Tat Whaleboat: Live the Dream PART 2

Tat came to the end of his year 11 and couldn't read or write. But he was inspired by a Guidance Counsellor at his school to take up an apprenticeship in Carpentry.

He engaged in a Commonwealth Indigenous Apprenticeship Scheme and successfully rose through the ranks to the point where he became an Inspector of Health and Safety for the Queensland Government. The mark of his success, as far as Tat is concerned, is that he has a beautiful wife and two children.

He has been lucky to be able to create and develop his own program of pathways for indigenous kids to get into organisations and trades via apprenticeships as part of his work with the Queensland Government. This program also has a dedicated health unit to assist indigenous communities in more remote areas.

Tat now lives in Bundaberg and is an Ambassador for the Department of Education, Science and Training in Literary and Numeracy (DEST) and in his spare time funds a program from his own pocket to help kids in remote communities of the Torres Strait come to Bundaberg and begin pathways in the trades and sporting arenas.

One example of a success story in Tat's program of sporting pathways is Michael Bani. Bani was a young man who had fallen into a trap of drug and alcohol use, with no real future on the island of Mabuiag, he has turned it all around with Tat's help and now plays 1st grade NRL with the Manly Sea Eagles, who made it to the Grand Finals in 2007.

Tat is a real believer in his community and the potential of today's youth everywhere.

VJ Niyati Parikh