Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Homeless Youth in Australia

Posted on: June 10th, 2020 by amity No Comments

Myth vs Reality

Picture in your mind for a moment what happened the last time you encountered a young homeless person in Australia. We’ll wait.

If you can’t recall an encounter, try to imagine one instead.

Let the scene play out; where are you? What’s going on around you? What are they doing? What are you doing in response to their presence? What thoughts are going through your mind?

The purpose of this exercise is not to pass judgement on anyone. Not at all. It’s to see whether the picture you have in your mind of a young homeless person is based on myth or reality.

Let’s take a look.

Firstly, were you able to picture a young homeless person? By definition a young person is aged between 12 and 24 years. If you struggled, your mind is most likely operating under…

Myth No. 1 – There aren’t that many homeless kids in Australia

The reality is there are at least 28,000 young people in Australia without a home on any given night. And according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, this figure is likely to have been well underestimated in the Census, due to a usual address being reported for some homeless youth.

The lesson? Youth homelessness is a huge challenge in Australia. Sadly, it’s one that doesn’t garner the attention it should because it’s largely hidden from public view. The majority of young people without a home aren’t on the streets – they’re in severely overcrowded accommodation that falls well below basic community standards.

Now, if you were able to recall an encounter a young person (or you did manage to conjure one in your imagination), did a sense of danger arise at all? Were you concerned about your purse, wallet or wellbeing? Introducing…

Myth No. 2 – Homeless youths are probably dangerous criminals – we should steer clear

This is another common misperception, driven by multiple factors: fictional portrayals of homeless people on film and television, sensationalist media coverage, and laws that can unfairly target homeless people, such as begging.

The reality is that being homeless means being incredibly vulnerable. Stay safe, but remember, homelessness is not a criminal condition. And for young people, it’s most likely the symptom of poverty and domestic violence more than anything else – which leads us to our next myth.

Myth No. 3 – Homeless kids choose to be homeless – they’re runaways who should just go home

This, most persistent of all myths, assumes two things: 1) that there is a home to go, and 2) that in that home, there is a safe environment waiting for these kids. It would be wonderful if this were the case. For the vast majority, however, it is not.

In our experience, and according to the numbers, homeless youth are homeless not because they’re bratty or rebellious runaways, but because there is a housing crisis in Australia, and because domestic and family violence makes living at home unsafe.

Should we try that exercise again? Close your eyes and imagine a young homeless person in Australia. What do you see now?

If you or your organisation would like to help give young Australians the support they need, make a donation today or take a look at the options for offering Corporate Support.

Understanding Gen Z

Posted on: May 3rd, 2020 by amity No Comments

Generation Z at work

According to the stats, Australia is in the midst of great generational change. There are now more Gen Y and Gen Z Australians in the workforce than there are Gen Xers and Babyboomers. And by the time 2030 rolls around, our newest recruits today – those under the age of 25 right now – will be the dominant generation in our workforce.

If you want to engage with your Gen Zs effectively and prepare for the future, you’d better have an understanding of the very different mindset this generation is packing.

We’re grateful to Australian researchers, McCrindle Research and their 2019 report, ‘Understanding Generation Z: Recruiting, Training and Leading the Next Generation’ for the insights we share here. Our experience with young people concurs.


So, who is Gen Z, and how are they different?

Obviously, the age difference is the first distinguishing factor. Gen Z were born from 1995 to 2009. Being young, Gen Z have different priorities in life.

They are the most likely generation to be renting and the least likely to have children. But this could be said of any generation, right? When you’re young, you’re young. Not so. Researchers now know, people resemble their times more than they resemble their parents. They are shaped by their current age, their times, the formative social, political and economic conditions they grow up in, and the experiences that occur during their childhood and teenage years.

Today’s Gen Zs will not grow up to be just like their parents or grandparents.


Even though Boomers, Gen Xers and Gen Ys have experienced the digital revolution, Gen Z were exposed to text messages, social media, smart phones and other screen-based devices during their formative years. This means they are not just ‘tech savvy’, like Gen Y, they are tech dependent. Digital technology is almost like the air they breathe, or their first language.

