Photo (left to right): DHUB Aboriginal Youth Careers Mentor, Matt with DHUB participant, Noah.

Before Noah first participated in our services at DHUB – Dubbo Opportunity Hub towards the end of 2019, he struggled extensively to adjust to the expectations at school and had no real career aspirations. 

He had clung though to one primary goal, and that was to get through the next two years and finish Year 12. Noah and our DHUB team identified several primary barriers and challenges that needed improvement to achieve this goal. 

Noah found it extremely hard to comprehend the work given to him, which fueled a lack of motivation even to attend his classes. His grades weren’t up to scratch, all coupled with his speech impediment, further adding to his overall frustration. 

“You can’t change the deck of cards you’ve been given, and it has always been arduous for me to preserve and have that resilience to get through school. 

“I had to prove to not only myself, but to everyone out there – that I can do this,” says Noah.  

Through the NSW Government’s OCHRE initiative, DHUB is a program of support that works closely with the schools in Dubbo and Wellington to build the confidence and knowledge of Aboriginal students to achieve their desired career pathway. 

At the start of his Year 11 studies in 2020, our DHUB team began to pave the pathway for Noah by ensuring they made some small but quick wins. He needed added motivation to go to school regularly with some peace of mind and had to start thinking about life once he had finished school – which was right around the corner.  

To achieve this, DHUB welcomed the option for Noah to drop into the office anytime for a yarn and talk through what was on his mind and how they could get him back on track when needed. 

Noah’s face beams up with a smile grinning from ear to ear when he shares how welcoming the DHUB team have been to him. 

“They always greet me with a hug and a smile. 

“It was a place where I could go to regather my thoughts with that positive mindset to cope with school and talk through the challenges if I was having a bad day, for instance, says Noah.” 

As he started his final year of high school this year, his grades were still not up to scratch, attendance was poor, and he wasn’t overly interested in the possibility of finding a job.  

Noah then began to work closely with our Aboriginal Youth Careers Mentor, Matt, who had known Noah since he was a young kid.  

Matt would work closely with Noah throughout all of 2021, and his mission was to prepare Noah and give him that boost he needed for the home stretch to finish school.

Through our services for participants, Noah utilised DHUB’s access to in-school training and career workshops, which simulated expectations at work, including mock interviews and helping to develop a career pathway plan. 

“The programs that DHUB runs have opened my mind to how the world works outside of school – and not what it could be,” says Noah.   

Halfway through this year, Matt noticed a significant improvement in Noah’s approach to school.

Noah was talking more about how he felt at school, which was more upbeat, and he thought he was turning up to school more regularly. 

Matt noticed a significant improvement in Noah’s approach to school and was also kicking goals in more ways than one. 

“Then I turn around, and Noah has his driver’s license and is making a two-hour round to work five days a week.  

“I felt like this commitment would’ve been extremely hard for him at the start of the year,” says Matt. 

Noah has also ticked off the most critical item on his checklist by finishing Year 12. Noah continues to catch up with Matt, currently assisting Noah in getting a foot in the door through an apprenticeship as an electrician by registering interest for several current programs and pathways. 

2021 certainly has been a year to remember for both Noah and Matt. 

“I never doubted that Noah would not finish Year 12. It was just whether we wanted to stay on and finish it himself.  

“It’s been perfect with what he has been able to accomplish for himself this year,” says Matt. 

It has been a journey that has left a sense of satisfaction in so many areas for Noah, with his future looking brighter than ever, with an essential lesson of self-discovery thrown into the mix. 

“I’ve learned that there are going to be obstacles and challenges wherever you go, so I have to continue to make the right choices I have been making lately,” says Noah.  

“I’m sure now that the future will be great for me.”