Bryan Dorfling: Camp Breakaway: Westfield Local Heroes 2019

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Bryan Dorfling: Camp Breakaway: Westfield Local Heroes 2019

All-round good person helps people feel connected

Exuberant. Patient. Caring

Guitar in hand and an enthusiastic smile on his face, Bryan Dorfling is the kind of role model you want on a youth camp.

The Camp Breakaway youth leader connects with people through his love of music; removing barriers and encouraging people with disabilities to socialise and join in activities.

Dorf, as he likes to be known, volunteers at every Breakaway camp and shares his love of life with children and adults with disabilities, children with high medical needs, young carers and disadvantaged youth.

“I love putting a smile on people’s faces,” says Dorf, whom a colleague describes as an all-round people person.

He feels humbled to be voted a Westfield Local Hero but also feels privileged to be part of Camp Breakaway. “What they’re doing in our community is amazing. They’re beautiful people doing beautiful work.”

Dorf says one of his roles at Camp Breakaway is to be an adult male that people can trust, so they are able to re-engage socially and develop confidence.

“To live and to give is my life's motto,” says Dorf, who is pleased that parents and carers can have a well-deserved break while their children are being taken care of on camp.

Dorf is a keen traveller and has visited more than 60 countries, and he usually finds a way to help others wherever he goes.

His next big adventure is a thousand-kilometre walk from Budgewoi to Brisbane to promote good mental health.

“I have been struggling with and hiding my mental health issues for 36 years. Now that I'm talking about them and seeking help, I need to let other people know that they are not alone,” he says.

Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. Camp Breakaway will use its grant to fund a six-week Stepping Forward Program, which teaches children the interpersonal and cooperative skills they need to transition to training or employment.

“When Breakaway is able to fund more programs, it makes our kind of jobs much more meaningful,” says Dorf.

For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here.

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