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TAFE NSW teacher helping young people build a positive future


TAFE NSW teacher helping young people build a positive future

Orana Haven clients with Robert D Costello

TAFE NSW Dubbo teacher, Stephen Smith, is working with Orana Haven Aboriginal Corporation to encourage young Aboriginal people to get job-ready skills to take advantage of the employment opportunities in the growing construction industry.

“Now is the perfect time to be considering a career in construction in regional NSW as jobs in this industry is forecast to increase by 2.7% over the next three yearsi,” Mr Smith said.

“I’ve been working with the Orana Haven clients to equip them hands-on skills by constructing a shower block and bathroom for the disabled in the Drug and Alcohol Rehabilitation Centre in Brewarrina, which will benefit their community and give them a sense of pride.

“For many students this is the starting point for them; they are inspired to go on to get apprenticeships and further their careers in the construction industry.”

Earlier this year, Mr Smith took a group of students to Sydney to compete in the City2Surf with a view to raising awareness of the work the Orana Haven Aboriginal Corporation do with those affected by drugs and alcohol.

Mr Smith said “It was a wonderful opportunity for the students who don’t always get the chance to get involved in major events like the City2Surf.

“The students also had the opportunity to meet former Australian runner, Robert D Costello, who runs an outreach program for those living in isolated communities.”

Orana Haven Aboriginal Corporation, CEO Alan Bennett said we are grateful for the work TAFE NSW has done over the past six years to help get young people into study and to improve their career prospects.

“Hands-on learning and work experience provides the young people with a sense of fulfillment and direction to improve their lives as well as the lives of their families.

For his dedication and contribution to the community, Mr Smith was also awarded with a 2019 TAFE NSW recognition award.

“I was very humbled to be recognised for the work that I have been doing in regional communities. I really enjoy it and will continue to ensure the best possible outcomes for young people,” Mr Smith added.

For more information about the range of building and construction courses available at TAFE NSW, visit or phone 131 601.


Media contact: Emma Curtis, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 6338 2509, mobile 0427 901 515.