What do you do? I’m the training manager at Dumu Balcony Café which gives indigenous youth from the Northern Territory community of Wadeye the opportunity to learn hospitality skills.
How long have you been in this role and how did you come to be involved?
I moved to the area to be near the ski fields and then learned about the program and was interested in volunteering. it was lucky for me the training manager’s job came up not long after.
Where did you move here from?
I moved to Harrietville from Vancouver Island in Canada.
After I finished school I worked briefly as a teacher on the Gold Coast and then travelled for the next 11 years.
For 10 of those years I lived all over British Columbia in Canada but the majority of the time in the mountains at Mt Washington and then a couple of years on the coast near Tofino.
When I decided to move back to Australia this area was recommended to me by a friend, I’d never been here before but have absolutely loved living here.
I love the small town connection and the community support as well as the fact it’s so beautiful.
Have you done much skiing since you’ve been here?
My first two years here I was up at Mt Hotham snowboarding every weekend but this year unfortunately not. It was a bad year not to get a season pass.
How many trainees are working at the café at the moment?
We have 10 trainees enrolled at a time but usually 2-4 trainees in Bright at once. Included in that are some school based apprentices doing VCE or VCAL subjects at Bright P12 College.
Our three trainees are heading back soon and then we’ll have a few more return.
Do you go up to Wadeye as well?
Yes, about twice a year. I’m going to Wadeye this week where I’ll be training a local person from Wadeye in a café the Thathangathay Foundation has set up there.
We established the café so that the trainees could continue what they have learnt in Bright, when they return home.
How is the program going?
The program is reaching all and more of the outcomes that we would have expected.
We’re getting TAFE certifications for the majority of our participants while Honorata Dumoo was recently a finalist in the Alpine Shire Youth Awards Workplace Award so that’s more positive recognition that the trainees are doing a great job.
We have recently partnered with the Myrtleford Neighbourhood Centre to formalise the training process.
What about in your spare time, what do you like doing?
I love gardening at home in Harrietville and cooking.
I like getting outdoors and going hiking on the weekend and also love going to see live music.