Technology integrates seamlessly into all aspects of their lives. This is unlike the experience of older generations who’ve simply tacked technology on by migrating towards it.

In the workplace they’ll be hardwired to expect simplicity and flexibility, up to the minute information at the touch of a button, casual and open discussion, and visuals and videos for imparting knowledge and sharing information.



As the world’s most globally connected generation, Gen Z are playing an enormous role in who we are as a nation, which is putting pressure on policy makers. Take the recent rise in activism on climate change, and the resurgence of activism on discrimination and harassment borne out global campaigns such as Black Lives Matter and the #metoo movement.

Celebrities and social influencers are more global than they have ever been, the darkest corners are more visible than ever before, and Gen Zs the world over are more sensitive to injustice. They’re demanding leaders in politics and business dismantle systemic barriers to a safer, fairer world.

Business leaders, prepare to have any policies and rules with no good reasoning behind them questioned!



Gen Z is the most socially connected generation – connected 24/7 – and the most likely generation to be shaped by their peers. In addition, thanks to Instagram and Facebook, Gen Z are influenced by a much larger network.

This constant connection and constant stream of information has the potential for positive and negative impacts. Gen Z might struggle with digital distraction; however, they are collaborative learners. They enjoy teamwork. They bring fresh ideas, inspired from around the world, and a more emotionally and culturally intelligent workforce.



Gen Z are moving homes, jobs, and careers faster than ever before – a trend that is expected to continue. Today’s school leaver is expected to have 18 jobs across 6 careers. This is not only a consequence of being young, but also of new career expectations. Gen Z is looking for opportunities and options that will enhance their lifestyles, not just their bank accounts.

They’re also highly entrepreneurial and wanting to make a difference in the world. The Gen Z you encounter at work today might easily be an employer with a side hustle as well as an employee. This is great for organisations because they’re employing people who have a deeper appreciation of business. Gen Z can also teach the older generations new tricks and offer new insights for businesses wanting to become authentically values based.



Information overload has increasingly led to messages and information today being delivered via images rather than text. Gen Z, as you’re no doubt guessing by now, are the generation who will be far more likely to watch a video summarising an issue rather than read an article on it.

Hands on learning trumps more traditional auditory delivery. And if you want to keep employees engaged, create YouTube videos, do Facebook Lives, and host regular informal get-togethers.


Gen Z are the future. Take the time to get to know and understand them and your business will be able to better engage, train and lead them.

Hungry, broke, bored? Try these egg-cellent ideas

Posted on: April 3rd, 2020 by amity No Comments

Remember when two-minute noodles filled almost every void in your life?

Yeah, those were the days, but now your relationship with the salty noodle has cooled.

You’re also worried malnutrition might be setting in.

Our gift to you: a year’s worth of stuff you can do with eggs – one of the world’s cheapest, handiest, tastiest, most nutritious and versatile foodstuffs. You’re welcome!

Eggs are packed with vitamins (A, B, D and E) and minerals (iodine, phosphorous, selenium, zinc and iron), and they’re a ‘complete’ protein, which means they have all the essential amino acids we need.

We’re going to meet your nutritional needs first, starting with our favourites, and then move onto some other weird stuff.

34 eggy ideas:

  1. Scrambled eggs. The author of this post could stop right here and be happy with scrambled eggs 365 days of the year, just quietly. Hands down the easiest egg-based meal on the planet.
  2. Poached eggs. Tricky to master, but oh so good when you do. A tiny splash of vinegar in a whirlpool of water is your friend here.
  3. Dippy eggs and soldiers (aka Googy Eggs). Swoon! Boil these babies for 3 mins and dip those toasty soldiers in. Add cheese if you’re feel’n fancy.
  4. Fried eggs. The classic. Go crazy and mix it up with sunny side over one week, sunny side up the next.
  5. Hardboiled eggs. Eat ‘em hot or cold. On their own or in a salad. Boil up a batch and keep them in the fridge for up to a week.
  6. Baked eggs. Noice, different, unusual.
  7. Scotch eggs. Actually, these look pretty disgusting. Skip these.
  8. Devilled eggs. Just add mayo. Genius. Thanks, ancient Italian mamas.
  9. Egg & mayo sambo. Better put mayo on the shopping list, unless you want to make it yourself!
  10. Make it yourself Mayonnaise. Go on. So creamy, so flavourful.
  11. Eggs benedict. We know, we know – bit posh, but now you know how to make your own mayo, step it up a notch with your own Hollandaise and some ham, man.
  12. Breakfast burrito. Add bacon, a hashbrown, some sauce, and it’s a wrap.
  13. Egg roll wrap. Just like a burrito, but for keto/paleo converts.
  14. Bacon & egg roll. The breakfast of champions. And before you ask, the answer is BBQ sauce.
  15. Sausage & egg muffin. Nooo, not from Maccas. From your own capable hands.
  16. Omelette. Throw in leftover baked veggies and BBQ chook, and you’ve got yourself a MEAL.
  17. Quiche. If you can make an omelette, you can make a quiche. Grab some frozen shortcrust pastry sheets and Just do it!
  18. Mini-quiches. A lunch or dinner fav. You’ll need puff pastry and a muffin tin.
  19. Frittata. If you can’t be bothered with pastry… skip the Quiche and go for Frittata instead. So good with grated zucchini, carrot, onion, cheese, and corn.
  20. Fritters. Bulk the frittata ingredients up with potatoes. Super easy, super quick, superfood.
  21. Nasi goreng. Bang an egg on top, and you’re done!
  22. Fried rice. Just not the same without egg.
  23. French toast. Dessert for breakfast? Yes please.
  24. Pancakes. Nothing beats a batch of pancakes, made from scratch. Say NO to Shake n’ Bake, kids.
  25. Crepes. Like pancakes but thinner. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or dinner.
  26. Custard. Not just a Christmas treat. Especially yum with sliced banana.
  27. Popovers. While we’re getting all American, why not? These are light, fluffy pastries FYI.
  28. Waffles. Naughty or Nice. These can be frozen too. Winning!
  29. Muffins. Sweet or savoury. Why not have both?
  30. Try breaking an egg in the palm of one hand. You won’t be able to!
  31. Visit the Egg Boy mural in Chippendale – it’s on the side of the Lord Gladstone pub.
  32. See what kind of egg you are with this BuzzFeed Quiz. Eggs bene all the way!
  33. Try the Tiktok egg challenge. Did your dog break the egg?
  34. Give your puppy or kitty kibble a healthy boost with some cooked egg whites.

Rent It, Keep It

Posted on: March 3rd, 2020 by amity No Comments

a 5-step guide to keeping your rental property

So, you’ve finally got yourself into a rental property you like, and you want to do all you can to keep that roof over your head. We’ve put together this quick guide to help you do just that.


1. Keep up your payments

We know this one isn’t always easy, but it has to be done. Even if there’s an issue with your landlord not keeping up their side of the agreement, you need to keep paying your rent and other property-related bills like water, gas and electricity.

If you’re having problems paying, contact DCJ as soon as possible to ask for help. Help is available whether you’re in social housing, affordable housing or renting privately.

If you’re a young person living in the Penrith, Hawkesbury or Blue Mountains regions, you can come directly to us to talk about Tenancy Support – we’re here to help too.


2. Ask about pets

To stay in the good books, you need to comply with the terms of your lease. Pets are often allowed, but not always, so whatever you do, don’t try to sneak a pet in! Ask the landlord or agent whether it’s ok first.

If you’re a DCJ tenant, you can keep pets ‘as long as they are suitable for your home, not a restricted breed, and not a nuisance to neighbours nor a health hazard.’ You’ll need to check with DCJ whether or not your pet is suitable.


3. Consider the neighbours!

Nobody likes an inconsiderate neighbour. Nobody. So in Australia, all tenants have terms in their lease agreement that say they must not:

  • cause a nuisance, or
  • interfere with the peace, comfort or privacy of a neighbour.

This goes for any of your visitors too. You can’t let them disturb or annoy people either.

Things that your neighbours could find annoying include playing loud music, revving cars, fighting, parking in someone else’s driveway (or designated parking bay), leaving rubbish or junk in the front yard, and leaving a dog alone to bark.

