Meet the team : Rebeccah

Rebeccah joined the Karitane team as the Project Officer for Talking Realities Young Parent Program in 2011. Prior to this Rebeccah worked as a secondary school teacher for various schools within the Sydney NSW Region. Rebeccah has a Bachelor of Health Science (PDH&PE) and a Master’s in Teaching (Secondary) from the University of Western Sydney along with a Certificate IV in Training & Assessment (TAE) and a Diploma in Community Services Work (Tafe NSW).

As the project officer Rebeccah facilitates all aspects of the Talking Realities program to young parents 24 years & under and to secondary school students across Sydney NSW. Rebeccah writes, teaches and assesses the Tafe accredited training program and provides further education pathways for young parents enrolled in the program. Rebeccah continues to support our young parents with their career and education goals as well as in other matters such as; housing, case management and referrals. Rebeccah facilitates and books all secondary school presentations and continues to receive positive feedback for all bookings seminars.

Meet the team : Zoe

I was introduced to Rebeccah from my Karitane case worker who told me about this program. I had just turned 19 when I joined the Talking Realities young parent program. I was the youngest one there (not by much) but it really gave me the strength to keep moving forward and accept my new role. At first I really wasn't confident in my situation thinking emotionally and now financially but as we had our weekly meetings I got the strength to tell my story and I became a stronger mother.

Being in the program gives me reason to help young adults that would fall into a situation like mine and give them the strength to make the right decision in life because accepting the fate of being a young parent is life changing. However, it can be the best change if it is right for you.

I started building self confidence in myself as I learnt new skills from my fellow mothers that are close to my age. It was the best choice to join Talking Realities, I don’t think I would be this happy to be a mother to my daughter and enjoy her so much without the help and support of the Talking Realities program.

Meet the team : Cheyanne

I heard about Talking Realities when they came to my school to do the presentation for the young mums & Bubs day. Rebeccah pulled me aside and asked if I’d like to try it. I’m basically the baby of the group and program. I was 14 when I joined and now 15. I fell pregnant at 13 and had my daughter at 14½ years old; I still live at home with my mum and I am currently studying. I am currently in a relationship however this is not my daughter’s birth father.

Talking Realities has made me proud of what I have achieved, it has also helped me to be a calmer person and now I am very honest about my past experiences.

Meet the team : Kayla

I heard about Talking Realities through Centrelink, they gave my number to Rebeccah and she gave me a call. It sounded like a great program because I didn’t know any other teen parents. I fell pregnant at the age of 15 and had my daughter Krystal at 16. It has been tough trying to keep a relationship alive and continue with my education. Being a young parent can be a struggle but I love my little girl and wouldn’t change a thing.

Talking Realities has helped me gain alot more self confidence and I now have the drive to continue my studies.

Meet the team : Natalia

I was introduced to Talking Realities through my old Community Housing case manager early last year. I found that the program has alot of benefits e.g. qualifications, flexible hours, onsite childcare, meeting new people, getting to go into schools etc so I decided to join. It is very easy to get stuck in a day to day boring routine when you’re a young mum. I find that Talking Realities is a time in the week where my son and I can have fun. My son can play with his friends while I gain an education and meet new people.

This program has helped me recognise healthy and unhealthy relationships, given me a feeling of self worth and a different perspective on certain situations in my life. My son and I have met some awesome people who we enjoy spending out Wednesdays with.

Meet the team : Jess

My name is Jess and I fell pregnant at the age of 20 & it completely changed my life. I went from working full time & saving for a house to being sick & unable to work and depending on my savings. It also led to resentment towards my partner & the demise of our relationship.

I first heard about Talking Realities through my Brighter Futures worker who referred me as a pathway into furthering my education. This program has helped me to grow as a person & to further expand on my education opportunities. Not only has it helped me this way, it has inspired me to educate school students & to abolish stereotypes towards young parents.

