“My life changed when I was offered an electrical apprenticeship. The apprenticeship for me represented a hand up, and gave me a chance to prove my worth with hard work. My life transformed because someone believed in me and was willing to give me a chance. It was this personal experience of belief and opportunity that inspired me to make the ambitious pledge to employ 20 Aboriginal apprentices by 2020.
The team at Wilco are dedicated to creating and paying forward the same opportunity that was once offered to me. Our goal is to provide 20 Aboriginal apprentices with the opportunity to learn valuable skills and earn the title of tradesmen. Awarding apprenticeships does more than put money in the bank. It gives people hope and creates pride.
Not only to the individuals, but their families, children and communities. This is the kind of social change we want to inspire. To reach our potential, we don’t need a hand out, we need a hand up. By giving our apprentices the same opportunity I was given, they too can grow their self-belief and self-determination, which will benefit the wider Aboriginal community. It saddens me that still today there is a huge gap in equity between Australian people. I am proud of both my white and black blood. Yet I am a white-skinned, healthy male, which means I got a head start in life, despite my early hardships. As a part of this understanding, I have learned that it’s not what you look like or what you say, it’s what you do that counts.
Regardless of our circumstances, we all have something to give. I choose to use my privilege to help close the gap by creating jobs for Aboriginal people. By doing this, I hope to inspire my Aboriginal brothers and sisters to work hard, and to inspire my Caucasian brothers and sisters to help and to contribute to the legacy of a better Australia, that will continue long after we’re gone.”