Most people are wise to all this, so if a neighbour comes over and asks you to keep it down or move something that’s causing them grief, your best bet is to keep your cool, put yourself in their shoes and remember, you don’t know what else they might be going through. There’s no need to escalate a situation that can easily be resolved with a quick apology and a bit of a neighbourly chat.


4. Keep it clean

This kind of continues on from the point above. Nobody likes living next to a tip. And no landlord is going to look favourably on tenants who aren’t keeping the property in the state they found it in.

Again, as a tenant you’ve got a responsibility to keep the place tidy, inside and out. This is essential if you want to get your bond back easily and get a good reference when you move out.

Sometimes there’s only so much you can do to make a place look presentable. If something needs fixing, ask for it to be fixed. Remember, as a renter, you’ve got rights as well as responsibilities!

Oh, and if you or one of your mates or family members has damaged something, let the landlord or agent know as soon as possible. No point delaying the inevitable.


5. Keep the owner or agent in the loop about changes

Got a friend or family member who needs to crash with you for a while? That’s usually ok for a short while but check your rental agreement or talk to the owner or agent to confirm how many people are allowed to live with you.

Feel you need to change the locks? That’s probably going to be ok too but ask first! The same goes for making any changes to the property. Even if you think it’ll be an improvement, you do need to ask permission before going ahead.


Need help?

Want more info, advice or a helping hand with renting? If you’re between 12 and 25 years of age, and in our neighbourhood, get in touch with us. Like we always say, you don’t need to go it alone. We’re here to help.

The Tenants Union of NSW also has a load of resources and advice too, so we highly recommend you check them out as well.

Good luck! You’ve got this.

5 Easy Ways To Support The Youth In Your Community

Posted on: February 5th, 2020 by amity No Comments

5 easy ways to support the youth in your community

“Kids today!” It’s the lament of older generations the world over, but clearly, you’re here to help young people rise, not to keep them down.

Your mission, should you choose to accept it is to:

1. See the person, not the stereotype

Did you know hating on the younger generation has been going on in western civilisation for around 2,000 years? Seriously! Even back in the day. Thankfully, nowadays, we’re much more enlightened… Well, at least some of us are. We’re starting to realise things aren’t always as they seem. The world isn’t black and white. Not everyone enjoys the same privileges.

The young person before you is not the two-dimensional character you think you know. Listen to their stories. Practice putting yourself in their shoes and see where it leads you.

2. Practice patience and understanding

‘Kids today’ might appear vastly different to how you were. On the inside, however, they’re the same as they’ve always been – a messy mix of confidence and low self-esteem, enthusiasm and apathy, vulnerability and invincibility, selfishness and kindness. A lot like all of us, come to think of it.

There’s added complexity to teenagers, however, and this is not only down to hormonal surges. According to neuroscience, the brain remodels during the teenage years. Updates to the primal portions of the brain occur first, and these heighten the brain’s emotional reactions. The frontal cortex – with its calming, rational influence – doesn’t come fully into play until adulthood.

This battleground of emotions and hormones are worth remembering, especially when you come up against behaviour that upsets, frustrates or mystifies you. Also remember that this too shall pass – at about the age of 25. In the meantime, model the behaviour you expect and help them build their decision-making and problem-solving skills.

3. Make way for fresh ideas

Despite your many years of experience, there’s always room for fresh ideas and a new perspective. Young people are renowned for looking at longstanding issues in unique ways and coming up with brilliant solutions. Even when the ideas don’t stack up, a fresh perspective will often illuminate new lines of enquiry, so make room at the table.

When young people see their ideas being listened to and acted on, it’s inspiring and empowering. They begin to see themselves as capable citizens and active agents of change.

4. Join the call to #RaiseTheRate

Most young Australians have the resources they need to survive and thrive. Still, there’s a significant minority who live in poverty, through no fault of their own. We know these kids firsthand.

While it makes sense socially and economically for the Government to support our young people adequately, current Newstart and Youth Allowance rates go nowhere near covering today’s basic living costs. In fact, the rate has barely changed in 25 years!

