20 August 2015 Council Employee Wins State Award

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20 August 2015 Council Employee Wins State Award

Coffs Harbour City Council Water Meter Reader Dallas Gittins has been announced as the 2015 winner of the Local Government Aboriginal Network Conference’s Council Outdoor Employee Merit Award.


The Award follows this year’s recent conference at Port Macquarie which brings together Aboriginal staff from across the NSW local government sector.


“I was very surprised to win the award, but I’m passionate about encouraging our people into work and careers. The way I see it is if I can do it then there’s nothing stopping anyone else,” said Dallas, who is a proud Gumbaynggirr woman.


“Since working at Council I have had two mentors – Maria Devoti and Graeme Heterick. They are great work colleagues who have, and continue to provide, support and guidance. More importantly though, they are two people I can call my friends.”


Dallas has worked for Coffs Harbour City Council since 2010 when she joined as a trainee Water Billing Officer while studying for her Certificate IV in Business Services. At the completion of her training in 2012, Dallas successfully won the role full-time through an open recruitment process. More recently, she has enrolled in a course in Certificate IV Human Resources to help grow her own career prospects and also to help other members of the local Aboriginal community into work. In addition, she is attending Gumbaynggirr language classes with Ngaawa Ngaluunggirr Giirrwaa (Language Healing Mob) to help nurture and revitalise the language.


Dallas is no stranger to winning State awards – in 2011 she was the recipient of Novaskill’s Group Training Australia (GTA) NSW Business Services Trainee of the Year award.


She cites her own mother as her best role model in life. At one point, her Mum returned to school alongside Dallas to encourage her to complete her HSC.


“I am delighted to congratulate Dallas on winning this prestigious accolade,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Councillor Denise Knight, who presented the award to Dallas on behalf of the Conference. “She is a great example of someone who sets herself goals and continues to achieve them very successfully. I hope this award may inspire many others in the Aboriginal community to follow Dallas’s path.”