2021 Inspiration Award: Indigenous Student of the Year Winner: Rodney Sutherland


As an apprentice plumber, Rodney’s first encounter with Barwon Water led him to realise that he wanted to work with them.  When a traineeship arose at Barwon Water, he jumped at the opportunity.  His quality of life has changed for the better because he has learnt new skills that will further his career in the industry.

There have been massive challenges along the way – mental health issues, homelessness, and physical health, but through the right support from his employer and Gforce, Rodney overcame these hurdles and got his head back in the books.

Rodney has worked as an Aboriginal Youth Mentor. Once his traineeship and study is completed, he intends to seek a volunteer role helping indigenous youth.  He believes if you are willing to work on yourself, it will have a positive ripple effect on extended family and community.