An unlikely coalition of voices, including the Business Council of Australia has been lobbying the Government to #RaiseTheRate for a while now. Will you

5. Support organisations that support young people

Helping young people stay in school, providing safe accommodation, and getting them ‘job ready’ are just some of the ways we help vulnerable young people thrive like their peers. In our area of Sydney alone, we can see up to 200 young people a day who have little to no social or financial support.

By supporting community organisations like ours, you support the youth in your community now and into the future. And that’s good for all of us

Creating a Great Work Culture

Posted on: January 3rd, 2020 by amity No Comments

How to create a strong work culture that works for the young, and the not-so-young

Create a strong work culture and you’ve laid the foundation for a stable and thriving enterprise, right? You’ve got an environment that fosters positivity and productivity, performance and engagement. Sounds great. Sounds easy.

Unfortunately, creating a culture is one thing. Creating a culture that works for everyone is another. What do you need to be mindful of to make sure your efforts aren’t being put into a house of cards?

Here’s 5 suggestions for building a truly strong work culture

1. Make sure the work is meaningful

Attracting and retaining engaged employees will first and foremost come down to the work you’re asking them to do every day. Do they understand how their work is a small but crucial piece in a larger puzzle? Are they given enough freedom of thought to invent better ways to get things done?

Often young people will be given more menial tasks – which is completely understandable – but make sure you’re delegating a other tasks regularly to stretch their capabilities and make them feel like a valued part of the business.

If you can’t bring yourself to delegate yet, bring them into the fold where you can. Allow them to shadow you on certain jobs and meetings, so they can widen their horizons and gain a deeper understanding of what’s expected further up the line.

2. Remember the 80/20 rule when it comes to health and wellbeing

Health and wellbeing is ‘so hot right now’, but here’s what we’ve noticed. In a bid to promote healthy habits and increase physical and mental fitness in the workplace, the fun police have taken away all the treats! Spice up the fun factor on your health and wellbeing program with the 80/20 rule.

You’ve got 5 days to work with, so how about on 2 of those days you break from regular programming, with a fun treat that’s not going to break the health bank. Hump day could be ushered in with a ceremonial unlocking of the choccy bikkie cupboard every Wednesday morning. Takeaway ‘Fish n Chip Friday’ could be your way to gather the troops under a leafy tree and bid the week goodbye.

3. Be part of a future-proofed career

Who knows what the future of work will look like? We don’t, but we do know we all need to get comfortable with continuous learning and reinvention. No matter how young or old your employees are, they’ve got an eye on the future, so make sure you do too. Keep providing genuine opportunities for learning and talk to them about them moving up (or on) in a positive, rather than resentful way.

Formal Performance Reviews and Personal Development Plans are great, but don’t forget the impact a few casual words can have. Remember, young workers are like sponges – they’ll always remember how you made them feel and that sage advice you gave while making a quick cuppa in the kitchen.

4. Create safe spaces for a speak up culture

The workplace is a diverse place – you know this by now. While some people relish every opportunity to make their voice heard, others are more introverted. They’re bound to remain tight lipped unless they feel safe and comfortable about speaking up. Younger workers in particular might struggle to show their more extroverted side at work.

In addition to simply asking for feedback and opinions in group meetings or one-on-ones, offer other avenues for speaking up. Set up mechanisms for both verbal and written feedback, as well as anonymous feedback.

5. Get involved in workplace giving

According to the science, we humans are hard-wired to give. What’s more? The more we give, the happier we feel. Tap into this phenomenon by getting everyone involved in regular events and activities that have a charitable mission.

In addition to making everyone feel good about where they work and the difference they’re making in the wider world, it’s a great way to forge stronger bonds across teams. Everyone’s away from their desks but still working together.


Want to delve deeper into creating a ‘best place to work’ culture that powers itself by giving back? Download this handy little e-book. Perfect for business owners, CEOs and Managers who want happy and productive employees. Click here to download

5 Easy Ways To Become Broke

Posted on: December 17th, 2019 by amity No Comments

5 easy ways to become broke (and stay broke)

– a rookie’s guide

Literally spending your life away is definitely no fun. Debt can be crushing in more ways than one. But, if you want to go broke and stay broke, this is your ultimate How To guide.

