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O'Brien Electrical and Plumbing's Partnership Transforms Parkerville’s Rosemary Cottage for Future-Ready Students

O'Brien Electrical and Plumbing together with its charitable taskforce comprised of 60 skilled electricians, plumbers, glaziers and dedicated volunteers, selflessly utilised their valuable skills to give Parkerville's Rosemary Cottage a much-needed make-over. Their renovation efforts were truly remarkable, revamping the building for a meaningful cause.

In addition to their volunteering efforts, they graciously contributed a generous donation of $10,000 to Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s Education, Employment and Training (EET) program. This program, which operates five days a week from the renovated cottage, provides vital support to young individuals who face various challenges that put them at risk of leaving the education system before the compulsory school leaving age.

The Taskforce set out on a remarkable mission, completely revitalising Rosemary Cottage from top to bottom. They gave the cottage a lick of paint, breathing new life into both the interior and exterior and installed state-of-the-art air conditioning and fans to ensure a comfortable environment for staff and students. With utmost attention to safety, they replumbed the building replacing old and deteriorating pipes with a brand-new system and updated the electrical system and lighting; ensuring compliance met the highest of standards.

But it didn't stop there! The team also donated a shiny new BBQ for the EET program and contributed a range of brand-new ladders and paints, ensuring future building maintenance is a total breeze.

Education, Employment & Training Program: EET!

The Education, Employment and Training program thrives in the beautiful therapeutic environment of Parkville, fostering a conducive atmosphere for learning and personal development. Led by a dedicated team of experienced teachers and youth workers, the EET program has been making a difference in the lives of young people for over 30 years, providing an alternative path to success for 14 to 17-year-olds who are at risk of failing school.

Unlike the conventional education system, the EET program is a comprehensive blend of education, employment, and training, tailored to equip young individuals for a brighter future.

“We take immense pride in the program's success rate, with 95% of our young graduates moving on to traineeships, apprenticeships, jobs, or further education,” said Anna Ellis, Parkerville’s Education, Employment and Training Program Manager.

Ms Ellis continues “these young individuals often begin their EET journey with less than 30% attendance in regular schools. However, during their six months with us, their attendance dramatically improves to a remarkable 70-90%. This increased commitment and determination paves the way for their future success”.

Through this unique program, students are not only enrolled in their Certificate II in General Education, a nationally accredited course equivalent to year 10, but they are also employed by Parkerville and receive a wage for their work. The program's primary objective is to provide students with valuable skills and equip them with the necessary tools that will effectively prepare them for entering the workforce or move on to further studies.

Under the guidance and support of teachers and youth workers, students successfully complete the program with clear goals, a career plan and a renewed purpose in life. Not only do they gain valuable work experience, but they also receive references and develop a resume that positions them for success in the real world.

Parkerville Children and Youth Care’s CEO, Kim Brooklyn said "Witnessing the transformation of these young people is truly inspiring. They walk through our doors weighed down by labels and lacking confidence, but at graduation they step out in confidence knowing who they are, their future goals and a sense of where they want to go and what they want to do”.

The program's comprehensive approach ensures that students are equipped with the necessary skills and resources to thrive and pursue their chosen paths with confidence.

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Uniting Forces: Empowering Youth through Key Partnerships

The incredible renovation of Rosemary Cottage stands as a testament to the powerful results that can be achieved through robust collaborations between corporate businesses and community organisations. It highlights the significant impact such partnerships can have in improving the lives of young individuals.

Parkerville Children and Youth Care extends its heartfelt appreciation to the dedicated team at O'Brien Electrical and Plumbing, their remarkable volunteer taskforce, and the generous suppliers who generously contributed to this project. The renovations have had a profound impact that goes beyond mere physical upgrades. They have created a space where EET students can concentrate, learn, and flourish in their educational pursuits.

"Throughout the six-month duration of our students' journey with us, we have been privileged to witness remarkable transformations. Our young graduates emerge with heightened self-esteem, an enhanced sense of self-worth, and a newfound sense of purpose," said Anna Ellis.

Ms Ellis continues "The young people come to their initial interviews with their hoodies up, all very shy and nervous. Six months later at graduation, we see just how far these young people have come, as they stand tall, smiling and proud of who they are and what they've achieved here at the EET program”.

With these vital partnerships, we can continue to empower and uplift the next generation, ensuring a brighter future for all.

To explore corporate volunteering opportunities with Parkerville Children and Youth Care, kindly reach out via email or call (08) 9235 7099

Published in Messenger July 2023

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