Luke Whatman

No need to advertise this service in Ocean Grove. Success spreads like wildfire! People keep coming and Luke helps them. He worked as a youth social worker, then with Bush and Beach Outreach for twelve years. There was minimal progress and Luke’s strong feelings told him to let it go. He knew he had much more to give in the area of disadvantaged people who were suffering little self-worth.

In his early days, Luke lived in the Corio and Norlane area, with life experience on the not so good side. This prompted him to study practical youth work, and he continued on to achieve a Diploma with Praxis. This involved overnight respite for families with disability and depression. Luke lived amongst the community on the fringe. During this time, he built a strong relationship with people who respected him, and that relationship still remains. He also worked in Foster Care with McKillop Family Services. Luke would like to add “there are kids out there who won’t have a home for Christmas. If any families would consider Foster Care, please get in touch with McKillop Family Services.”

At the start of this year 2020, Luke decided to go it alone. What a major life changing decision. Luke is not really alone. Sammy, his wife, is loving and supportive. Toby, a sparky four-year-old son, Lulu, the cutest ever one year old and Sharna, an adopted daughter, completes the family.

Their house went into renovation mode and they moved to another location to live in Ocean Grove. Facebook was his only form of announcing his business venture, but this is not required now. Luke’s life is full to the brim and he loves every minute of it. Gretah is his ardent business administration assistant and she certainly keeps everything connected as it should be.

The comfortable updated house now provides overnight respite accommodation for people who need a break and think time, out of their comfort zone.

Luke offers people a range of out and about activities. He gives guidance and instruction for safety on the chosen new challenge. This could be an opportunity to discover a new spark in life. Know they are not worthless, connect and share with people and hopefully find something new they would really like to do. That is so important. Luke has a warm and sincere personality and people can feel comfortable with him and trust what he has to offer.

There are times when people feel the world is against them, they seem to fall into a hole and the struggle gets harder to get back on top. We have all been there sometimes.

However, trying something new, gaining confidence, can be the key to getting you back into the real living world. Luke has activities to offer such as bush walking, surfing, stand up paddling, kayaking, electric bikes, mountain bikes, skateboard parks, rock pooling and his latest addition for the unemployed, is mowing and gardening. This comes under the heading of Eco Greens. Wow, so many choices. Even I could be tempted into trying something new. He can also help with resume writing and giving suggestions for seeking work. Encouragement is always given in the chosen area.

To assist with all this Luke has selected other people to work for him. They must have experience, be understanding, caring and able to think outside the box. He will never take anyone to work just for their qualification alone.

During this time of coronavirus some people have really been able to get themselves going. Funding is provided by NDIS, DHS and McKillop Family Services if needed.

People keep coming looking for assistance. What an impressive reputation and experience, just by being who he is. Congratulations Luke.

Story and photos: Elaine Janes. October 2020