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Alpine Observer - - People Around Town -

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.

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