On a Wednesday night in early December, we held a celebration of our achievements in 2019. Ajaya Haikerwal, our Assistant Program Manager and Executive Assistant, reflects on two years of climate action work with us.
For me, this formalised closing-of-the-year was different to previous years, for a number of reasons. The first and most obvious reason was that we had moved offices (and hence the venue) to T.O.M.S Place in Brunswick. The refurbished market space that C4C now calls home transforms into a stunning event space, complete with recycled furniture, calming indoor plants, and hip neon signs. There's a bunch of other great orgs settling in too, check them out here.
As C4Cers of all backgrounds - facilitators, staff, board, fellows and volunteers - past and present caught up on the journeys we had all taken this year, a very special group of performers were warming up their voices and bodies. Outside of C4C, Mike, our National Program Manager performs with Melbourne Playback - a theatre troupe that facilitates suggestions and stories from the audience and weaves them into improvised snippets. It was a fantastic experience, with song and movement and energy that captured the themes of the year really beautifully - from the election, to Greta Thunberg, to the community that C4C is and much more.
Lastly, this celebration felt different to me as it was my last major event as a staff member. I've been a part of this warm, passionate team of individuals since the end of 2017 and now, just over two years later it's my time to move on. I couldn't think of a better group of people to help save the world and to create a better future with. This is the first "proper job" I've had and to sum it all up in a short post is a mammoth task. I've learnt so much, met so many incredible individuals, and shared so many wonderful moments with the staff and facilitator teams. So here's three quick points:
My thinking around climate change and action, democracy and conversation has been fundamentally transformed. If you'd told me five years ago that I'd be deeply invested in the way our political system functions (let alone try to educate others on it and lobby my MPs) I might have laughed in your face. This, as well as climate action now makes up a huge part of my life, identity and passion.
I've learnt a lot from just turning the internal C4C cogs. I'm fairly confident that I could run my own NFP now from all the background governance work I've done with Katerina, not to mention all the systems/processes I've set up for the day-to-day operations. I'm really proud that the work that I've done here has made things more efficient, clear and organised.
I've had the privilege to work with such an amazing team. It really is the people you share a journey with that make it all the more worthwhile, to push through the hard times and to propel the organisation further and further into the future. Within both the staff team and facilitators, I have watched leaders grow and made so many friends whom I know will be sticking around for the long run.
C4C Staff team: 2017, 2018, 2019
Thank you for being part of my journey. If you want to stay in touch, add me on LinkedIn, or maybe I'll see you at a future C4C event.