Young Aboriginal role model Delila Bonney started working as an Administrative Assistant with the Communications and Marketing Branch of the Department of Mines and Petroleum after she completed her pre-employment program with the David Wirrpanda Foundation.


She’s one of four Indigenous students to have been awarded a job at the department under the Indigenous Employment Strategy (IES).


She said her family and friends were so proud when Delila started working at the Department of Mines and Petroleum, some have been inspired to follow in her footsteps.


“I think I shocked them because I wanted to make a life for myself. Some of them are now doing courses themselves – I’m shocked with them too!”


Delila has seen more of Western Australia in her 18 years than most people dream to see their whole lives. Born in Kalgoorlie, she and her three siblings had a great time travelling around Western Australia as they were growing up. Delila’s father, a builder, would move around the state as his work demanded, taking his family with him.


“I loved travelling,” Delila said. “We lived in Broome for three years. Everyday we’d go to Cable Beach or take a BBQ there for dinner.” She’s also lived in Esperance, Coolgardie, Newman, Geraldton, Marble Bar and Fitzroy Crossing – but her memories there aren’t as great. “It was nice, but too hot. I got sick there, it was so hot.”


While Delila loved travelling around Western Australia, her education suffered. Sometimes she and her siblings wouldn’t go to school for three or four months at a time.



“We didn’t get a lot of schooling, so I pushed myself to get an education and joined the David Wirrpanda Foundation. I think because my sister started seeing me make a change, she thought she might start making a change for herself too, and she also joined. We didn’t really have a future otherwise, with all the travelling everywhere.”


Now, Delila is planning to buy her own car with the income from her first fulltime job. It makes me feel more independent and mature making my own money.”


Delila now feels comfortable in her role at DMP, and is taking on more responsibility. “I didn’t expect to be doing this, but it’s great. I’m getting work passed over from people who are leaving the Communications and Marketing team and gaining more responsibility, plus I’ve helped ease the workload for my colleagues.”



The David Wirrpanda Foundation aims to increase the retention of Aboriginal students in school and improve their life choices after leaving school by encouraging further study or entry into the workforce. This aim has been met through the delivery of carefully constructed, culturally inclusive programs which assist Aboriginal children, families and the community to be better equipped to contribute to significant social decisions that directly impact upon their lives. We have 17 full time and 15 casual staff members. Our mentors are all local Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander role models, and have completed culturally appropriate facilitator and mentor training.


Organisation Details
PO Box 508 Subiaco WA 6904
Contact details: 

+61 8 9242 6700