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CYC People

Grahame Williams

Location

Australia 

Biography

I grew up in the Western Suburbs of Sydney and after leaving high school travelled the world and worked in various jobs that bored me. I thought I’d put my brain to use by going to university and loved it. My passion for history didn’t pan out at Uni because the subjects were not of my liking – I did however enjoy the psychology subjects and this led to counselling, social planning, and sociology field. Working at a local youth centre whilst at uni gave me insight into what I felt I was good at and enjoyed. My CYC saw me work as youth worker, manager of a residential house of 8 to 10 children and a staff of 6, community adolescent and family counsellor in a rural area and then a city area then I moved into working with younger children using play and sand therapy. The last near 10 years being with Allambi Care in Newcastle Australia.

How I came to be in this field

My first real CYC job saw me move my wife and my little boy, who at the time was just under a year old, move 660 Kms where I worked on a residential farm for homeless youth called Youth Off the Streets. What an experience! Living in a group home with 8 children of ages ranging between 9 and 17 years and accommodating 3 other houses each day as they converged on ours to attend school. Learning not only how to manage all the personalities and various issues –sometimes on my own as relief workers didn’t exist – but also having to learn to drive a tractor, mend fences, gather eggs attend to horses – Oh boy! What was this city boy doing?

A favorite saying

“Some people see things as they are and say, why; I dream things see things that never were and say, why not!”  Robert F. Kennedy paraphrased from George Bernard Shaw.

“A mind is like a parachute – it doesn’t work unless it’s open” Frank Zappa

A few thoughts about child and youth care

Be genuine. If you genuinely take an interest and care for a troubled child, youth they will respond.

Last thing I read, watched, heard, which I would recommend to others

I read Karyn Purvis’s and David Cross’s book – The Connected Child re adopted and foster children and how to help. A must read for people in this field.

A favorite CYC experience

I was working on the farm doing residential care and 3 of the children were around 10 years of age but they tried to be big and tough and act like the 16 year olds. I started taking them out to the horse arena at night when I was on night shift and we played hide and seek and they loved it. They were soon acting their age and begged me to play any night I was on shift. Hearing them laughing and hide together (because they were scared of the dark) and just be boys is an experience I cherish.

A few thoughts for those starting out

A recommended child and youth care reading link 

http://empoweredtoconnect.org/band-aids-heal-more-than-you-can-see/

A writing of my own

www.cyc-net.org/journals/rcycp/rcycp-29-2.html    page - 85  /  Bringing the Circle of Courage into the Play Therapy Room

Influences on my work

Inspired by the person centred approach of Carl Rogers. The empathy and body of work of Garry Landreth. The calmness and spirituality of Martin Broken leg. The genuineness of the late Karyn Purvis and many more.

Anything else

I wonder what it’d be like to be Bill Gates?

 

Last updated October 2016

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