Who’s Who Worker Profile: John Paul Janke
John Janke was the first Aboriginal student to graduate from Year 12 at his high school. Since then he has gone from strength to strength.
Originally from Cairns, John moved to Canberra where he worked as a public affairs officer with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Commission (ATSIC) there.
As part of his work at ATSIC, John was responsible for coordinating many high-profile events, including the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Sports Awards, and the NAIDOC Awards. He also arranged the annual cricket match between the ATSIC Chair’s XI and the Prime Minister’s XI.
When John joined the public service in the early 1990s, he had no training whatsoever.
“Since then, I’ve done heaps of on-the-job training. I’ve done media training for radio and television, graphic design training and desktop publishing,” says John.
A semi-professional soccer player until the age of 26, John’s continuing love of sports is an asset to his work with ATSIC. It also keeps him fit and healthy.
“I still player soccer every week and I keep fit by going to the gym at lunch,” he says. “It really helps me concentrate and be more energetic.”
In addition to maintaining his physical fitness, John believes that mental fitness is important if you want to get a job you really enjoy.
“At an early age, you may not realise the benefits of a good education. But it’s helped me find work in a field that really interests me.”
Through his work, John helps Aboriginal people get more recognition, and introduces non-Aboriginal people to aspects of Aboriginal culture.
“I love the variety,” he enthuses. “One day I might be talking to school kids about Aboriginal culture and the next meeting with the Prime Minister to arrange a cricket match.”
John currently works for the New South Wales Aboriginal Land Council.