Craig cham­pi­ons car­ing tol­er­ance

Ovens & Murray Advertiser - - WHAT'S ON -

How long have you lived in Stan­ley? I was born in Beech­worth and lived there for 28 years be­fore mov­ing to Stan­ley for where I have lived for the last 12 years. I am one of six kids, which leads me to a funny story be­hind my birth date. I cel­e­brated my birth­day on May 25 for 16 years, un­til I got my birth certificate to play foot­ball for Beech­worth un­der 18s and I dis­cov­ered I was born on the May 24. When I queried my mother about this – the re­sponse was: “You were child num­ber five and it was around mid­night when you were born – it was all a bit of a blur”. Mmm… The rest is his­tory. What’s your job? I have worked in the men­tal health com­mu­nity ser­vices sec­tor for more than 12 years, start­ing with MIND Aus­tralia in 2005.

I am cur­rently em­ployed as a sup­port fa­cil­i­ta­tor with the ‘Part­ners in Re­cov­ery’ pro­gram in Al­bury with Angli­care Vic­to­ria. My aim in this role is to bet­ter sup­port those in our com­mu­nity ex­pe­ri­enc­ing se­vere and per­sis­tent men­tal ill­ness with com­plex needs, and their car­ers and fam­i­lies. We try and achieve this by get­ting ser­vices and sup­ports to work in a more col­lab­o­ra­tive, co­or­di­nated, and in­te­grated way. What brought you to this role? A friend sug­gested that I look into a po­si­tion he had seen ad­ver­tised, work­ing with peo­ple ex­pe­ri­enc­ing men­tal health ill­nesses. I’ve al­ways been a bit of a peo­ple per­son and felt that this type of work sat well with who I am as a per­son and com­ple­ment­ing the nurs­ing stud­ies at the time. What do you love about your job? I love watch­ing a per­son grow with con­fi­dence, dis­cov­er­ing a sense of well-be­ing and feel­ing a sense of con­nect­ed­ness to their com­mu­nity and so­cial groups once again. What do you do in the com­mu­nity?

What’s the most im­por­tant cur­rent com­mu­nity is­sue for you?

The Stan­ley wa­ter min­ing. I think it’s a dis­grace that it is hap­pen­ing – not only in our back yard but any­where for that mat­ter.

What would you do to solve, change or im­prove that sit­u­a­tion?

Make the broader Aus­tralian com­mu­nity aware of the is­sue and its pos­si­ble im­pact on our way of life.

What’s the most im­por­tant cur­rent world is­sue for you?

Peo­ple’s tol­er­ance for each other. It seems we are los­ing the abil­ity to ex­er­cise tol­er­ance th­ese days.

If the per­son you’d most like to meet came to Indigo, or was al­ready here, who would that be and what would you show them?

Richard Roxburgh. I would take him to a shed night I fre­quent with my mates. It’s an in­for­mal gather­ing where we get to­gether and have done so for around 10 years, and it’s a space for laugh­ter, con­ver­sa­tion and men­tal well-be­ing. Why take him to that? I think it fits well with his char­ac­ter – Cleaver Greene of the tele­vi­sion show Rake.

BUILD­ING CON­NEC­TIONS: Stan­ley’s Craig English loves his work in men­tal health com­mu­nity ser­vices sec­tor and en­joys coach­ing kids in the AFL Aus­kick pro­gram.

I love coach­ing the AFL Aus­kick. The kids are great and it’s a good op­por­tu­nity to meet new fam­i­lies com­ing into our com­mu­nity.

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