Robbie Hendry - Westfield Local Heroes 2020
Making a tangible difference
TaskForce Community Agency
Driven. Encouraging. Compassionate.
Robbie Hendry might start his day by helping a young person find accommodation after a family breakdown. Next, he might be helping someone with their resume and coaching them on job interview skills. After that, he might travel to the city to support a TAFE student.
In-between appointments, Robbie will send all his clients their daily SMS to check that they are OK. If they aren't, he might provide grocery vouchers, myki cards and clothes for the workplace.
Robbie runs a TaskForce Community Agency pilot project to support young people into employment after they have left school early or disengaged from the community.
The project offers a 12-month traineeship as well as multiple layers of support to help with mental health, substance misuse, housing, antisocial behaviour and study.
"The people I work with have faced a lot of struggles in life, which can be quite heartbreaking," Robbie says.
"It's really about working to help them help themselves to build resilience and independence."
The reward for Robbie is seeing the young people engaging with their studies and improving their lives.
"When I see what a difference I can make to a young person in need, how could I do any other job?" he asks.
Westfield Local Heroes are nominated and voted for by their communities, with the three top finalists per Westfield centre each awarded a $10,000 grant for their affiliated organisation. The TaskForce Community Agency will use its grant to support young people in various ways, including through crisis support, peer support and possibly a graffiti program.
For further information on the Westfield Local Heroes program, click here