Recruiter & Mentor, Wirrpanda Foundation
Ashlea Walley is a Recruiter and Mentor at the Wirrpanda Foundation working in the Vocational Training Employment Centre (VTEC) and with the Deadly Sista Girlz Program. Challenged with the requirement to place 250 unemployed Indigenous job seekers within 12 months, into the resource sector, Ashlea is passionate about her role in the VTEC team to engage and mentor individuals through their journey to long term meaningful employment.
In 2014, Andrew Forest’s recommendation to Federal Government was that Indigenous Employment Services were to mirror his own FMG VTEC. The Wirrpanda Foundation were the second VTEC announced of twenty two around Australia and allocated the West Australian resource sector. A role model through her own personal achievements, Ashlea is a young, vibrant and enthusiastic Noongar-Yamatji woman with strong traditional ties to the south and mid-west regions of WA.
She has been recognised with numerous individual and team honours. Ashlea finished school in 2009 to commence an AES Traineeship with Woodside Petroleum culminating in her winning the 2010 Aboriginal Trainee of the Year Award.
In 2011 and 2012, Ashlea was a state finalist in the WA Miss Universe Competition, an experience she says gave her great self-belief, self-confidence, and a positive ‘can-do’ attitude which she has carried into her mentoring role at the Wirrpanda Foundation.
In 2014, Ashlea was crowned Miss NAIDOC Perth, a leadership and empowerment program for young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander women, culminating in the Miss NAIDOC crowning, held during Reconciliation Week. Ashlea continues to be involved in the program by mentoring the new upcoming contestants.
Australia Day 2015, Ashlea was asked to be an Ambassador for Australia Day WA Citizenship Ceremony, where she addressed the Citizenship recipient’s at one of the largest ceremonies held in Australia.
Ashlea believes anyone can achieve anything, has a true respect for culture and diversity and has made a significant positive impact on the individuals and the communities that she works with.