“As an Indigenous parent, I knew I wanted to set a clear example for my children.”
When Sarah McMaster first enrolled in ParentsNext, a pre-employment program for parents with kids aged six or under, she wanted her kids to know that they could achieve their aspirations.
“I knew I wanted them to see that you could work hard to reach any goal you put your mind to,” Sarah said.
In the early days of the program, she wasn’t sure what to expect.
“Hayley Langton (at Multicultural Australia) was assigned my case and from the very beginning, (she) was incredible.
“She gave me all of the encouragement, emotional support, inspiration and financial support I needed.”
As part of ParentsNext, Sarah accessed the equipment, tools and support she needed to achieve her goals, at no cost.
“Hayley helped me get my blue card, police check, laptop and equipment needed for my studies.
Now studying a Diploma of Child, Youth and Family Intervention at TAFE, Sarah credits the support she received for helping her excel academically.
“She has seen me through the application process for my qualification and stressful assessments.
“Whilst I learned more about the injustices in different areas for Indigenous people, she sat with me, and inspired me to make a change in my field of work, right up to graduating early with excellent marks.”
For Multicultural Australia ParentsNext Officer Hayley Langton, working with Sarah was a blessing.
“We’ve been on a journey together,” Hayley said.
“She is Indigenous, and I am Indigenous – so I was able to provide a culturally safe space for her to grow.
“I’ve been in her position, and I know how hard it can be to get ahead.
“I have a similar lived experience, and understand the challenges.”
For Sarah, her ParentsNext journey has positively shaped her life and the lives of her kids.
“This has allowed me to show my children that through having an incredible positive support system, hard work, late nights and dedication, anything is possible.
“That to me, is a gift that is worth more than anything.
“My children are excited to say that they go to school and Mum goes to school too.”
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