Taking Kare on Sydney's streets
Like many young Aussies, UTS Bachelor of Nursing student Jack Cornish took some time off before study to live and work as a bartender in London.
Upon his return home, however, he noticed something distinctly different about alcohol culture in Australia.
“Prior to studying at UTS, my main source of income was bartending. I worked for quite a while in London, and when I moved home and started working in Sydney city, it became really clear to me that Australia’s relationship with alcohol is uniquely dysfunctional. I’ve seen plenty of good nights turn bad.”
It seems fitting then, with his experience working in bars partnered with his study of healthcare, that Jack would go on to volunteer with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation, as part of the UTS SOUL Award.
The Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation was formed following the death of 18-year-old Thomas Kelly in an unprovoked coward attack in Kings Cross in 2012.
The foundation has played a pivotal role in pushing for cultural and behavioural changes in Australia’s drinking culture through education and initiatives.
One such example is the Take Kare Safe Spaces, which sets up ‘safe spaces’ for young people at risk in the City of Sydney on Friday and Saturday nights.
Jack is the UTS Volunteer Coordinator of the Take Kare Safe Spaces and works with both the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and St John’s Ambulance to recruit fellow UTS students to volunteer for the initiative.
In this role, Jack has organised and run a number of successful information and volunteer recruitment events including a stall at UTS O’Day, a Health Symposium with Take Kare, and a BBQ with the UTS Nursing and Midwifery Society. His work has also led to 20 UTS students’ ongoing volunteering with Take Kare.
Moving forward Jack hopes to implement a succession plan to find new Volunteer Coordinators to take over the reins once he has finished up.
“It’s pretty early days but I’m hoping to create a position within the UTS Nursing and Midwifery Society that is dedicated to the promotion of student engagement in extra-curricular activities. I’ve put a lot of time into the society over the past year, so it would be great to marry the two projects and keep the ball running,” he said.
Through his work with the Thomas Kelly Youth Foundation and UTS Shopfront, Jack has grown and developed both personally and professionally.
“Through SOUL, I’ve been exposed to a range of different experiences, and have been pushed out of my comfort zone time and time again. I’ve met so many like-minded people and it’s been great to rub elbows with other students and volunteers who share the same values and interests as I do.”