A qualified boiler maker by trade, Kyle made the decision to change careers after losing someone close to him who had suffered from depression.
“There’s definitely an issue of mental health particularly within rural communities and I really wanted to help make a change and take away the associated stigma in that community,” he said.
Kyle is close to completing his Diploma of Community Services at South West TAFE in Warrnambool and said he couldn’t be happier with his decision to return to study.
“It has definitely changed my life and made me a better person. I never thought I would get an opportunity to work with an organisation like the Western Bulldogs,” he said.
In his new role, Kyle will run the Western Bulldogs Leadership Project in the Glenelg Shire, guiding 16 nominated young people through the seven-month program.
As part of the program students will attend camps, workshops and hear from guest speakers about how young people can change the world and have a voice.
Kyle said the young people would also select a social issue and develop their own projects in the local community.
“We want to encourage young people to be leaders in our community and reinforce that leadership is not just about public speaking – it’s about action,” he said.
Western Bulldogs Youth Leadership and Development Manager Adam Moedt said the project had been running in the Glenelg Shire since 2014, but this was the first time it would be lead from someone to be based in the Portland community.
“The Western Bulldogs Leadership Project program uses the Western Bulldogs as a vehicle to engage with young people and to help them to learn their own leadership styles,” he said.
Mr Moedt said the program aimed to work with these emerging leaders and give them more self-awareness and teach them how to use this to be a leader in their community.
“It’s very exciting for us to have Kyle on board and for him to help us facilitate this program. And who knows where this will go, we’re always open to expanding this program in the future,” he said.
Kyle said he was so excited with the opportunity he was given, which was made possible through South West TAFE’s Skills and Jobs Centre.
SWTAFE Careers Practitioner Michael Absalom said he was contacted by the Western Bulldogs and it was so rewarding see such a positive outcome for both one of our students and the employer.
“We are in a unique position to be able to connect industry needs with current and former students who have received relevant and up-to-date training here with us,” he said.