Meet Monto's new rural youth support worker
WHEN Monto's Darcie Williams was an adolescent, she had to constantly move schools for her parent's work.
"I know how difficult it is to up and move states and try to fit into that awful age of 14-16 where everyone is cliquey and they don't want to know you,” Ms Williams said.
In Year 11 and 12, she was assisted by inspirational teachers.
"We just got along like a house on fire and that definitely made my schooling experience a lot easier,” she said.
So she decided to become one of them.
While her placement at Monto State High School starts at the end of the month, she has also taken another role which will allow her to assist kids who were just like her.
Ms Williams is Monto and Eidsvold's new rural youth support worker, operating out of the Monto Neighbourhood Centre under the auspice of community services provider LiveBetter.
"There's so much to learn,” she said.
"Everyone's asking what programs will you be doing.”
Ms Williams said they will all be unveiled in due course once she has sat down with all the schools, as she wants to process to be student-led.
"I haven't planned any projects yet because I want to gain knowledge of the interests of local kids to ensure that what I plan interests them,” she said.
Ms Williams is planning on opening the youth shed at the Neighbourhood Centre from Monday-Wednesday (time TBA) and is also interested in the idea of hosting workshops such as resume writing and health and hygiene, things kids "need to be aware of that's not so much run in littler towns.”
"We don't have the resources and the advantages of what say Brisbane does, we don't have 20 different sports that run of an afternoon,” Ms Williams said.
"If kids aren't in to football, they don't have multiple other activities to choose from.
"And if you're not interested or into sports, there's not many other clubs to be involved in.
"In Eidsvold, they have even less kids there, there's no sport there at the moment, kids currently play hide and seek around the town to keep themselves entertained.”
Ms Williams said an important part of her new role is supporting the mental well-being of Monto and Eidsvold's youth.
"Being in a rural sector, it has a stigma that bush kids are meant to be tough and they're not meant to have feelings, but it's just not the case,” she said.
She wants to assist kids in looking out for one another.
"The school here isn't huge, there's not an abundance of kids, so if you don't get along with one friendship group you can't just go to another,” she said.
"For kids, if they're a bit different, or unique, you get judged, there's no other groups you can turn to.
"It's just going back to the basics and saying look, we're a community, we're going to all hang out together, support one another, let's get back to being kids and having fun.”