Howard Agius - Indigenous Mentor Liaison Officer

About the author : Brand & Comms Team
Published on : 10/8/23
Reading time : 6 min
  • Howard Agius believes opportunity really is behind every door—so long as you knock.

    After knocking on many doors of his own and taking chances to set up and advance his career, Howard is now empowering others to find the courage to do the same.

    There are so many opportunities here at Sodexo. You just have to ask for it and show you’re committed. Communication is key, so have a voice speak up when you can,” he said.

    If you had asked him four years ago if he envisioned himself as Sodexo’s Indigenous Mentor & Community Liaison Officer, Howard would have shaken his head in disbelief.

    Pathways and traineeships are accessible to anyone who asks

    Every journey starts with a single step, or, in Howard's case, a flight from South Australia.

    After his mother passed away, Howard left his home state to pursue a new frontier with Sodexo, joining the company as a Kitchen Hand in a Fly-In, Fly-Out position. In the subsequent four years, Howard explored numerous training opportunities that upskilled him beyond the kitchen.

    Howard has become First Aid and Mental Health First Aid certified, completed his Fire Warden training, participated in first-responder simulations at the airport, and has completed his Safety Representative course in 2023.

    These qualifications have allowed him to emerge as a key member of Sodexo’s aerodrome team before undertaking more learnings to expand his skillset.

    “I believe that a key part of success is being able to adapt, don’t be afraid to ask questions learn as you go. Ask for advice from your leaders,” Howard said.

    Taking a passionate approach to his work has allowed Howard to quickly progress from Kitchen Hand to Leading Hand and Storeman and, eventually, his current role guiding Sodexo’s Indigenous employees—providing them with the tools and support they need to thrive in their own way.

    Howard said that growing up, he looked to mentors and role models within his family for guidance. Now, he has the opportunity to be there in the same way for young employees.

    “Role models like my grandparents and mother were very respected in the community, and now I can be a young leader and guide those that seek it,” he said.

    Being in my new role is just another step in my career growth and development. I can show other Indigenous Sodexo employees that hard work, speaking up, being a team player and getting involved reaps rewards.

    “There are so many learning opportunities at Sodexo. If you see something you want to do, don’t be afraid to ask how to get there. You just have to ask and show you’re committed to taking the right steps.

    “I think my progress has been largely due to my work ethic. I’ve always believed in being the hardest worker in the room.”

    Support at every stage of your career with Sodexo

    While Howard emphasises the wealth of opportunity at Sodexo, he also highlights the support from the team that makes career pathways so accessible.

    It was a conversation with his previous Village Manager that motivated Howard and sparked a pathway to a new career and further development.

    Once you decide the path you want to take and set those goals, your managers and leaders will be there to make it happen,” he said.

    “For example, although my Village Manager is now in a regional leadership role, we still catch up. When we get a chance to talk and identify some programmes so that we can further and expand opportunities for future indigenous staff.

    “In my experience, you won’t know what’s possible until you ask. You’re encouraged to promote and present yourself, and Sodexo is there to support you.”

    Backed by experience throughout his career progression, Howard is considered a leader and mentor within the business.

    “If you have the knowledge to help the person next to you, you do it. Even now, when I go back to visit the kitchen, I can advise the guys by drawing upon my experience in different departments.”

    The one-on-one support he received from his team throughout his time with Sodexo has since empowered Howard to share his story widely, and now that he is well-established at Sodexo, Howard is excited to return the favour to those around him.

    Now, he encourages everyone to take risks and knock on that door.

    Howard is from Coorong in South Australia, where the Murray River meets the sea. His people are the Ngarrindjeri people, with the pelican totem.

    Howard is a member of the growing Indigenous team and is eager to contribute to Sodexo’s path to reconciliation, engagement, and celebration of its First Nations workforce.

    Unlock a world of opportunities and possibilities. Explore our Indigenous Employment Opportunities page to discover your fulfilling career path.

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