1. Get a credit card (or two) and buy what you can’t afford

The quickest and easiest way to get in over your head is to get a credit card. Credit cards are like quicksand. Avoid that sinking feeling – and a lifetime of debt – by going for a debit card, rather than a credit Card. That way you’re only spending your own money, not the bank’s, and you won’t pay any interest.

Remember, buy only what you can afford to pay for. If you don’t have the cash in the bank or in your wallet to buy it, you can’t afford it.

2. Get sucked in by ‘Shop Now Pay Later’ and ‘Unbeatable!’ loans

Big business is seriously onto the fact that we struggle these days to wait for what we want. Instant gratification is promoted as the new normal, as is living on credit. When you sign on the dotted line for a cheap car loan or shop with Afterpay, however, you’re only delaying the inevitable. You have to pay that money back eventually, usually with lots of fees and interest, especially if you miss any repayments.

Saving up for what you want is always better in the long run. You’ll only pay the true cost of the item and you won’t be racking up more and more debt. Future you thanks you for your self-control.

3. Treat yourself, with a Cash Advance

If you’ve already got a credit card (and haven’t cut it up yet, based on the sage advice given in point 1), whatever you do, don’t use it for drawing cash out at the atm. Banks won’t often explain this, but as soon as you do that, you have to pay it back with interest. Lots of interest.

Are you seeing a pattern yet? Getting out of BrokeTown comes down to living within your means; making sure that what goes out isn’t more than what comes in.

4. Ignore boring bank statements and bills

No good can come from avoiding your mail and letting payments slide. Often this avoidance happens, not because we don’t want to pay our bills, but because we’re too overwhelmed and fatigued by the thought of mounting debt.

If you need help ripping off the Band-Aid and sorting out your budget and bills, there’s plenty of free financial counselling services out there for you. We’ve got some links below, but don’t jump ahead just yet – check out Number 5!

5. Keep up with the Joneses

We get it. When you’re in your teens and early 20s, material things matter. But you know what? They actually don’t. It’s a total rookie error to think that clothes, cars and gadgets make you special. You’re gold all on your own. This is a mindset shift that HAS to happen if you want to live a more content life.

Forget about matching what your friends or those around you spend money on. Run your own race. And make sure you take care of your needs before your wants.

Every time you’re about to spend money on something, stop and ask yourself if you need it. If it’s a ‘want’ rather than a ‘need’, ask yourself why you want it. And be honest with yourself. You’d be amazed what a difference this simple moment can make. Avoid all 5 of the major money mistakes above, and you’ll be really amazed.

Getting free help from financial stress

If you need help – to work out how to budget and how to clear your debts – there’s free help out there for you. Check out these guys:

Financial Counselling Australia

The National Debt Helpline

The Salvation Army

Wesley Mission Financial Counselling

If you’re in our neighbourhood, you can come see us at for Financial Help too. We can help with no-interest loans for education, training, driving lessons, or even to set up your home. #welisten

Dreams vs. Goals

Posted on: November 4th, 2019 by amity No Comments

Dreams versus Goals: how to achieve what you want.

Have you ever heard that one-liner, “I don’t have dreams, I have goals”? Well, it’s a favourite of ours, because dreams are…. hazy. They just sort of float there, off in the distance.

When your feet are stuck firmly on the ground (in the reality of everyday life), how will you make that giant leap up into the clouds?

This is where goals come in. Goals may not sound as exciting as dreams, but they are the key to getting what you want. Here’s why:


Goals give you a sense of purpose

Goals remind you of why you’re doing what you’re doing, every day. They give you a reason to not only show up to school or work but to try your best while you’re there.

Setting a ‘learning’ or ‘qualification’ goal is especially handy when your body wants to stay in bed, or your mind wants to wander out the window.

We’re sure you’ve asked, ‘why do I have to do this?’ or ‘why do I have to know this stuff?’ We all have. A lot of learning, whether it’s at school or on the job, seems like a massive waste of time. Spoiler alert: it isn’t. Because knowledge is power. Having an education is empowering. It opens a lot of doors.

If you can remember what you’re striving for and you’ll look at even the dullest lesson in a different way. It may be frustrating, but it’s not meaningless. Each day is a small step towards a larger goal – which brings us to our next point.


