In this show Ash & JW are joined by Bruno Efoti, Founder and Director of Tradies in Sight. Bruno is an inspiration as you will hear in this show. Bruno is a Tongan born and moved to Australia from a small village of 200 people to be now based in Dubbo, Western NSW. Bruno shares a very personal family story, becoming a chippy and the amazing contribution he and his wife have made in caring for kids.
We talk through how “Tradies in Sight” was created and the very real experiences that Bruno has had, that led to his commitment to making a difference and starting this journey to help others that might have challenges with mental health. Bruno shares how the loss of close Tradie mates through suicide, impacted him and his family, acknowledging his lack of understanding and awareness of this problem at the time and a real desire in better understanding the contributing factors to how and why this happens.
Bruno’s cultural values from his Tonga upbringing, talks about the importance of family, community and the coming together around food. This became the motivation for Bruno to be able to provide this experience with Tradies who find themselves trapped with mental health struggles to come together and experience of joy of the preparation and cooking of food and using this valuable time to talk, shares stories and bringing people together. Tradies in Sight goes out into Tradies communities in the western region to provide the chance to join around food, talk, laughter and sharing.
Bruno and Tradies in Sight have developed this unique model and have started to take this important message into the schools of the bush and have developed a program called “5 Steps Back” to help create the awareness and fixing the problems with mental health before it becomes a problem. Bruno has a vision for expanding this important work to a broader audience and is passionately committed to making a difference.
In the time that Bruno and Tradies in Sight have operated they have served more than 7000 meals and generated the funding for this effort through their own means and travelled thousands of km’s through the western region to help make a difference. Bruno left the tools and his Tradie business to one side for 12 months when he and his wife went to study mental heath and suicide counselling to gain better skills and insights into mental health and be best prepared for making Tradies in Sight valuable to those in need. From the start to the finish, this is an outstanding example of people that care and determination to help others with Bruno and his wife an inspiration to all of us, they don’t talk about it, they do it!