Q&A with Leisa Garling
Q: Tell us about the Circles of Care program. What makes it different?
A: Circles of Care helps Indigenous families and schools work together to achieve positive outcomes for children’s learning and wellbeing. We have the unique flexibility to be able to adapt the program to each student’s needs.
Q: Circles of Care is funded through Mission Australia’s fundraising programs, rather than the government. Does this allow you more flexibility? How so?
A: Absolutely! It has allowed the program to adapt and grow over the years. From feedback from the community, we have been able to see what works and get rid of what doesn’t to allow the program to evolve and stay relevant for those that need the service.
Q: What are the greatest joys and challenges in your work?
A: The greatest joys are seeing a family I have worked with succeeding, watching a child build their confidence, and having their attendance improve or achieving a milestone.
The greatest challenge is that the services a family needs to access aren’t always available in their area; that adds to a family’s struggles.
Q: Tell us about the ‘jars of kindness’ that the kids recently made for Mission Australia staff.
A: The girls wanted to thank the team that supports me, so they filled jars with personal items, positive messages and things to tell our staff to enjoy the moment.
They then went with me to deliver the jars and had an amazing time. They couldn’t wait to tell the other girls and their families how many people worked at Mission Australia and that you can actually get a job being kind to people!
Mission Australia's Circles of Care program currently runs in Cairns and Inala in Queensland.
This article originally appeared on Fundraising Institute Australia’s website (www.fia.org.au)
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