One Friday night I had the privilege to share some time with a bubbly and spirited young person (who we will call Rosie). This experience had a profound and positive impact on me.
As family workers, we don’t normally get much one-on-one time with children. Our focus is more focused towards supporting mum to achieve her goals. However when art therapy is on, the evening worker on that particular day drives children to and from the group and this often provides for valuable one-on-one time.
It was the first time that I’d met Rosie. She and her family were living in one of our transitional homes. When I arrived to pick her up, Rosie said goodbye to her mum and hopped into the car, excited to sit in the front seat. She started chatting about her grandmother (who was at the house at the time) and things that she liked about school. Rosie loves sports and maths. She told me about her old house, living in another state and that she was happy to be where she was, although she was yet to make any good friends at her new school. Rosie spoke in a way which was beyond her 8 years and this saddened and amazed me.
Upon arriving at Bonnie’s, Rosie noticed the Aboriginal flag next to the front door and announced that she too, was Aboriginal. This made for a nice reminder about why we have it displayed: the sense of pride and connection Rosie felt when she saw the flag made her feel welcome and accepted at Bonnie’s.
Rosie seemed a little nervous when I took her to the childcare room to start art therapy. But when I picked her up again to take her home, she was playing outside with the other children, all laughing and chatting away on our equipment. This made me feel happy; she had made connections with the other children.
Upon arriving home, Rosie told me that she’d enjoyed meeting me and thanked me for driving her and told me that she had really enjoyed the group.
This reminded me of how important our work is at Bonnie’s. We hope to impact the lives of children and families; so that they can live free from violence and have a happy and stable future.
Written by Alison M.
Photo by Melbourne Streets Avant-garde, photo was cropped