National Indigenous Employee of the Year Kirsty O’Keeffe.
National Indigenous Employee of the Year Kirsty O’Keeffe. Supplied

Kirsty puts aspirations in action

MURWILLUMBAH resident Kirsty O’Keeffe has been named the Skilled group’s National Indigenous Employee of the Year.

The 21-year-old Tweed Shire Council trainee has been working in the council’s engineering and operations division for the past 17 months as an employee of national workforce services company, Skilled.

Ms O’Keeffe has dreams of owning her own business.

“It’s been really good working here with a great group of people and I thoroughly enjoy the opportunity I have been given,” Ms O’Keeffe said.

“I had previously worked in retail and having this business and administration certificate will help me to develop skills to perhaps manage or own a business for myself in the future.”

The council’s director of engineering and operations Patrick Knight congratulated Ms O’Keeffe on being able to successfully manage a diverse range of inquiries from road repairs to water and sewer issues.

“You know where you’re going and you’re going to get there fast,” Mr Knight said.

Skilled area supervisor Rachael Quinlan said Ms O’Keeffe’s application was focused on her mentors at the council as opposed to her own achievements.

“You can really see in her application how happy she is at council,” Ms Quinlan said.

“It’s hard to imagine this is the same shy young girl who came to us over a year ago.”

Ms O’Keeffe was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in her early teens and has the extra challenger of managing her insulin at work.

Her indigenous heritage comes from the Corowa family on her mother’s side, with her uncle Larry Corowa a former rugby league international.



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