Reuben Dalgety: Fighting for independence

An Aboriginal man named Reuben Dalgety is wearing a black t-shirt with an image of Jimi Hendrix. He is smiling at the camera.

After a terrible accident, Reuben Dalgety spent years fighting to prove he could make his own decisions. With support from our Geraldton office he has a new job and is even more financially independent. This is his story.

I was born in Geraldton in WA but I lived in Cairns for most of my life. I was diagnosed with bipolar which came from an acquired brain injury when I was younger.

I fell off a balcony and ended up paralysed down the left side of my body. Afterwards I was told I would never walk again, told I would never work again.

All my money was placed with the Public Trustee, which made it hard for me to make choices.

I began going to church – I started going when I was 18. I know the power of prayer and the power of God. I’ve had hands laid on me. It worked. On 16 October 2018 I sat before a tribunal and had my money returned back to me. I can manage my own money now.

It was hard at the start. I was heavily medicated when I was in Queensland. Now I’m back. I feel more myself over here.

Equipment, training, employment

I did have a hard time finding work at the start.

But Forrest Personnel has been with me every step of the way. I signed up with them in August 2021, they have been so supportive and helped me every step of the way to gain employment. They helped me get my PPE, they helped me get my heavy vehicle license, they helped me get the interview with Red Dust Holdings Pty Ltd.

I have a Certificate III in Civil Construction and Plant Machinery Operation. I really want to get into the mining industry, to gain employment in this field. I wanted to be a plant machine operator.

I completed the course, I know how to operate the bucket, I know pre-start tasks, anything to do with earth moving and loading. I finished the course – I really did enjoy it.

I’m feeling very excited about working with Red Dust. I’m feeling good. I’m feeling like I will be doing something positive and doing something I want to do. I’m moving forward. I’m starting on the sweeper, making sure the roads are clear of loose stones.

New independence, new dreams

It’s very important to me to be able to take care of myself, to be able to support myself. It gives me a good sense of independence and it really helps my self-esteem, you know.

This could be a stepping stone to other roles with other organisations, other big mining companies. It really could work in my favour.

There are young indigenous people out there who are like me, and I want them to know there is hope for you. You’ve got to find the right support networks and work hard. But you can achieve your desires, you can look after your family, you can get to where you want to be.

Forrest Personnel supports people with an injury, illness or disability to find and keep jobs.
Whether you are looking for work or looking for staff – we would love to work with you. 
Send us an email or call us on 1800 224 548.