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Domenic's steadfast dedication to youth work recognised in emotional awards win

Domenic's steadfast dedication to youth work recognised in emotional awards win

A proud Tharawal man has been recognised for his unwavering commitment to mentoring young people in his community, having overcome immense hardship while switching careers.

After completing a Certificate IV in Youth Work at TAFE NSW Ultimo, 29-year-old Domenic Cameron is currently studying a Diploma of Community Services, while working as a Youth Worker at the Midjuburi Youth Resource Centre after completing work placement there.

Unable to attend the recent award ceremony due to the loss of his newborn daughter to a heart condition, his teacher and employer accepted the prestigious TAFE NSW Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Student of the Year award on his behalf.

“This is a big achievement as I am the first in my family to study a Diploma. As an Aboriginal man this is even more special as I get to show the younger Aboriginal boys and girls that anything is possible when you work hard and chase your dreams,” Mr Cameron said.

“I’ve always wanted to help the younger ones. I experienced a tough childhood myself, and I feel I can connect with that and can help them overcome any issues they’re facing.

“Prior to this, I was working as a horticulturist for over a decade and realised I needed a change. I’ve found studying youth work to be really rewarding yet challenging. I think having that lived experience is what helped me get through the course, along with the support of my teachers and classmates.

“I love my role as a youth worker – it’s allowed me to mentor the next generation and make a positive impact, and it’s also made me a better father. There’s still a lot to learn, but I’ve recently started a Yarning Circle for the young Aboriginal men at our centre, and am really enjoying doing case work and seeing kids change themselves for the better.”

CEO of Midjuburi Youth Resource Centre Louise Hammond said: “Dom has been a wonderful addition to our team and to the community that he provides support to.”

“As an older Aboriginal woman and someone that has been working in Community Services for over 30 years, it is lovely to see the younger generation of Aboriginal workers coming into this sector and being able to support and nurture their growth as workers,” Ms Hammond said.

“I am really lucky that Dom made it to my service to do his work placement. I couldn't be prouder of him,” Ms Hammond said.

TAFE NSW Head Teacher of Community Services Eva Bowers said Domenic’s achievement is an inspiration and shows the life-changing impact of education.

“Dom reflected once during his studies that he could never see himself studying a diploma or going to university, but he is now halfway through is Diploma of Community Services,” Ms Bowers.

“It’s been great to see how he’s flourished throughout his studies and gained the practical skills required to help change lives as a Youth Worker.

“Throughout the Diploma, students like Dom gain valuable leadership and communication skills and learn how to manage programs and lead person-centred approaches. Through a mixture of theory and practical experience, they gain the confidence to support their community and help people during the difficult times in their lives.”

Media contact: Emma Hughes, Communications Specialist, 0409 618 291,