Plumber flushed with his suc­cess

The Sunday Telegraph (Sydney) - - NEWS - JACK MORPHET

DON­ALD Dun­das took a step back and then a great leap for­wards when he dumped his labour­ing job to sink his tal­ents into plumb­ing.

Aged 22, with two tod­dlers to feed, he halved his wage to be­come an plumb­ing ap­pren­tice and earn his ticket.

Six years on he is em­ployed by War­rum­bun­gle Shire Coun­cil, su­per­vises labour­ers twice his age — and is NSW’s en­trant in the fi­nals of the Aus­tralian Train­ing Awards for Abo­rig­i­nal and Tor­res Strait Is­lan­der Stu­dent of the Year.

“I took a hair­cut to go and do an ap­pren­tice­ship but I de­cided to bite the bul­let early to get ahead in the long run,” he said.

“I will earn more as a fully li­censed plumber than I ever would have as a labourer, bust­ing my bum ev­ery day. And at the end of the day I can say I’ve com­pleted an ap­pren­tice­ship, which fills me with a great sense of pride, es­pe­cially be­cause there’s a short­age of in­dige­nous tradies.”

A for­mer St Joseph’s Col­lege First XV rugby player and First XI crick­eter, cap­tain of the state’s best in­dige­nous school­boy side — the Lloyd McDer­mott Rugby De­vel­op­ment Team — and Cen­tral NSW su­per heavy­weight box­ing ti­tle­holder, Dun­das now trains kids with dis­abil­i­ties at Coon­abarabran gym and takes pride in be­ing a ca­reer role model for Abo­rig­i­nal chil­dren.

The Aus­tralian Train­ing Awards are on Novem­ber 23.

Sharon Smith, Don­ald Dun­das.

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