Patrick finds career skills in PIF's Youth Sailing Program
February 2019 NSW
When 20-year-old Patrick Nalty took to the water in the Property Industry Foundation’s Youth Sailing Program on 26-27 February, everything he learned brough him closer to his dream to be a sea captain. But it hasn’t always been smooth sailing. Patrick grew up with an unstable homelife which sometimes meant he didn’t have a place to live.
The Youth Sailing Program provides a positive learning experience for young disadvantaged people in the lead up to the Property Industry Foundation’s Annual Charity Yachting Regatta, sponsored by Colliers International. The Yachting Regatta raises funds form the Foundation’s PIF House Program which has the goal of building 125 bedrooms for homeless young people by 2021.
In total 11 young people took part in the Youth Sailing Program, hosted by the Youth Sailing Academy at the Cruising Yacht Club of Australia.
Patrick said when his mother died when he was 12, it sent him into a spiral of depression, eventually making him suicidal.
“I was eventually expelled from school and ended up couch-surfing and then living in supported accommodation,” he said.
Patrick said he eventually found a home at PIF House Dulwich Hill run by Property Industry Foundation Charity Partner Stepping Stone House, where he is now living semi-independently and rapidly increasing his independent living skills.
Since recently leaving school Patrick has completed training in hospitality, attained his construction white card and volunteers on Sydney’s most famous restored vessel, the James Craig. But he said his goal is still to be a sea captain.
“There’s something so different about working on the sea – it's an adventure different from daily life on land,” he said.
John Kenny, CEO, Australia & New Zealand, Colliers International, said the Regatta was about building more houses for young people just like Patrick.
“The Regatta is the most popular industry networking event going - and its sole aim is to reduce youth homelessness.”
Kate Mills, CEO, Property Industry Foundation said the homes the Foundation builds are purpose-built to give young homeless people mentoring and life skills training so they can become independent and achieve their goals in life.
“Patrick has come so far because of the PIF House Program and his story inspires us to keep building homes,” she said.
The Foundation has three sailing events nationally. The Melbourne Charity Sailing Challenge took place on 1 March, having sold out. The Annual Charity Yachting Regatta takes place in Sydney on 15 March and the Brisbane Charity Sailing Cup on 17 May. Visit www.pifsailing.com.au to find out more.