Cristina Leman and Diannah Leman

Sisters Cristina and Diannah Leman completed the 10 -week Pinakarra program in 2017. Having experienced bullying in high school the girls made the decision to leave and pursue further tertiary education at TAFE, where they went on to complete 13 Certificates in Construction.

Despite enjoying the hands on experience of building wooden furniture and creating portraits in art classes, the girls wanted jobs that would support them with becoming independent.

The Lehman sisters joined Mamabulanjin, an Aboriginal Corporation dedicated to maintaining traditional culture and heritage in the local community.  They worked in the Land Management department on a full time basis, planting gubinge trees, burning country and weeding. This allowed them to obtain Certificate I and II in Land Management.

Cristina and Diannah heard about the Pinakarra program through their extended family. They joined the program after Diannah found out about her pregnancy, and was unable to continue working in the bush.

Cristina is proud of herself for securing casual employment with Red Dot, and part time employment with Cotton On:

I was nervous at first, but the Nirrumbuk Youth Workers prepared me well for the interview process. They helped me put together my resume, drove me to the location, and encouraged me to be myself.

Cristina Lehman

Diannah is excited about the future: 

After finding out I was pregnant, I needed a job that would give me the flexibility to stay at home if I needed to do so. The Nirrumbuk Learning Centre staff were my Mentors, they helped me look for roles to suit my needs and were always there for me when I was having a hard day.

Diannah Lehman

The Pinakarra program has allowed the girls to meet other youth in the community facing similar circumstances, improve their literacy and numeracy skills, plan long term for their careers, and build relationships with mentors for ongoing guidance and support.