from East Gippsland in Victoria.

    The ATO was my first job straight out of school. I sat a public service “special measures” test and was lucky enough to be successful and offered a job at the ATO.

    Over the years I have undertaken various roles within the public service and in the community which have provided the opportunity to gain new skills and knowledge.

    I am a Program Manager with the Entry Level Programs team. I have been involved in the development, implementation and management of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander programs nationally across the ATO. I am also involved in various Aboriginal networks both within the ATO and external to the ATO.

    I am able to share my knowledge and experience with participants whilst supporting, help them understand the expectations of the program and how to take ownership to succeed and advance their careers in the ATO.

    A highlight for me is when an Indigenous cadet successfully completes the program with new skills and knowledge in their career journey.

    Last modified: 15 Jan 2018QC 49424