I am new to STREAT, 6 weeks into the job. There’s always a lot to learn with any new job, and while I’ve been working in the community sector for a few years now, STREAT is my first foray into the world of social enterprise.
It’s all very new to me, and to be honest, it has been a little overwhelming at times. Not only have I been learning about my new role, but attempting to get my head around social enterprise and how my work supporting young people fits in with that, not to mention attempting to write my first blog! But, amongst all the newness and confusion, there have been more than a few moments of absolute joy – when it has all totally made sense and I know with absolute clarity why I chose to work with STREAT.
One such joyous moment came when I spent time in the William Angliss kitchens with our young people a week or so ago. As luck would have it they were making fish and chips, so I got to eat hot chips as a legitimate part of my job! (This is indeed a dream job). I learnt a thing or two about deep frying and did a fair bit of taste testing. Yum.
Most importantly though, I got some real insight into the hospitality side of our young people’s learning. It’s all pretty new for them (and me)—the huge commercial stoves, the fancy chef’s knives, the posh French names for chopped up vegies and the many techniques for making chips. There are 3 different methods. Who knew? There were some challenges. One young woman had never touched a raw fish and faced the terrifying challenge of skinning and boning one for the first time.
Many or the young people in the STREAT program have a lot going on in their lives – housing uncertainty, mental health concerns, family complications, financial issues.... Seeing these young people rise above the challenges and hurdles in their lives, and just get down to the business of julienning carrots and making pommes frites was awesome. I was so impressed by their willingness to be challenged, and to face these challenges with determination and an eagerness to learn.
So, here I am, 6 weeks into my job. I’ve keen, I’m determined and I am eager to learn. It’s certainly a privilege to be working with these amazing young people, and to learn alongside them. I look forward to spending more time in the kitchens, with some more taste testing in the future. Watch this space...
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