Paying It Forward – Dale’s Story

“From when I first walked into the Waalitj Foundation I felt comfortable. The atmosphere here just made me want to get back on track.”

“To begin with I was too proud to reach out for help, but in some situations, you have no choice. I am so glad I got that support from the Waalitj Foundation and now I can pay it forward and assist other people in the community,” said Noongar man, Dale Riley.

10 months into his role with Summit Homes working within Backbone Steel, Dale has been promoted to a supervisor position and is excelling within his team.

“It was a bit surreal when I received the news I had been promoted to supervisor. Especially after being put down for so long, I didn’t really have anything to be proud before this.

Dale recently returned to Fit 4 Work to share his success story in the hopes of inspiring and encouraging current participants and jobseekers.

“I can’t express how happy it feels to return today. It brought back so many memories of when I first attended Fit 4 Work,” said Dale.

“When my employment mentor Sandy first explained the Fit 4 Work sessions, I thought, I can’t go to that. Then I had to talk myself into it and I’m so happy I did.”

Dale said that the Foundation’s Fit 4 Work sessions were nothing like he had previously experienced, the environment was supportive and welcoming for First Nations people.

Shortly after attending the Fit 4 Work sessions and being mentored by Sandy, Dale received the news he had been offered a role with Summit Homes.

“Sandy has looked after me and my family, she even helped my son and daughter get jobs as well.

“As a mentor, she doesn’t treat this like a job, she is so passionate and really makes you feel like family.”

“In life when you meet someone, and you just feel comfortable around them, that’s how I felt when I first met Sandy.

Dale is now paying it forward and supporting other First Nations people in his workplace. Whether it’s helping with transport or mentoring younger team members, Dale is giving back to the community any way he can. 

“It feels good to be a positive role model, I really wanted to change this time, so I dedicated my life to it.

Our Fit 4 Work sessions on Thursday mornings which are run from the Foundation’s main office at Mineral Resources Park. Supported by Shell, these sessions include presentations from employers and activities aimed at improving physical fitness, self-confidence, and job readiness.

For more information about Fit 4 Work visit the Plan 2Day 4 2morrow page.

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