Aboriginal Support Facilitator
Partners in Recovery Nepean Blue Mountains (PIRNBM)
“Peer workers can help organisations actually witness the fundamentals of support, the unspoken, unwritten things you can’t learn in books.”
Trent Kilby is gently spoken and wise beyond his 24 years. His depression, which began in childhood, meant he grew up faster than he should have.
Despite knowing he wasn’t well and having family members involved in community work, Trent says he didn’t have the confidence to reach out to the services that could have helped him early on. His desire to help others seek out the support they need, when they need it, spurred him to pursue a career in peer work.
In his full-time, Aboriginal identified role, Trent co-ordinates and facilitates services and programs that can support people living with mental illness. He also engages clients in conversation to explore personal goals and self-awareness. He firmly believes that “people are the experts in their own life.”
He tries to encourage them “to be honest and talk about what they are experiencing and feel confident in themselves…A lot of people don’t feel confident enough to believe that what they’re going through is real. A lot of people feel that the doctor might be the right person to tell me what I’m feeling because they’ve got the certificate”.
Trent explains a peer worker “is a hard worker, the same as other workers”. And they are compassionate.
“A peer worker will aim for the best in people. A peer worker will aim for recovery in themselves and so will aim for recovery in others”.
Trent finds a lot of joy in his role, and he recommends peer work to other young people.
“If you’re pulled towards community work and you live with a condition, a diagnosis, disabilities, illnesses, go for it”.
To reach his current role, Trent completed his Higher School Certificate, worked for the Closing the Gap program, and holds a Certificate IV in in Community Service Work and Mental Health. He definitely sees a career path for himself in his current sector, and hopes to become a manager of a program.
“I’d like to take steps slowly and grow from there.”