Meet one of our ANU Indigenous trainees, Cherie Walker

28 September 2020

Take advice from people within the ANU community as they may have been through a similar start to yourself

Since starting at the ANU in 2019 with the Indigenous Trainee Program, Cherie has been working in the library rotating through different teams. She has become familiar with tasks such as, desk work, administration, technical services, digitalisation as well as archiving items such as photos, magazines and books. Having the opportunity to work with these tasks has taught Cherie a lot about the University and what it was like long before she came here.

The role of a trainee working to be a librarian has had a considerable impact in introducing Cherie into an office and more “adult” working environment.

Starting within a new line of work has brought its challenges for Cherie. There have been things she wished she had known to make the transition smoother for her. A handful of tips Cherie says that would have helped her would have been: “Keep on top of work and use your time wisely as to not fall behind”; “Make an effort to shine and get noticed”; “Take advice from people within the ANU community as they may have been through a similar start to yourself,” and; “Never be afraid to ask questions.”

Cherie continues with: “Some of the biggest challenges was trying to remember everything, learning to write everything down helped me overcome that as I could look over things again if I forgot them.”

Cherie mentions the reason she decided to take part in the training program was because she needed a job and was willing to try anything in a different area to gain more experience as well as opening doors to new fields in the work force.

During the start of working within a University, Cherie felt she didn’t have a sense of belonging in this environment. “I didn’t do well in school, I thought of myself as less coming here, as this was a smart place with scholars and university students.” Over time and by becoming more confident to talk with others, a sense of belonging formed in with her team, as she felt she was meeting more people who had a similar back story to herself.  When asked if there was anyone who had inspired her during her time at ANU, Cherie has commented, one being her supervisor. “It is inspiring to see people who are in high positions who started from the bottom and worked their way up.”

The most rewarding part of joining the program for Cherie has been a lot of learning about the field of Library Services she is in. Before she didn’t know how much a librarian did, a lot of the tasks she has partaken in, never crossed her mind as jobs that needed to be done. As well as being able to work towards completing her traineeship. “The experience all together has been rewarding, as well as learning about history in the archive.”

“I didn’t take on all advice given to me, like getting out in the ANU community and just going for a walk to discover everything. I wish I took that on earlier because I learnt a lot about the community and how much is actually here and waiting to be discovered.”

For more about the ANU Indigenous Traineeships program, visit