Travel bug spurs worker on to new heights
For Virgin Blue team member Will Muckan, career success has been his ticket to see the world and have a great time doing it.
The son of a South Sea Islander and a mother from Moreton Bay's Nunuckal People, Will started out as a member of the Virgin Blue ground crew, before working his way up to cabin crew and cabin supervisor. He has recently moved to the recruitment team at head office.
Will's work has taken him to far flung places including Indonesia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands as well as around Australia.
It has also given him unique experiences that others can only dream of like attending a mid-air rock concert by one of the world's most popular bands.
"My biggest day was when the Black-eyed Peas played a concert at 41,000 feet to get into the Guiness Book of Records," Will said.
"When they played there were 50 of their entourage and 50 competition winners on the plane. Trying to control that crowd was crazy."
The boy from ethnically-diverse Logan in Brisbane's south has come a long way from his youth immersed in the local Indigenous community with his extended family of 86 first cousins.
"When I grew up we were big with our community and spent a lot of time doing things in our community," Will said.
"We went to black sporting events. We lived with a lot of extended families and we always had a lot of people living with us sharing our bedrooms."
Now, Will's career success has seen him chosen as a leader in his community and a role model for his younger relatives.
"They're all proud of me. I'm the first one with a really good job in an exciting industry," Will said.
"Even the older ones respect me. I've become a successful person and a confident person and when any business comes up in the family I'm called upon to mediate."
Will puts his success down partly to ambition, which was stoked by his membership of a youth dance theatre which toured Europe and Australia when he was 16, and partly to learning from those around him.
"The dance tour gave me the travel bug and I wanted to travel ever since then," he said.
"But I also learned from my elders, their wisdom and their teaching. Not always good but bad as well," he said. "It's helped me choose the right steps to get where I am." His advice to young people is simple.
"Be proud of who you are and where you come from."