Inspiration, change, opportunity and motivation. As a parent, these words become part of your everyday; through conversations, guidance, gentle encouragement, quality time and the occasional disagreement with your children. All this to achieve the best possible long term outcome for their future.

As a Builder and Trainer, those foundations should also resonate through experiences and education we deliver to all we work with and are privileged to deliver to.

So what happens when you meet a student that shows you the true meaning of determination, patience and resilience? What happens when you are inspired to look at every challenging situation as an opportunity to grow and better yourself, your family and your environment? What happens when the educator is educated in humility, honesty and humanity? Educated in daring to be different and not resting until you ‘find a way to make it happen’. Not to settle.

For me, this is what happened and very much shaped the programs I write for youth who are otherwise disengaged, indifferent and dislocated. Mounds who I’m drawn to. Shapes the people I enjoy working with.

It has created a desire and determination to make a difference through education, empathy and mentoring.

I have seen how an amazing individuals desire for change can create prosperity for family and community.

I can recall February 2012 as if it was yesterday. I remember this scruffy looking kid walking through the doors of Orange Aboriginal Lands Council. He had every reason not to be there, with the same distractions that any young man would encounter. But in Craig’s case, times the burdens of a colourful youth by 10.
I still remember the words “I want this, for Amber I want this, I’m leaving so many bad habits behind, I’m doing this, I won’t miss a day.”

To his word, Craig showed up everyday, driving an hour just to be there, through financial challenges, past habits and literally crossing flood waters to get to class. He maintained the same energy and stayed focus. Craig believed in his culture, his family, the amazing mentors around him. He took a risk investing a large portion of his time learning about tools, timber, his people and most of all, himself. You could not fault his resolve for change, it was real but most of all, consistent.

I’m supposed to inspire but found myself over the preceding seven years being inspired. Craig just kept on the up, slowly, patiently picking off one barrier, one road block, one hurdle at a time in his life.

Nothing was a problem, bad experiences with providers, employers or clients he learnt from, they all formed part of the puzzle that has created the Carpenter he is today.

Seven years ago he took a chance when Annette Steele pieced together a program for her people.

Seven years on the Wamarra Project has created the carriage for change. Craig sort a new start through education and his culture, and achieved this.

With the amazing help and support from his family, his partner, and the Aboriginal Lands Council in Orange from Annette and Neil and so many others, this young man today has achieved so much.

  • A Certificate II in Construction
  • A Certificate III in Carpentry
  • Progressing through to a Certificate IV in Building and Construction
  • A Contractors License as a Carpenter and his own Carpentry business that is thriving

The future is what Craig chooses to make it, it was a long 7 years but how blessed is this young man’s beautiful daughter. She’s been audience to an absolute inspiration to all youth who struggle with youthful barriers or burdens. Little Amber has a Dad that won’t settle for anything less than tomorrow being better than today.

Very proud of you mate and I look forward to watching your future and career evolve further in years to come.

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