At the start of 2013 when my Career Pathways teacher started telling us about the compulsory week of work experience I was both excited and nervous. When I think of work experience, I think of trying out a job that you like and that you may end up doing for the rest of your life – which seems like a big choice to be making at age 16. We were given examples of previous student’s choices: girls who had gone to law firms, hospitals, schools and vets. These all seemed really great, but none of these were in the job area that I was looking for. I would like to work within an organisation that is community-based and that aims to empower people; this is what I saw that Urban Seed did, and what attracted me to apply. So, at the start of December 2013, I was lucky enough to be accepted for a week of work experience at Urban Seed.
When finding my way up Collins Street on the first morning of the week, I passed the regular high end boutiques that include Chanel and Dolce & Gabana. The city workers walked quickly by me while looking at their phones and drinking their coffee. It was an atmosphere that all felt quite lonely. But once I walked through the doors of the Credo Café there was warmth, community and welcome – and this is what I received every day.
For most days of the week, I was on cooking and cleaning duty at Credo. This was a fun experience that enabled me to meet some of the staff, volunteers, Residents and regulars that are apart of Urban Seed’s community. It also gave me the opportunity to understand how non-government organisations, like Urban Seed, run their operations. Prayer and lunch time were my favourite parts of Credo. It was great to see the many ways that people were able to show their appreciation and thanks to God. Lighting candles, singing and playing musical instruments were all great things to be a part of.
I love food, but this was not the only great thing for me about being at lunch. There were many different people who came each day, from many different situations, all whom I would have never had the opportunity to talk if it wasn’t for the community at Urban Seed. The conversations I had with some of the regulars ranged from what European countries we had travelled to, to why there was conflict in the world. They were all fantastic people to talk to and share a meal with.
I was fortunate enough on my last day of work experience to be invited to come along to the final Women’s Group meeting of the year. It also turned out that we were travelling to Brunswick Savers to celebrate this, which is one of my favourite places to shop. So not only was I excited to meet the women who are a part of Urban Seed’s community but I was also looking forward to finding a bargain. I was able to do both!
My overall experience at Urban Seed was a great one and I would like to thank everyone one who made it so great. If I was to work at a place like Urban Seed in the future, I wouldn’t be nervous anymore – I would be excited.