Meet the team : Megan-Louise

I was on social media (Facebook) and I had commented on a swimming lessons photo for kids. That’s when Rebeccah from Karitane contacted me asking if I wanted to meet her to see if I wanted to join the team. It was truly one of the best decision of my life. ☺

When I was 19 I fell pregnant with my beautiful little girl, and I was very scared as I was in Tafe studying. I had lost a lot of my friends, and didn’t feel supported at Tafe, so I left. It wasn’t till I was 21 I found Karitane and I’m so thankful I did because growing up I’ve always had self-confidence issues. But Since joining Karitane last year I have grown so much! Mostly my confidence within myself has grown. With the help of Talking Realities Young Parent Program I feel I have gained a lot more knowledge, and set my goals higher for myself in life. Karitane has helped show me even though I am a young mum with the right support and qualifications I can do anything I put my mind too. I’m also very grateful to have met such amazing mothers in similar situations to me and to be able to have gained great friendships with them.

I’m now studying my Diploma in Youth Work and doing presentations also with Karitane. It’s such a great experience to be a part of and I’m so grateful to be a part of such a life changing organisation that really makes a difference. There truly are no programs out there like Talking Realities Young Parent Program.

Meet the team : Danyle

I found the Talking Realities Young Parent Program through another service provider. Rebeccah contacted me and scheduled a meeting to discuss the opportunity of joining the program.

I fell pregnant at the age of 16 and now have 2 children. When I started the Talking Realities Program my daughter was only 5 weeks old. Prior to this I was a full time mum to my 5 year old son and I worked part time in the beauty industry.

This program has helped me gain confidence in myself and helped me talk about my past. I have met so many great friends who have helped me through some tough times and Rebeccah has helped me find accommodation and provided support whenever I needed it.

After finishing the training I realised I can do anything I put my mind to. I’ve now applied for nursing at University and look forward to working towards my goals.

Meet the team : Amanda

I first heard about the Talking Realities Program through another young mum who had completed the program. I then contacted Rebeccah and she organised a meeting to discuss this opportunity.

Before joining the Talking Realities Program I was not doing anything for myself. I fell pregnant at 21and I was literally living day by day and staying at home being a mum with no real vision for myself or my daughter.

Talking Realities has helped me so much in so many ways. It has given me so much confidence in myself and motivation to build myself a future and my now goals which I wouldn’t have realised without Talking Realities in the first place.

After completing this program I have realised that I would like to become a primary school teacher. I have now followed the Talking Realities education pathway and enrolled into Tafe to complete the remainder of the Certificate III in Community Services Work. On completion of this I hope to enrol into University and study teaching!

Meet the team : Jess

I heard about the Talking Realities Young Parent Program through my counsellor. My counsellor has known for some time that I wanted further my study and that I had an interest in the community services sector. One day my counsellor got an email from Karitane for the Talking Realities Program; this program provides part of the Certificate III in community services work qualification so I applied straight away and got accepted.

I fell pregnant at 22 and before joining this program I was a stay at home mum. Looking after my daughter is great and all but I was longing for some productivity in my life. I needed something for myself and I needed to put my brain to work.

This program has helped me in a lot of ways. Firstly I have made long lasting friendships and my daughter has also made long lasting friendships. I have gained insight and knowledge about community services and all the topics included. I have gained motivation to succeed in my life and to further my study by going to Tafe and University so that I can provide a comfortable life for my daughter and myself. Without the help from Karitane Talking Realities Program I probably wouldn’t have had a plan. I have now followed the Talking Realities education pathway and enrolled into Tafe to complete the remainder of the Certificate III in Community Services Work. On completion of this I will complete the Diploma of community services work through Tafe then go onto university and study social sciences and reach my end goal of becoming a social worker.

Meet the team : Talisha

I first heard about the Talking Realities Young Parent Program through my youth worker and I thought it was a really great opportunity to study as they provided free childcare for my daughter in the next room.

Before joining the program I wasn’t really doing anything, I felt stuck in a rut and I was just staying at home looking after my baby. I fell pregnant at the age of 20 and lived by myself so it was hard to get into a routine.

This program has helped me so much. I have met a lovely group of young parents in similar circumstances as well as the workers in the program. I have made friends and gained more confidence in myself as well as gaining more knowledge at the same time. I have learnt so much since starting the program and I am now in a better place in my life.

After completing the training I have now realised that I would love to work towards a nursing career. I am taking the next 6months off to organise childcare and study and I plan to study the Certificate III in Health Services Assistance (Assisting in nursing work in acute care) in June. I am excited that I have goals for the future and I am looking forward to reaching them.