Goals make the impossible possible

Unlike dreams, goals can be broken into realistic short-term and long-term objectives.

You can even have daily goals. Some people call these habits. By plotting the things you need to do to get you to a larger goal, you break a big ‘impossible’ dream down into bite-size pieces that are entirely possible. For example, getting to school every day and asking for help when you need it will get you to the end of Year 10. Keeping this up will get you through to the end of Year 12 and so on.

Quick tip: Keep this in mind: nothing comes from nothing. If you do nothing, of course, nothing’s going to happen. You have to work towards things bit by bit – or bite by bite.


Goals give you clarity and direction

Now, you might be reading this and thinking, ‘but I don’t even have a dream!’ If that’s you, welcome to the club. Few people know what they want to do or ‘be’ regardless of their age but setting a few short-term goals can help ease that feeling of being lost or overwhelmed by all the choices.

For example, someone who loves animals might not know what career they want to be in, but they imagine they’d love to work with animals somehow, because then work would be ‘work’, right?

So, the first mini-goal (or task) they would have to set for themselves might look like this: Find out what type of jobs involve working with animals. The next one could be: Find out what qualifications you need to become a zookeeper.

Do this and you’ve already ticked off two things, plus you have a clearer picture of the road ahead and the direction to go in. Nice one!


Where to go for help with goal setting?

Unlike dreams, which can be a bit overwhelming – sometimes scary – goals can be as big or small as you like. And there are plenty of people out there you can go to for help setting your goals.

If you’re still in school, Careers counsellors are the bomb at goal setting. If you’re out of school, TAFE counsellors are awesome too. And, of course, if you’re in our neighbourhood, drop in and talk to us.

For now, though, we hope we’ve convinced you that dreaming isn’t doing. It’s goals that will get you what you want.

So, how ‘bout it? Is there a goal or two forming in your mind?

Work Experience: How Leaders Do It

Posted on: October 14th, 2019 by amity No Comments

Work experience: how leaders do it

It’s a vexed question most of us in the workplace have confronted at some stage in our careers: who’s going to look after the work experience kid?!

As busy people in busy offices, we get it. We understand how the thought of having to ‘babysit’ the high school kid might seem like a whole lot of time and effort you simply can’t afford to spend this week.

As youth work specialists, however, we know the impact a really great week of work experience can have on a young person, especially one who’s doing it tough.

So, to try and encourage more of the good and less of the bad, we’ve come up with the key ingredient to make work experience a positive experience for both student and employer…


It’s leadership.

When work experience goes right, it’s because leaders have brought their best qualities to the table.



A leader sees opportunity, where others see only work. Leaders see work experience as a benefit to their business. The chance to:

  • develop their staff’s people management, mentoring and training skills
  • promote the skills and attitudes they want to see in the workforce
  • grow or enhance their reputation as an employer of choice
  • participate in building a stronger community by supporting the training needs of the next generation
  • harness young and creative minds. It’s not unusual for the least experienced person in the room to come up with an insightful suggestion or offer a new insight.



Leaders are adept at putting themselves in other people’s shoes. Recognising the stranger in a strange land, a leader takes the time to put the student at ease by:

  • having procedures and people in place, ready to welcome students on day one and make sure their week is a challenging but rewarding one
  • not sweating the small stuff. Leaders know not all playing fields are even. Some will come dressed in the latest styles and be naturally effervescent, others will do the best they can. If a student’s clothes don’t look quite right or if words don’t come easily, kindness and encouragement takes the place of criticism – even constructive criticism in these areas at this stage.


Communication Skills

Leaders are excellent communicators. When it comes to work experience, they take the time to:

  • explain the rationale for work experience to all staff, ensuring everyone understands why their organisation chooses to participate in work experience
  • lay the down the ground rules about what’s ‘cool’ and ‘not cool’ when it comes to assigning tasks and interacting with students. Often, it’s the off-the-cuff remarks or body language from staff that can turn a good experience sour
  • encourage questions and feedback, from staff and students, so improvements can be made where necessary.



Leaders don’t bury the mundane or the tough stuff, but they also recognise work experience isn’t about access to free manual labour – it’s about introducing students to the world of work in general. It’s meant to test their ideas and assumptions, build general skills, and potentially inspire a future career.

