Connect With Your Community / Stories

Hedland Senior High School Women Succeed in Local Traineeships

Hedland Senior High School graduates are using the school’s unique partnerships with local industry to land sought-after traineeships in roles ranging from rail shunting to childcare.

Graduate Mayleen Whap was one of a lucky four selected from 1200 applicants for Fortescue Metals Group’s rail shunting traineeship this year. The structured traineeship provides Port Hedland-based school leavers with an entry level pathway into the mining industry, allowing participants to complete a Certificate II in Shunting under the supervision of Fortescue’s rail shunting team.

The outsize ore trains first caught Mayleen’s eye on a Year 11 school tour of BHP’s Port Hedland operations, inspiring her to take Hedland Senior High School’s Certificate II Rail Infrastructure course during her final year of school. “I liked it,” she said. “I guess I just had a knack.”

The 18-year-old, who moved to Port Hedland from Sydney four years ago, said the wealth of industry and trade pathways the high school offered was eye opening for her. “If I had any advice to other students coming up, I’d say don’t be afraid to jump at opportunities that you think might benefit you,” she said.

Mayleen Whap was one of a lucky four selected from 1200 applicants for Fortescue Metals Group’s rail shunting traineeship this year. Image courtesy of Hedland Senior High School.

For 18-year-old Hedland Senior High School graduate Mae Maureen Tabinas, the dream has always been to work with children. “The High School told me childcare would help me if I ever wanted to get into teaching, so I studied Community, Childcare and Family in Year 11 and 12,” Mae said. “I completed my traineeship during that time by working one day per week at a local childcare centre.” Mae now works fulltime at One Tree Community Services in South Hedland, where she is completing her Diploma in Childcare.

Hedland Senior High School’s location in one of the State’s most industrially orientated towns affords its students unprecedented access to local industries like FMG and One Tree.

Mae Maureen Tabinas with Hedland Senior High School Vocational Education and Training Coordinator Christian Apedaile. Image courtesy of Hedland Senior High School.

All students at the high school are engaged in a pathway by Year 11 to achieving their West Australian Certificate of Education, whether it is towards university entrance, an apprenticeship or traineeship with a local company, or further training or employment by the end of their high school career.

Congratulations Mayleen and Mae and all the graduates of Hedland Senior High School’s 2020 year. We wish you all the best in your new careers here in Port Hedland and across Western Australia.