Meet the team : Taylor

I first heard about the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program through a mums facebook page, so I contacted Rebeccah to apply!

Before I began this program I was just a stay at home mum looking for work. I fell pregnant at 18 just when my life was supposed to start. I had studied so hard to become a flight attendant just before I fell pregnant but when I found out I was going to be a mum that changed everything and all of my career plans too.

This Program has given me so much confidence in myself. I’ve gained so much by doing this and I’m so happy I started this program. Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program (Bec) has made me feel like I’m ready for another chapter in my life.

Meet the team : Hayley

I first saw the Talking Realities advertisement on a mothers group on facebook, I then contacted Rebeccah to arrange a meeting. Initially I was scared to move on and better my life but Rebeccah gave me the courage to move on and better my future. Before I enrolled I was doing nothing and not really wanting to do anything either! I was literally just being a mum to my little girl! I ended up contacting the program because I really wanted to do something that would better mine and my daughter’s life.

This program has helped me so much! Especially with self-esteem! I now finally have some goals in my life and the program has helped me move forward and start my education pathway to reach my career goals.

Meet the team : Latoya

I seen a post of facebook about the Talking Realities Young Parent Program and messaged Bec then she called me back! Before I made the call to send that message I was sitting at home doing nothing with my life and had no idea of what I wanted to do let alone how I was going to get there. I had applied for so many jobs and got nothing!

This program has helped me realise that I can do what I want in life and being a young parent will not stop me. It has opened up a whole new chapter in my life that I never thought I would get to have. Honestly I have never been so proud of myself! The best thing I did was scroll through facebook and find that post looking for you young parents to start the Talking Realities Program, I was so happy when I got into the course!

Meet the team : Shari

I first heard about the talking realities program through a friend who had shared the recruitment photo on Facebook. I messaged Bec and she called me almost straight away!

At the time I was 22 years old and 14 weeks pregnant with my second and my eldest had just started kindy (fell pregnant at 16). I had an idea on what I wanted to do with the rest of my life but no idea how to achieve it and being pregnant I knew my options were limited.

Talking realities has been absolutely amazing for me! I finished the program even though I gave birth half way through, gained so much confidence in my ability to overcome challenges and made some very good friends along the way.

Meet the team : Brooke

My name is Brooke and I fell pregnant at 13 so I felt very alone. I was spoken bad about and put down alot being told I was young. I first heard about Talking Realities through a lady at MTC Youth Connections. I wasn’t attending school anymore and because I was underage I had to be in education so I thought this would be a great opportunity. When I first met with Bec (the Project Officer) she seemed great and understanding to work with. Talking Realities has been a life changing experience for me. When I got involved in this program it gave me the confidence to prove age didn’t matter. Young mums that had gone on a similar journey really helped me reach my goal to being the best mum I could be.

Talking Realities has helped me in many different ways, the main one is knowing that there are other people going through the same things. It helped me gain certificates and education that I thought was impossible. I proved to myself with help from the other mums that I could be a great mum to my daughter.

Meet the team : Shylee

My name is Shylee & I fell pregnant at the age of 17 while graduating my last year of school. I went through a lot of hardships and felt a lot of grief but I learnt how to cope and gained confidence. After giving birth I entered into the Talking Realities program.

My Aunty is a nurse and she told me about the Talking Realities Program so I did further research through the Karitane’s website and contacted the project officer about the course. Through this course I have gained experiences and confidence with presenting, support & knowledge.

Meet the team : Hannah

I became familiar with the program when I was pregnant through my older sister who is actually friends with Rebeccah. My sister rang me and explained what the program was. As soon as I heard about it I couldn’t wait to start! I knew it would be a great opportunity for me to meet new people and establish new friendships with others who have had similar experiences to me.

Before I had my daughter I had many plans. Plans to travel study and just about anything else that I wanted to do! I fell pregnant at the fresh age of 18, when my life was just about to start. So, essentially, those plans have been put on hold. And that also means that when we finally get around to going ahead with our plans, we’ll have a little tag along!

As much as I love my daughter more than anything in the world, I do sometimes miss the opportunities that I will never be able to take. It is a really difficult thing to face and the strains it has on you emotionally and physically is beyond measure!

