I've just completed my fourth week as Divisional Social Program Secretary of the Melbourne Central Division. Lots of people have been asking me how the new job is going and I'm not really sure that I can say much yet. There have been a couple of moments when I've felt like I've done something useful and also a few where I've felt quite overwhelmed. It's slowly dawning upon me that the number of meetings that I need to attend has increased exponentially and although this is far from my favourite type of work perhaps I'll have something useful to contribute that will produce valuable results - at least that's what I keep telling myself.
One of the other side effects of my new role is that my allocated day at Brunswick is spent bothering all of the people that I miss spending time with. I'm sure that I'm being annoyingly enthusiastic to hear updates on how people are going with their housing issues or their struggles with addictions, their mental health problems or the justice system. So today I interceded in two situations where violence seemed imminent, hung out with the smokers outside for a while and spent nearly two hours in the counselling room. I believe it's vital for me to keep my feet on the ground and I have plenty of people to help me do that! I've thought before that it would be great if every THQ/DHQ officer spent regular time in a social service and now it seems I'm being held accountable to that measure. I'm sure there will be moments when I feel like I don't have the time, but for now it's a vital balance that I will continue to value.