Port Augusta tradesman inspires Aboriginal students

One of the first students to join the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program in Port Augusta recently graduated as a fully qualified power line worker for SA Power Networks and regularly speaks to other Aboriginal students to encourage them to do their best.

In 2004, CJ Singleton was selected to become part of a pilot program called Footsteps Forward, which was based and run on the Foundation’s methodology. When the Foundation’s Port Augusta program officially began in 2007, CJ automatically became one of the first students to be involved.

Port Augusta co-ordinator Stephen Carter said that in his later years of high school, CJ decided he wanted to be a qualified tradesman, and together with the Foundation worked to achieve this goal.

“CJ’s strong maths and English skills came to realisation when he applied for and sat the aptitude tests to join SA Power Networks and win an apprenticeship,” Mr Carter said.

“It was the biggest turning point in my life when I started my apprenticeship in 2008 as I found myself in an adults’ world,” CJ said.

Once he commenced his apprenticeship, CJ was often asked to speak to groups of Aboriginal students about his career path.

“I tell them that with school you just have to stick at it,” he said. “I always emphasise to students the importance of working hard at school and making use of any help they can get, including that provided by the Graham (Polly) Famer Foundation.”

“We’re extremely proud of our partnership with the Graham (Polly) Farmer Foundation,” SA Power Networks CEO Rob Stobbe said. “We’ve been involved with the Foundation for a number of years, assisting them in providing great pathways for aspiring young people in Port Augusta, and we look forward to continuing our support.”

Students from years 8 to 12 from Port Augusta Secondary School participate in the Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program. The Port Augusta Follow the Dream/Partnerships for Success program is currently supported by BHP Billiton Olympic Dam, Alinta Energy, Genesee Wyoming Australia Pty Ltd, SA Power Networks, Ant and Mary Lou Simpson, and Government of South Australia: Department of Education and Child Development, Department of Further Education, Employment, Science and Technology and Department for Manufacturing, Innovation, Trade, Resources and Energy.

Contact:

Port Augusta Follow the Dream co-ordinator Stephen Carter

Mobile: 0417 847 107

Russell Duncan and CJ Singleton

Photo: SA Power Networks Sponsorship and Special Events Manager Russell Duncan and CJ Singleton

Download Media release Port Augusta Oct 2014