Cathy Carnovale is our Victoria State Coordinator and just recently passed the 10 year mark with CREATE! It’s been wonderful having her part of the team and her guidance and support are greatly appreciated. We interviewed Cathy to find out about her most memorable moments.
Why did you join CREATE?
At the time a friend worked for CREATE and spoke really highly of the organisation. We had worked in residential care and case management together for a while and so I trusted her judgement.
What’s the best part about being with CREATE?
Working with the amazing young people and together being part of positive change.
What has been your fondest memory?
A few years ago I was lucky enough to accompany our CEO and another CREATE crew from QLD to go to New Zealand (NZ) to do some work with the Dingwall Trust. I worked with young people to prepare for their first ‘hui’ with their government. A hui is a New Zealand term for a social gathering or assembly. We worked with young people to use their voices to talk about the out-of-home-care system in NZ. Young people presented to their minister and other officials on current good practice, current gaps in the system and possible solutions. The main focus was on raising the leaving care age from 17 to 18+. For many of the young people involved it was the first time they stepped up as leaders, to unite and use their voices to impact change. It was amazing to watch their journey and hear how empowering the process was for them. It was just magic!
Any embarrassing or funny moments?
Actually, when I was in NZ the group of young people I was working with thought my Aussie accent was very funny. So much so, that they kept getting me to say ‘Fish and chips’. They laughed and said, it’s not ‘Feesh and cheps‘ its ‘Fush and Chups’. They laughed at me for days!
Do you think CREATE has changed over the last ten years and how?
Absolutely, CREATE has grown a lot! When I started some state offices were solo states with only one staff member. There was also 9 offices, one in each state and head office in Sydney. We now have 12 locations. Including an additional head office in Brisbane, a second office in Darwin in the Northern Territory, and here in Victoria we are also running out of Frankston.
What’s been your biggest challenge yet?
Connecting with rural communities. I wish our team could get out and about to rural areas more and offer more events in outer Victoria. Its challenging to hear rural voices face to face as much I would like!
For young people starting at clubCREATE, do you have any advice?
Yes, people want to hear what you have to say, they really do! Your voice is important. We can learn a lot from you on how to make out-of-home care the best place it can be for children and young people. There are heaps of ways to get involved and you can connect with loads of young people who have had similar experiences to you. Give it a go! You can be as little or as much involved as you want.
What do you love doing in your spare time?
The beach is my favourite place to be. Nothing can beat a day with sun, sand and your board! I also love hanging out with my kids, doing stuff like our veggie garden, and seeing their excitement eating food they have grown, it’s even better than when they let me win on Mario kart!