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Leaping Into Employment

Emily Maiorana

20 July 2023

Riley's Game Changers Story

Feeling job ready and understanding career opportunities can be both an overwhelming and difficult concept to grasp for those in the early stages of their job seeking journey. Young people within our community consistently face barriers to employment and are often not exposed to available support services. This leads to challenges in obtaining meaningful employment and affects their confidence to apply for roles. Young people are told their lack of experience is a main reason for not being successful when applying for roles. We also know young people struggle to find meaningful opportunities to gain relevant work experience. Game Changers fills the experience gap by providing real world opportunities for young people to develop experience and transferable skills through our workshops, Pitch Event and Employment Experiences. 

Fostering a hands on and problem-solving based learning approach, Game Changers creates an environment where all people feel they can belong and are able to develop skills essential to successfully obtaining sustainable employment. Empowered to reflect and identify their own strengths, Game Changers provides participants with the chance to create and pitch their ideas and solutions to a social issue to a panel of industry experts. Successful program participants can also take part in a paid Employment Experience working on a project at The Huddle. 

Riley is a 17-year-old male born and raised in Wyndham. Riley has been a participant in The Huddle’s Huddle Up! And Huddle Holidays programs since 2022. His commitment and enthusiastic character led staff to encourage Riley to register for Game Changers in Wyndham.

“They told me I would be a perfect fit and after completing the course and Pitch Event I can say that everyone who had suggested the program was correct. I had a blast.” 

Riley attended four days of workshops, learning about ideation frameworks, problem solving and transferable skills and was able to meaningfully connect with his peers, displaying excellent leadership qualities in the process.

Posed with the question “How can we create an engaging and sustainable event for young people in Wyndham which leverages the power of sport to promote social inclusion?” Riley worked in a collaborative partnership with other participants to create a presentation highlighting their lived experiences in struggling to access sport when growing up. They also provided insights into how they didn’t feel accepted in many organised sports clubs and competitions because of their cultural identity. Their idea to help young people facing similar challenges was to hold a series of free sports clinics and events, which also celebrated the cultural diversity of the participants involved. 

Riley’s passion and ideas captivated staff at The Huddle, leading to him being offered a paid Employment Experience, working on the implementation of the Spring Huddle Slam, a basketball tournament for young people within his local community.

“Game Changers has provided me with an amazing position in helping design the next Huddle basketball tournament and I am looking forward to being able to work surrounded by intelligent and fun people who share my love of sports and creating an inclusive environment.”

By participating in Game Changers, Riley was able to improve his transferable skills, gain experience and be more confident within himself.

“The Game Changers program has helped me be more aware of the career opportunities available, I will definitely be suggesting any future programs like this one to friends, as a lesson I have learned from participating in Game Changers is that everyone deserves a chance to be able to showcase their talent, and have it be seen and put to use with the help of experts in the field”. 

Riley will begin his paid Employment Experience in July 2023 and hopes to work casually within other sports programs at The Huddle. 

The Huddle would like to thank program partner Equal Ed and funding partner Wyndham City Council for their support of Game Changers in Wyndham.

If you are interested in participating in Game Changers or would like tailored 1-on-1 career support* from The Huddle, please contact:

Emily Maiorana - Careers Coordinator (The Huddle)


Phone: 0478 756 418 

* 1-on-1 Game Changers sessions by appointment


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