Dystinct Report Interview of Dave Strudwick by Flynn Eldridge and Ava Eldridge

Issue 12: Dystinct Report Interview of Dave Strudwick by Flynn Eldridge and Ava Eldridge

Nine and ten-year-old journalists Ava and Flynn Eldridge have a chat with Dave Strudwick, the owner of The Roofing Hut who has a preference for dyslexic employees. They find out how being dyslexic has contributed to Dave's success in business.

Flynn Eldridge Ava Eldridge

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This interview was published in Dystinct Magazine Issue 12 November 2022.

New Zealander Dave Strudwick recently caught people's attention with his unusual advertisement when he was looking to recruit a semi experienced roofer for his business, The Roofing Hut. The ad had "dyslexia" and "built stuff as a kid" on the "good things to have list". It even mentioned that not having a CV was "no big deal".



The Interview

The Interview

Dystinct reporters Flynn and Ava Eldridge had a chat with Dave about how being dyslexic has contributed to his success in business.

Excerpts from the interview

Excerpts from the interview

Ava: What are your dyslexic strengths? One of my strengths in being dyslexic is that I'm very good at fixing problems. Someone can give me a problem, and I can look at it really differently, and it helps me. It's like a little hidden superpower.

Ava: How did you cope with school? Not very well. When I was little, no one knew I had dyslexia. School was a struggle, and I ended up leaving school very early.

Flynn: How did your school experience help you develop your business? One day, I watched someone do an interview on TV, and then I realized I had dyslexia. When it registered that what I had was dyslexia, I started to look at it and figure it out. And because I was good at fixing problems, I figured out how to fix myself.

Flynn: Who supported you, believed in you to get your business? My mum and my dad and myself.

Ava: In your ads, you seek out dyslexics. Why do you target dyslexics in your ads? Because dyslexics are some of the most cleverest people in the world. You don't know it just yet, but you think differently. When we have people that think differently, we do stuff differently, and that gives us a superpower. It is so useful because it means that when you see a problem in the world, you know how to fix it. People with dyslexia might not have a very good CV to apply for jobs, or they might have been in trouble because they were frustrated or they might not be able to read or write. But if you ask those people just to sit down for a job interview, you can normally find that they're very nice people.

Ava: What other strengths do dyslexics bring to your business? Most dyslexic people that I've come across are compassionate and practical people. They're good with animals, and they've got a very good heart. They are good with their hands and can make stuff. And with roofing, making stuff with your hands is really important.

Flynn: What do you need to modify to help dyslexic people with their work? My attitude! I just have to have the right attitude. If someone can't read or write, I just have to be accommodating to help them learn. I can help them as long as the person with dyslexia has learned not to be embarrassed about it. I find that a lot of people with dyslexia are embarrassed that they can't read or write. It's not that they can't; it's just that they are very good at other things, so they haven't learned to read or write yet. So once you've taught them how to do it and helped them, then they become a very powerful person.

Ava: What tips would you give your young listeners who want to get into business? Have a go! Don't be scared to fail. Every time you fail and something doesn't go right, you'll learn something from it. Get yourself back up, dust your knees off and have another good go at it. Another really good tip is that you can do a lot by yourself, but it's a lot more fun doing it with good people. If you can't do something, then there is someone in the world that can do it. You just have to put those people beside you. Henry Ford couldn't do everything, so he put nine good people beside him, and those nine people helped him. Get people around you that are really good, and that makes you stronger.

Flynn: We have people listening from all across the world. What part of New Zealand do you like most? It would have to be Wanaka, where I live. It's in the mountains, down at the bottom of the South Island of New Zealand.

Ava: What is a fun fact about you? I love fishing, and I love taking people fishing. So, when I'm not working, I go fishing. And I'm also really good at catching mice for some reason.

Flynn Eldridge

Dystinct Journalist
Age 10 Dyslexia, Dysgraphia and ADHD inattentive
Regional NSW Australia

He started homeschooling in 2020 as the result of the COVID-19 lockdown. Flynn homeschools because of school bullying, claustrophobia from the small space in the classroom, and anxiety from his dyslexia and dysgraphia. Flynn finds reporting fun, sometimes scary, and ultra exciting. Flynn likes to dress up as an old-time reporter and ask a range of questions, as that is his style. Flynn builds loads of different lego creations, such as the rainbow spinning-top microphone he uses in the interview. Flynn loves homeschooling because he can be finished by 2 pm and have more playtime. He learns more, his work is better quality, and Flynn is doing better than his dad at math!

Ava Eldridge

Dystinct Journalist & Illustrator
Age 9 Dyslexia
Regional NSW, Australia

Ava loves art, animals, cooking, her family, playing the piano and she really enjoys reading! Her newfound love of aerial acrobatics keeps her busy.

Ava had early intervention for her dyslexia. This intervention helped her be one of the best readers and writers in her class when she was in the early years of school.

Ava decided to homeschool with her siblings when the pressure of 'tests' (everyday 'tests'/national testing) started to make her incredibly anxious.

Ava embraces her dyslexia strengths such as her amazing long term memory and the empathy she has towards others.

Extracts from Dystinct Magazine

Extracts from Dystinct Magazine

Dystinct Report

Flynn Eldridge

Dystinct Journalist from Regional NSW, Australia

Ava Eldridge

Dystinct Journalist & Illustrator


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