AT A GLANCE

CHAR­ITY WORKER HELPS KIDS GET CRE­ATIVE

Mt Druitt - St Mary's Standard (East) - - TRADE + SERVICES - Janita Singh

ASK any­one to de­scribe their “best mo­ment” at work, and you’ll soon be able to iden­tify those who work in the com­mu­nity or char­i­ta­ble sec­tor or with a non-govern­ment or­gan­i­sa­tion (NGO).

Craig New is one of them. He has many roles, from be­ing in “mis­sion con­trol” to man­ag­ing vol­un­teers and tu­tor­ing at the Syd­ney Story Fac­tory.

Co-founded by Dr Cather­ine Keenan, the 2016 Lo­cal Hero in the Aus­tralian of the Year awards, Syd­ney Story Fac­tory is a non-profit cre­ative writ­ing cen­tre that runs free writ­ing work­shops for marginalised and other chil­dren from grades 3 to 12.

“Work­ing with the kids and see­ing their writ­ing, at­ti­tude and con­fi­dence de­velop is the big­gest re­ward,” Mr New said.

“It is the great­est place on earth ... Syd­ney Story fac­tory re­lies on a huge team of stu­pen­dous vol­un­teers who sit with kids in work­shops and help them to dis­cover their sto­ries.’’

Leav­ing a mu­sic in­dus­try job to work in a char­ity was a big move for Mr New.

“For a long time mu­sic To work in com­mu­nity ori­ented or char­i­ta­ble work, you need to have com­pas­sion, pa­tience, hu­mil­ity, cu­rios­ity, imag­i­na­tion, kind­ness, a sense of hu­mour, a will­ing­ness to do ev­ery­thing for the greater good, Craig New said. Many char­i­ties run train­ing cour­ses for peo­ple who want to trans­fer their skills from other sec­tors. was my ab­so­lute pas­sion, but over time I grew dis­il­lu­sioned with the in­dus­try,” Mr New said.

“I was a big fan of (US au­thor) Dave Eg­gers and read about the writ­ing cen­tre he set up in San Fran­cisco.

“I’d al­ways loved writ­ing and work­ing with kids. I de­cided that one day I would set up a cen­tre just like that in Syd­ney. Imag­ine my joy to dis­cover some­one had al­ready done it.”

Af­ter learn­ing about the Syd­ney Story Fac­tory at a Syd­ney Writ­ers’ Fes­ti­val event in 2013, Mr New signed up as a vol­un­teer.

He was later hired in a “mis­sion con­trol” role, which in­volves an­swer­ing a lot of emails, and to­day he man­ages the 1200 volun-

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.