These things can only be achieved by enabling students to:

  • observe a variety of work being done
  • get involved in work and be given the chance to gain a sense of achievement
  • ask questions about the workplace
  • understand what kind of work opportunities there are in the industry
  • understand what subjects, study and further training they will need to do
  • learn what showing initiative or being enterprising looks like


If you want to foster and inspire a better future, welcome students in. Give them a chance to look around. Explain what’s what and who’s who. Encourage them out of their shell. Help them envisage the possibilities.

The benefits will be far greater than you can imagine.

We’d love to hear from you on this. Do you see your workplace as a leader in this area? Or have you got some learning of your own to do?

Job vs. Career

Posted on: August 27th, 2019 by amity No Comments

Is it really a job you want, or is it a career?

When you’re young and looking for a job, there’s plenty of tips and advice around on how to get one, yet there’s not nearly as much info on how to get a career.
Maybe it’s because having a career sounds like something out of reach – it’s lofty, or too ambitious – something for uni graduates only? For your long-term peace of mind, that’s an idea we’d like to knock on the head.


But first, what’s the difference between a job and a career?

Think of a job as something you take for money. Think of a career as something you build – out of a series of jobs that interconnect.
Now, picture these jobs all lined up like stepping stones across a river. As you move across, each job (or step) you take creates a path in a particular industry.


Why would you want to forge a career rather than simply take a job?

In a nutshell, it all comes down to growth and security. And no, we’re not just talking about money here. We’re talking about growing confidence and credibility. More than anything these are the things that give us peace of mind.
Each step you take in a career will see you growing – building skills, gaining more experience, cementing trust, and yes, earning you more money because of the skills, experience and trust you’ve built up over time.
Take a moment to imagine how much more confident and secure you’d be feeling with each step you’re taking across that river. And now imagine doing the opposite. Imagine leaping from your first stone to a log that comes floating by. Tricky hey? And where’s that log taking you? Will your skills and experience be wanted there? Or are they redundant?
If you’re always hopping from job to job in unrelated industries, because you’ve never really stopped to think about where you could go, you’re always going to be stuck at step one – learning from scratch again and again.


OK, so building a career is sounding like the smart choice. But where to begin?

If this is starting to sound a little overwhelming, stick with us. Chances are you’re already on a path and you don’t even know it.


Look back.

Even if you’ve only ever had casual jobs or no job at all, there’s a possibility that something you’ve done or something you’ve witnessed in the past created a tiny spark.
Can you remember a time when someone complimented you on something you did? Or maybe no one noticed, but you did something and felt a real sense of achievement afterwards. Maybe you found it easier to accomplish than those around you did.
Perhaps your career fire was kindled by someone or something you saw rather than did? Maybe you saw something and dreamed (even fleetingly) of being a part of it.
Think of as many moments as you can and jot them down on paper. What strengths do these moments prove you have? What potential careers are being revealed? Write those down too.


Look forward.

Look at the job you’re in or the job you’re going for and ask yourself, where could this job lead? If you see it as a potential stepping stone, building on skills and knowledge you already have, and leading towards another step in the future, fantastic! You’re on your way.
If you can’t really see the job leading anywhere, it’s time to start work on a career vision and a plan for reaching it.


Look at the here and now

There are a few ways you can go about mapping out a career path, and it will involve thinking about your current situation, your strengths and what gaps there might be in your education. This is a lot to think about. But don’t feel you have to do this on your own.
If you’re in a job, strike up a conversation with your boss or maybe a colleague or two above you who you admire. Ask how they got to where they are. Ask them what steps they think you could take to move forward.
If you’re still in high school, you could ask your teachers, your careers advisor, or a TAFE Careers Counsellor for help clarifying your options. In fact, even if you’re not in school or planning to enroll in TAFE, you can still access some great careers counselling via TAFE.
If you want to do some more thinking on your own first, head on over to Headspace, and try working on a career plan template.
If you’re in the Blue Mountains, Penrith or the Hawkesbury, talk to us. We’re here to help too.
Whichever way you decide to go for now, we believe in you. And we urge you to look before you leap into your next job!


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