2022 Inspiration Award – Indigenous Student of the Year Winner: Donald Chatfield


Whilst on remand, Donald became engaged with the Wadamba Prison to Work program, which provides Aboriginal young people aged 18-35 with pre and post-release employment support. Donald feels this program has been instrumental in him being able to start a new life with his family.

Securing this traineeship has allowed Donald to become financially secure, reconnect and rebuild relationships with his children and find his own home.

Donald’s natural leadership skills, determination and genuine care about his work being performed to a high standard are qualities that Downer (Donald’s Host Employer) values. Donald feels a mutual trust between him and his supervisor, Paul Young, and appreciates the support Downer offers Aboriginal people.

Though Donald has faced challenges, including parole and its requirements, it has not stopped him from advocating life change. Donald has returned to the prison to share his journey of life after prison. He feels passionate about letting others know that whilst people are willing to help you, it is on the individual to want to change and make a fresh start. A positive journey attracts good people who will be there for you in difficult times. Building a whole new life is possible, and better things are yet to come.