facebook image Maddy's Musings - Little Dreamers Australia

We’re making some changes to our programs at Little Dreamers. Find out more.

Maddy’s Musings

April 15th, 2019

Categories: News

On Wednesday 10th April I sat in on a co-design session run by ThinkImpact for a super-secret special program that we have been working on for nearly a year now. We had 13 people in the room – five Young Carers, two parents, one teacher, one psychologist and four Little Dreamers team members. I knew it was going to be informative and interesting, but I didn’t know how emotional it would make me.

First off, my Mum was there (good start I thought). I listened to her talk about how much I struggled at school and how difficult it was for her as a parent of a very sick little boy and a challenging young daughter. She spoke about how I didn’t want to go to school, how I was clingy, and how I played up and craved attention. She told stories about teachers who didn’t get it and those who indulged me when I made up stories about feeling sick so that my parents would pick me up early from school and hopefully spend some time just with me.

It was really the Young Carers speaking that broke me. I have become very good at separating myself emotionally from the stories that we hear and the families that we work with. If I didn’t, I would question my sanity every day. But hearing five Young Carers, who I have got to know very well through our Big Dreamers Program, communicate feelings and thoughts that I had when I was their age – that affected me in ways I never expected. They were clearly articulating the same challenges I had but never knew how to say. What hit me the most was that we had given them the platform to feel comfortable to do this.

Working every day in any job or business is tough. You get caught up in the day to day, in putting out the mini fires and quickly celebrating any success before moving on to the next task. Very rarely do I sit back and realise the opportunities we are providing as an organisation and the support we are giving these young people.

I say this a lot, and I worry that it may lose its impact. I really hope it doesn’t. We have created a space that I craved when I was a teenager, and to see it working and to hear young people talk about their lives makes me so incredibly proud.

Things are changing at the moment. Programs are growing, policies are being pushed through, new people are joining the team. It makes things difficult and busy and more often than not, very stressful. Days like our co-design session remind me why I do what I do, why we are so passionate, why we go against the grain and why we push so hard to make a difference. Next time I feel overwhelmed I am going to try and bring myself back to this feeling. It’s easier said than done, but all I can do is try.

Madeleine Buchner

Back to Top
Little Dreamers Australia

Search Little Dreamers Australia