Discovering his Indigenous heritage led Gladstone bus driver and part time gemstone miner, Jordon Lindley to not only dig deeper into his own family history, but also learn about Australia’s Indigenous history as well.
The CDC Gladstone employee did his research on ancestry.com and discovered his mother’s father was Indigenous but his family didn’t know much about it.
“It turns out I have an ancestor who was taken to the Parramatta Native Institute where she was married off to a convict,” he said.
“It did open my eyes a lot after I learnt what our Indigenous people went through.
“I then went to the Gidarjil program where I did a traineeship to be a ranger.
The rangers learn to combine traditional knowledge with western science to manage country, and undertake activities such as monitoring and conserving many threatened species including dugong and marine turtles, and assist with fire management and strategic weed management.
It was really good, and it taught me a lot about cultural heritage sites – how to live off the land and lots of other cultural things.
“I’m really glad that I discovered my connection to it.”
Jordon said he was pleased ComfortDelGro Corporation Australia (CDC) would be marking NAIDOC Week with a line-up of cultural and awareness activities across the country.
“I definitely think there needs to be more Indigenous awareness out there, and in schools the language needs to be taught again, so it’s kept alive,” he said.
“My daughter is at primary school and she’s got a book that has some Indigenous language in it and that’s really good.”
Born and bred in Gladstone, 29-year-old Jordon started his journey at CDC three months ago because he wanted to “change it up”.
“I thought I’d be a bus driver for a while and it’s working out really well,” he said.
Previously Jordon did labouring work and had some experience driving heavy rigid (HR) vehicles, so the switch to driving a bus wasn’t a difficult one for him.
“It’s really just a bit longer,” he said.
He said he really enjoyed the lifestyle that working at CDC afforded himself and his family.
“There’s not too much hard work and not too many hours so I get to spend more time with the kids. I have three under five and they’re all keeping me on my toes.”
Jordon does Run 27, which picks up South Primary School, West Primary School, Gladstone State High School, Toolooa High School and Chanel College.
“I like living in Gladstone and didn’t want to go anywhere else so I thought I’d stay here and help out the community,” he said.
“I like being a school bus driver, knowing I get them to school safely. I’ve been picking up these kids for a whole term now, so I get to see them grow and how they’re going.”
As well as his school run, Jordon has also picked up CDC charter work, driving workforce transfers for large scale projects in the resources sector.
“I do my school run in the morning, take a break, then do the after-school run, and then I’m onto my charter work.”
He said his charter run has him picking up workers who were flown up from their homes around the state from their hotel in Gladstone, taking them to their shutdown work at Monadelphous, an Australian engineering group providing construction, maintenance and industrial services to the resources, energy, and infrastructure sector.
“I just love the lifestyle here. I used to go away for weeks at a time, and you just get over it, it’s not worth it. Every time I would leave, the kids would get emotional and not like it, and then when I came back and we’d go out or something they always thought I was leaving them.”
As well as time with his family, the CDC lifestyle allows Jordon to also focus on his side business – JC Linley Gems.
He owns a small mine in the Gemfields near Emerald and specialises in Australian sapphires.
His mine is 40sqm and five foot deep and he’s found some beautiful gems.
“I went on a holiday up there fossicking and I thought, I like this, how do I do more? So I bought my own claim and pay my rates on it,” Jordon said.
“I love doing it. You can find sapphires, zircon and black spinel and I buy other gems like opals that I can cut in my shed and transfer them into jewellery.”
Jordon said people liked to purchase uncut sapphires but there was also the opportunity to have them cut and faceted so they could design their own jewellery.
Jordon’s long-term goal is to grow his gemstone business and turn it into a shining success.