It is so important to have support in this type of situation, and that is where Talking Realities has really helped me. Thanks to this program I no longer feel the anxiety that I felt when I was pregnant. I’m not scared to walk around the shops pushing a pram; I’m proud. The girls at TR made me realise just how much I have actually achieved and they taught me to embrace my new life rather than grieve my old one.

Meet the team : Paige

I first heard about Talking Realities in my short yet effective stay at Juniperina girls Juvenile Justice center when the girls done a presentation there.

I fell pregnant when I was 16 years old and gave my birth to my daughter at 17 old years old. Before joining the Talking Realities Program I had no plans to return to studying, I had no actual goals and no idea what the future was going to be like for my daughter or myself. I started to really doubt myself. I then seen that Talking Realities were enrolling and instantly messaged Bec! A few weeks later, there I was in the training room with a group of other young mums.

I was so nervous at first, although after the first training session myself and the other mums had already started to form a great friendship and have since become so close during the program. Wednesday became my favourite day of the week, I finally had something to look forward to and keep me motivated.

Since finishing the program, I now know that I am capable of much more then I ever thought I could be. I am currently looking to finish my Certificate 3 in Community Services and one day become a Youth Worker.

Joining Talking Realities is one of the best decisions/commitments I have made in my young adult life. I definitely recommend this program to other young parents.

Meet the team : Kaddie

I heard about the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program through my caseworker, she told me about it and I thought it was a good idea to enrol!

Before starting the program I was a fulltime mum waiting to enrol into Tafe. I was looking for work but struggling to find a job without any formal qualifications.

This program has helped me gain confidence and extra qualifications. It has motivated me to further my study and even apply to University! Since joining the program I have also completed a Certificate IV in disability work and am now looking to use my skills to apply for work!!!

Meet the team : Rebecca

Before joining the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program I was in term 2 of year 12! When I found out I was pregnant I went to my favourite teacher and she contacted the Karitane Talking Realities Program on my behalf! When I heard that I was accepted into the young parents program I made the decision to leave school and start studying with the Talking Realities Program and find a job in-between to better prepare myself and my partner as I knew I was soon to not be working!

Talking Realities has boosted my confidence and given me advice on how to reach my future goals. They helped me believe in myself and that as an expected mother and have provided support every step of the way! The girls in the group made me feel safe and altogether we have mad lasting friendships.

Meet the team : Brittney

I first heard about the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program through a friend who had graduated from the program the previous year. I became a young mum at the age of 19. At the time of joining the program I was grieving the loss of my third born child and raising 2 other children.

This program has helped me build confidence in myself and gain knowledge. The project officer is working with me to achieve my goals and I am now making plans to reach those goals! They have provided me support and guidance throughout the training program not only in tertiary education but also for myself personally and I can’t to start presenting in schools!

Meet the team : Sophie

I found the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program through a post shared on Facebook, I applied and arranged to meet with the worker straight away! I became a young parent to my beautiful son at the age of 22. As a first time mum I was very overwhelmed but excited!

Since joining the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program I have noticed that my self-esteem and confidence have both increased and the program helped me gain knowledge and support to reach my future goals. I have now graduated from the program and enrolled into Tafe to further my education and I am now looking forward and know that I can reach my goals of becoming a social worker!!!!

Meet the team : Kathleen

I found out about the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program through my old caseworker! Before joining this program I was a stay at home mum not really knowing what I wanted to do!

Since joining, this program has given me access & knowledge about the course I wish to pursue. I have gained more confidence in myself and my parenting ability and I also received formal qualifications whilst working in a fun and supportive environment!

Meet the team : Bonnie

I found out about the program through some friends who had graduated from the program previously! Before starting the Karitane Talking Realities Young Parent Program I was at home with my 4 children (I have twins!) looking for something to start/study. I wasn’t really sure about what I wanted to do and I was finding it hard to start something due to the cost of childcare!

Talking Realities was a great option for me as they provided free childcare on our study day that took the pressure off! It was extremely manageable with training only one day per week!

Since joining the program I feel more confident in myself and I have been able to meet new friends! The program officer has helped guide me towards my goal career and I am now continuing my studies further at Tafe next year!! The program Officer has given me the encouragement and the push to get back into studying and I know that I can reach my goal of being a social worker!!