AT A GLANCE
CHARITY WORKER HELPS KIDS GET CREATIVE
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-