Inspirational Petta gains qualifications in just 12 months

26 July 2021

Sea Swift worker and new mother Petta Nona is proving an inspiration after gaining qualifications from the marine transport company’s highly-successful traineeship program in record time.

Petta, who hails from Badu Island in the Torres Strait, recently achieved both her Certificate III in Warehouse and Storage Operations and a forklift licence after entering Sea Swift’s traineeship program in Cairns in April 2020.

The TAFE course was scheduled to take 24 months, but Petta completed this in half the allotted time, despite giving birth to her daughter Zafia 11 months ago.

Petta said she hopes to inspire her peers and other young Indigenous woman that you can do anything you put your mind to.

“I’m a big believer in taking every opportunity as they come, as you don’t when the next one may arrive,” she said.

“I am an example that this is possible, and I have so much confidence looking back, knowing what I have achieved as a young woman while being a mum and working.

“I would like to give acknowledgement to my late father who was a humble man and quiet achiever. He pushed me through when I needed it.

“I always remember his advice to me, not knowing it was the last time I would speak to him when I first started at Sea Swift – ‘Never lose hope, you never know what tomorrow will bring’.”

Petta said she became pregnant shortly after starting the traineeship, but that it inspired her even more to achieve her dreams.

“I love being a mum and am very thankful for my family’s support in helping me to gain this achievement, caring for Zafia along with daycare while I work a full-time job.

“I always think of two motivational quotes which have helped me as a young mother: ‘Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will’, and ‘Life offers so many doors, it is up to you which to open and which one to close.’”

Petta is now ready to take the next step in her development to a diploma, with a long-term vision and goal to become an Operational Manager and even potentially run her own depot.

Sea Swift Chief Executive Officer Dr Rochelle Macdonald said she was extremely proud of Petta’s success.

“Petta’s study was completed in record time while having a baby, which is an incredible achievement,” said Dr Macdonald.

“Petta’s commitment and determination as a Badu Island woman is to make her dreams come true and make her family proud.

“She is a prime example that if you set your mind to it and put the work in, you can achieve anything and that nothing is impossible.

“I can’t wait to see what the future holds for this ambitious and inspiring young woman.”

Sea Swift’s traineeship program aims to develop trainees, including young Indigenous workers, into long-term employees at Sea Swift across its vast operation in Northern Australia, including shipping services in Far North Queensland, Northern Territory and Western Australia.