Heavy Diesel Mechanic Apprentice Tristan Cole recently undertook a two-day hike in the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, as part of an inspirational event hosted by the Clontarf Foundation.
As a alumni of Clontarf, Tristan was recently invited to hike the Six Foot Track with Clontarf Champions and CEOs from across Australia, where he also met with Prime Minister Scott Morrison and offered advice to young men in the NSW Clontarf programme.
Tristan said he felt extremely excited and humbled when he found out he had been selected to take part.
“We got to tour the Jenolan caves, we swam in a few creeks, did plenty of walking and talking and we also had the pleasure of a sing along with Col Hardy,” Tristan said.
Along the journey, Tristan said he met some fantastic people, and gained a few new mates who he plans to keep in touch with.
“The highlight for me was hearing the stories of the other Indigenous alumni and learning about how they grew up and what the program did for them,” he said.
He credits the Clontarf Foundation with helping to make him the person he is today.
“They have been a part of my life since 2005 and I class the employees of Clontarf as extended family so it’s fair to say they have had a massive impact on my life.”
Now in the final stages of his apprenticeship at Fortescue, Tristan said he’s been enjoying continuously learning new things. He has formed some great friendships during his time here and in the future, Tristan hopes to become a quality tradesperson and travel the world.
Originating at Clontarf Aboriginal College in 2000, the Clontarf Foundation now operates 116 academies across Australia, supporting young Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men to improve their educational and employment prospects.
So far, the foundation has helped more than 3,000 indigenous men to complete Year 12 and find employment, and graduates remain an important part of the Clontarf family – in turn sharing their own advice and experiences with the current participants.