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A journey of Empowerment and Impact with Outreach Manager Pita Taimani

This week we are placing the spotlight on our Youth Services team. We yarned with Outreach Manager Pita to learn more about his role and what it means for him to support our young people.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I was born and raised in Brisbane, growing up in New Farm and Moorooka. I’m a proud Tongan-Samoan (Pacific Islander). Beyond work I’m a family man and entrepreneur.

How long have you been at ATSICHS Brisbane?

I’ve had a few different roles during my time here at ATSICHS. I first started in August 2019 as a Case Manager within the Youth Service team. I then moved into the Youth Co Responder role from and from there I became the Outreach Service Manager.

Why did you want to work for ATSICHS Brisbane?

I came to work at ATSICHS because I wanted to return to working in community. When I saw a vacant position in case management, I applied for it. Youth Case Management was a role that I’ve always been passionate about as I had previously worked at a homeless shelter for 4 years as a senior case worker. My passion to work with youth has always led me to work in community.

Can you tell us more about your role in Youth Services?

As an Outreach Manager I look after a dedicated team who are passionate about the youth we work with. Our case management service is an early intervention program for young people who present risk factors that may impact their well-being. We provide a wraparound service for our young people on the streets, linking them up with the right services and supports so they can achieve their goals. We also provide outreach services in the Logan and Brisbane communities to divert young people from becoming involved in the Youth Justice system. This means picking them up from the CBD or Logan and taking them to a place of safety. We also work closely with different organisations to ensure our youth are properly supported.

What is the most rewarding part of your role?

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing the improvements and impact that we make in young people’s lives. There’s one young person’s story that always comes to mind when I’m asked why I do what I do. I first met them in Brisbane City when they were 12 years of age. They were well known to Youth Justice and Child Safety. This young person received case management on and off over the years. They are now 16 and living in a stable place with family, attending school and no longer under Youth Justice orders.

The collaboration between services and our youth teams meant that this young person had consistency and stability around the clock. They were supported in reaching their goals and encouraged to make positive choices.

Why do you think it’s important to support our young people to achieve their goals?

I think that some of our young people’s lives are dictated by their surroundings and what they may perceive as normal. When we are given the opportunity to make a positive impact on their lives, that’s what matters. We become role models, not by what we say, but by what we do. I believe this is what we do well, we keep showing up for them every day.

What is something you most are proud of?

I’m proud of how far I’ve come in my own journey. I was someone who struggled in school and had difficulties reading and writing. After year 9 I was expelled from school and I thought that was it for me. But then I found my passion working with youth and eventually enrolled in TAFE to complete a Certificate IV in Youth Work. I then completed my Diploma in Community Service and went on to become a manager of an amazing team. I am very proud of all that I have achieved and hope that I can inspire others to never give up on their dreams.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

I like to keep balance outside of my work by spending time with family and friends, family is important to me. I also like to keep physically active through Brazilian jujitsu and boxing.

A hobby of mine now turned side hustle is cleaning sneakers. Restoring pre-loved sneakers and bringing them back to life so you can keep stylin’ up in them.

 Check my page out on Instagram, diamond_sneaker_clean.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go? 

I want to go anywhere in Asia where they have mad feeds!

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