May is a month where we highlight the activities of our members locally and globally.
Brigitte Rakow is a long term member of CBC and you can meet her on our About Us page, but with current restrictions on meeting in person we thought we’d do a virtual interview to learn even more:
Concord Baptist Church:
We hear you’ve been involved with Fusion for 36 years. (ed. Wow – that’s awesome!) Tell us about Fusion and who they are?
Fusion is a not-for-profit Christian Youth and Community organisation and our vision statement is “bringing young people and communities together with hope”. Fusion started in the 1960s and currently have 15 centres around Australia and are in over 15 countries including Albania, Canada, England, Ghana, Greece, Nigeria, Poland, South Africa, India, Nepal, Indonesia, and Jamaica. Currently we are working in Japan where we were preparing for the Olympic Games. Our work overseas began when we were asked to provide training in running festivals at major events such as Olympic Games or World Cup soccer. It was a way that the churches could contextually engage with their local communities.
That’s a lot of different places! Can you give some more examples of activities Fusion is involved with running?
Every centre differs with the services they provide, depending on the needs in that area as well as availability of staff. Programs vary. There’s drop-in centres, youth cafes, lunchtime programs in schools, op shops, day trips, accommodation and programs for young families, crafts and social activities for isolated women, parenting programs for young single parents, mentoring and other special programs for teenagers who are not fitting into the school system and employment training schemes. Other activities include outdoor education programs, community festivals connection in fragmented towns and suburbs, vocational rehabilitation, radio and print media and contributing to social policy development and action.
CBC: Sounds very much like there’s something for anyone. What are some things you’ve been involved with during your 36 years at Fusion?
I started off as a youth worker when I was 30 and then did the Diploma of Youth and Community Work. Actually also I did it a second time years later :-). I then continued on with youth work followed by office work, hospitality, accounting, staff support officer, PA to various centre leaders, assisting with organising Easter marches, Global March & Advent Pageants, State secretary, and recently finished as a cafe manager in Sydney.
Now I just help with whatever needs to be done at our student accommodation house in Campsie when I’m in Sydney and while in Poatina (Tasmania) I mainly help in the chalet kitchen and serving the different groups who were coming in ….. before the virus.
If we wanted to find out more information about Fusion or get involved, where should we go?
Best place to go is to head to www.fusion.org.au