Meet team Bamara as we shine our spotlight on Matt, part of our DHUB – Dubbo Opportunity Hub team based in Dubbo.

Welcome Matt, tell us a little about yourself and your role.   

I am an Aboriginal Youth Careers Mentor for our DHUB – Dubbo Opportunity Hub team based in Dubbo. For the past nine months, I have worked with partnering schools across Dubbo and Wellington, delivering our Ngahdi Gawala and Nghadi Birrang programs to students from years 5 to 12.  

I have also provided career guidance and mentoring as part of our Reachout and Nghadi Wambinya program, which helps our participants transition from school to pursue their study, skills training, and employment goals. 

What is a typical day like in Bamara for you?  

There isn’t a typical day here, every day is different, and every day is challenging.

One day, for instance, I could be in the office all day catching up on participant interactions and the next, I’m out for most of delivering sessions at our partnering schools.

This job has allowed me to balance mentoring students in sessions and then tailor individual plans to set them up efficiently for where they want to go in their lives. 

What led you to this line of work? 

My career in helping people kicked off when I gained a Certificate III in Vocational and Pathway Studies. I then worked as a disability support worker for another four years, leading to a role as a disability and teacher assistant.  

At the start of this year, I found out about a position at Bamara, which interested me quite a lot. It was all about mentoring students in their work, which I believe suited me quite well, as there was more of an impact I could make on students.   

I am in a situation now where I am mentoring students around the same age as when I left school when I was in Year 10.

As I have accomplished a lot in my life since leaving school, I am determined to do the same for our participants as well. 

How can participants benefit from our services through DHUB?  

I feel like they get a lot out of us, which you notice particularly at the start of our session with school participants. By the time I have wrapped up our sessions with participants, they know more about where they want to go and what they want to do with their lives.  

One of my main functions is to guide participants through the transition phase at school. For instance, this could include something as basic as teaching participants about budgeting, which goes a long way for our participants.   

How has Bamara helped you in your career development and skills so far?  

There is a lot of stuff that has picked up for me here, such as writing emails and general admin duties. I believe public speaking has helped, as I was a bit shy at the start.

For instance, here, when I go into my sessions, there are places where there are 70 kids that you may have to speak in front of.  

Do you have any jobs that you can look back on while growing up and if so – what did it teach you?  

My previous career in the military, which was around 7 to 8 years back, taught me quite a lot. It taught me to be disciplined, be punctual, show up on time, be attentive, and be fair and not judge everything, which has helped in my work for DHUB in this line of work. 

This previous experience helps me, as well as some students we work with, for instance, who need a little attention and can do the basics such as read and write quite well, while some students need a lot more help, assistance, and attention.  

What do you find the most exciting part of your job?  

I love working with our partnering schools to better the career prospects of our participants.

By getting right into the career side of things, I liaise and collaborate with careers professionals and councillors to learn about local jobs and the requirements for these opportunities for our participants across the community.  

What have been some of the memorable achievements you have been part of with the team?  

I remember one participant I began working with at the start of the year who had found it hard to find jobs and get licenses, yet I was able to find him a job quickly.

We then get an email even from his mother saying how she’s really proud of what we have done to help him get that far from where he was to where he is now. 

By that stage, he had his license, he had a job – and he was set. I had only known him and had been helping him for a couple of months.  

I think this achievement all comes down to the effort our participants want to put in. This participant wanted to improve his life, so he really stepped up by engaging and coming to see me more often – where I was there to help. 

What are some of your hobbies or interests that you love to do outside the office?  

I enjoy going to the gym and keeping fit and spending time with my family. I particularly love playing soccer. I started playing when I was eight and am still kicking the ball around today competitively in competitions across Dubbo as a Left Back.  

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and why?  

England for sure. I would go straight to Liverpool and visit Anfield, the home of Liverpool Football Club. I am a massive fan of the club.  

I think my family would also love exploring the rich history, which has always been of interest. It has heaps of history and all the architecture of old Victorian houses and heritage-listed houses we love. I reckon we would spend hours and hours just driving around and looking at houses!  

What is the best piece of advice you have been given?  

Just stick with it.  

What is your favourite thing about working for Bamara?  

Working with our participants, and the team here in the office. At the end of the day, we are all here from 8:30 – 5 pm, Monday to Friday with an important job to do.

I love hearing the feedback from our team at schools who are talking to teachers, and the students ask, “When are DHUB coming back”!

It is also great seeing the smiles on our participants’ faces when they come into the office to catch up with us – it really makes my day.