Tam Quinnn says the young people she works with give her a reason to smile every day.
Together with the enthusiastic youth services team at YES Unlimited, it’s clear this motivated mum of two isn’t just paying lip service to such a statement.
Ms Quinn, senior youth worker Serena Kent and youth and family worker Charlie Harsant were recognised for 10 years of service at the organisation’s recent end-of-year celebration and AGM.
CEO Di Glover said the trio were incredible assets to YES and had shown unwavering enthusiasm for helping young people and their families.
“It’s really remarkable to have such long-term, high quality staff in an industry characterised by short-term funding contracts,” Ms Glover said.
Ms Quinn said what she loved most about her role was thinking big-picture while working at the community level.
“I have been encouraged to be innovative in finding solutions to bring about positive change and I hope that has made a difference to people’s lives,” she said.
In her 2017 annual report, Ms Quinn acknowledged working with young people was not without challenges.
She listed the ongoing problem of housing affordability as “especially striking” with the “lower end of the housing market becoming increasingly difficult to break into”.
Ms Quinn said early disengagement from education had a significant impact on a young person’s future trajectory.
“We work with many high school students who, for obvious reasons, struggle to maintain school when becoming homeless, despite support and encouragement to remain linked with education,” she stated.
The 2017 report revealed the YES youth services team provided homelessness services to 102 young people, including 1386 nights of crisis accommodation through Broughton House Youth Refuge.
The Hive Youth Resource Centre at Lavington was literally abuzz with activity during the year with 1756 young people accessing its supports – an increase of 37 per cent on 2016.
Ms Quinn pointed to glowing reports of The Hive’s role as a “wonderful resource for many young people who are struggling to successfully engage with their school and community”.
Home school liaison officer Ian Belgre also wrote the venue provided a “safe, encouraging and positive environment, which the participants really appreciate”.
From pop-up shops to peer leadership programs, The Hive has helped many young people spread their wings and fly.