Marie has been working for Anglicare Victoria for five years and is currently the Team Leader for Youth Services in Werribee.
Can you tell us a little about your role at Anglicare Victoria?
I support staff members in their work with various young clients and ensure that their interactions are acknowledged, and that the programs and collaborations run smoothly. We reflect on the work that we do to empower clients, connect them to family and community, and guide them towards their goals.
Did you have a moment when you suddenly realised how much of a difference you were making?
I don’t have a specific moment, but the work that our staff members do in their interventions with clients is truly remarkable. From outreach with a young person at a turning point in their lives, to forensic counselling with a career criminal with substance abuse issues, or supporting a young person who is isolated and alone and seeing them thrive with our support.
I am proud of the work the teams do and the unseen ripple effect this has for each individual, their families, the community and in turn perhaps one day even their children, breaking a cycle of negative experiences. I feel both proud of and privileged to be part of the work we do.
What do you wish other people knew about your work with young people?
I think some people feel that this generation of young people are spoiled or unmotivated, however people would think differently if they knew some of the stories about the young people we work with. Their short lives have been so harrowing and so deeply moving that you realise how much they need meaningful engagement, the listening, acknowledgement, advocacy, guidance and respect, to help them build resilience and selfworth.
What would you tell someone about why they should support Anglicare Victoria?
All the positive difference that the donors and volunteers make happen with their support is very real in the lives of our clients. I have seen it myself; the tears of gratitude from someone getting the support they need, the turnaround when a client starts their first job, the emotional thank you phone calls from parents who thought they lost their relationship with their child and are now hopeful again.
What do you do when you aren’t working?
My husband Tom and I and our two daughters have the usual busy family life – juggling family, work and school. We like to caravan and take off to the countryside, let the kids explore while we all unwind and get back to nature.