Proof of what’s possible

Whenever I walk into the offices of SVA venture partner Ganbina in Shepparton, I’m always impressed with the commitment displayed by the Ganbina team, as they work to help young Indigenous people in the Goulburn Valley reach their full potential.

And in the case of one particular team member, Meagan O’Shannessy, I guess there’s good reason for her to be committed to Ganbina’s work as she has experienced first hand the benefits of participating in one of their programs.

Through a suite of intensive programs, primarily focused in the area of work readiness and employment, Ganbina motivates Indigenous students to stay at school and achieve successful school-to-work transitions. And Meagan is a great example of the impact these programs are having. At only 22 years of age, Meagan has managed to fulfill several ambitions and is well on the way to making her dreams a reality.

Meagan was first introduced to Ganbina while still at high school, when she participated in one of their programs. Then with Ganbina’s assistance, when Meagan ultimately finished school, she was able to gain full time employment at the City of Greater Shepparton as their Payroll Officer.

Former Ganbina program participant Meagan O’Shannessy at the family dairy.
Former Ganbina program participant Meagan O’Shannessy at the family dairy.

But the story does not finish there. Meagan crossed paths with Ganbina once more when she married her partner Brad and moved to Cooma to the dairy farm owned by Brad’s family. This change in circumstances meant Meagan needed a part time role and Ganbina was quick to recognise her potential. They not only recruited her as their Administration Officer, but also supported her when she expressed a desire to further expand her skill set and enrol in a book keeping course by correspondence.

Recently Meagan and her husband have taken over running the family dairy farm business and she is clearly relishing the challenge of balancing farm work and book keeping for both the farm and Ganbina. Never one to rest on her laurels, Meagan tells me she is keen to grow the family farm business further by developing Bed and Breakfast style accommodation on surrounding land – as well as continuing her volunteer work in the local community, as an active member of the Young Dairy Development Program Committee, a motivational speaker to young Indigenous people on career opportunities, and assisting at the Tatura Op-Shop.

Meagan says she believes there are endless opportunities when you start looking, whatever your circumstances – and I’d suggest she is living proof this is indeed the case. She is truly setting a great example to other participants in Ganbina’s programs of what is possible.