A Gunditjmara, Yorta Yorta, Wiradjuri and Walpiri man, Gordon Bamblett grew up as the eldest boy amongst 13 siblings and has always taken it upon himself to be a leader.

A participant in a number of leadership courses and workshops, Gordon has shown an ongoing commitment to building his leadership skills and capacity. A recipient of the Victoria Mr NAIDOC award, Gordon has also been recognised for his outstanding efforts in the community.

“I grew up in Robinvale in north western Victoria. I currently live in Melbourne, working for the Victorian Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation (VACCHO), as a Social and Emotional Wellbeing Project Officer,” Gordon says.

“As the oldest boy in the family, I’ve always taken on that leadership role. I’ve also done a lot of leadership programs before, so I think it is an area that I enjoy growing my skills in.

“There are two main things that I’m proud of, the first being that I am the father of a two-year-old boy.

“I’ve also completed an Indigenous Youth Leadership program over in Vanuatu, back in 2013-14.  To have the chance to do that has been one of my highlights.

“There were nine Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth from around Australia involved. We did some workshops in Sydney, then headed over to Vanuatu to work with some of the youth over there.

“When we got there, we had another one hour flight then a one hour boat ride across to an island where they didn’t have any electricity or anything like that.

“Our main task was to build a Mamma’s Market house with the community so that the women there could sell produce and make an income. We also had to work with the community around some smaller research projects as well, which we were told about before we left.

“For my task, they wanted to know about basic business management, so that involved me doing some research on it before I left for Vanuatu.”

Gordon enrolled in the Certificate II in Indigenous Leadership with a view to expand his leadership knowledge and build upon his existing skill. He also enjoyed meeting his classmates who had also travelled from far and wide to attend the course.

“I love getting around and meeting new people from around Australia. Not just people I know in my own backyard,” Gordon says.

“For me it has made me more confident and reiterated some of what I already know.

 “Personally I’ve grown a lot and am now better able to get people involved. I like to get others to do this type of course as well because I know that I’ve grown from them and they’ve been a big part of where I am today and where I’m going.”