Youth on track to building a better future
Young people from the Rockhampton district facing difficulty are building for a better future – both literally and figuratively – with help from Carinity.
Carinity On Track provides medium-term accommodation for young people in the child safety system and motivates them to become the best versions of themselves.
During the recent school holidays, Carinity Grounds Maintenance Officer Mark Hutcheon enlisted a ‘trade assistant’, a Carinity On Track resident who was treated to a true work experience opportunity.
The young person, who cannot be named for privacy reasons, helped build new outdoor fitness structures including chin-up bars and balance beams at Yeppoon, learning valuable work skills and building self-esteem in the process.
“This young person has had to use his literacy and numeracy skills plus build on lots of respectful behaviour and communication in a workplace,” Carinity On Track Program Manager Tracey Blok-Earl says.
“He even read our Fit for Work policy so he understands how important his health is in the workplace and participated in safety inductions.”
Mark is one of five maintenance staff who work around seven Carinity sites in Rockhampton, Yeppoon, Gladstone and Mount Morgan including aged care and retirement communities, schools and counselling services.
“Wherever I’ve got some work that the young people from Carinity On Track can help me with I’ll certainly get them out there to teach them,” says Mark, who has worked for Carinity for more than a decade.
“I like to show them some of the skills that they have probably missed out on at home. It builds their self-esteem when they know that they can do something, and they’ve learnt a new skill.
“If there’s anything at On Track like a hole in the wall I’ll involve the young people there in the repair work. They get a bit excited about fixing something that is broken.
“One of the young men told me the other day, ‘I enjoy working with you’. He’s the first boy who’s ever said that to me, so I was a little bit tickled pink about that.”
Tracey commended Mark for providing opportunities to young people including involving them in woodworking workshops and teaching them to do house repairs.
“Mark helps our kids to walk a little taller and feel proud of themselves as a valued member of society,” she says.
“We are helping to motivate the young people to heal from their trauma and become the best versions of themselves.”