Day 1

I had my first day of placement at Centrelink today. I’m up later than I should be so I’ll try and make this reasonable concise.

Firstly, I’ve started using words like concise. I think of my free time as time for appointments, I skim through emails and send two sentence replies so as to answer them all as efficiently as possible, I’m basically freaking out about being disorganised.

The day was a little overwhelming. We only saw two customers, but they were much more intense than I was used to handling. One of them, a 17yo pregnant girl, was denied the Unable To Live At Home benefit, which basically means she wasn’t given any money to live away from her parents because her reasons for leaving weren’t good enough. Her boyfriend got incredibly frustrated with the system and was worried they’d all end up on the street. I thought it was very reasonable, but legislation is legislation, so… I’ll have to harden up a little I guess. The other customer we saw was a middle-aged woman with cerebral palsy, who was denied any form of income support because she’s not an Australian citizen. So even though she can’t take care of herself at all, she won’t receive any financial help from the government, period. When she realised what my supervisor was telling her she started crying, and deep down, so did I. It’s going to be an interesting couple of months.

I’m struggling to find myself as a professional in the organisation. I don’t know who I am yet, but by the end of the three months I expect to have a much better idea. I’m still overwhelmed by everything I’m supposed to do, but in a few days from now I believe I’ll be much less stressed and able to handle the office once there’s not quite so much new information being flung at me.

Not seeing Bethwyn all week sucks too. It’s incredibly hard going from spending about three nights a week at her house to just Saturnights and Sunday. But we keep in touch as much as we can (gotta watch that phone bill…) and support each other. I’m looking forward to that hopeful day when we might live together.

All right, bed time for me. Hope everyone else is rocking on all right. Ah, and just one last thing…

It was John Bradford who said, "There but for the Grace of God go I".

Night y’all.


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