Student work experience at Casa Serena

Casa Serena is a Respite Centre in Stafford Heights

Kelvin Grove State College students undertook an inspiring one-week work experience at Casa Serena in December, organised by Co.As.It. Community Services and the Italian Language Centre (ILC).

Three Year 10 students assisted the respite centre’s clients with playing games, exercising, serving their lunch – but above all, brightening the clients’ days with kindness and affection.

This initiative combined Italian language and culture with work experience, as the students were responsible for welcoming the clients upon their arrival and learning more about their lives.

ILC Teacher Giovanna Amatruda supervised the students’ progress. “We put a booklet together detailing the proper words to use when speaking to the clients. The brochure had a section where the students had to practice using English and Italian when reflecting on their experiences and the skills they had gained.”

Students were prompted to discuss topics such as the cultural aspects of family for immigrants and female participation in the caring industry. Casa Serena staff welcomed the girls as part of the team, ensuring they had a fruitful week of learning at the centre.

“The staff was really unbelievable, making the students feel comfortable by encouraging them to ask questions and to observe how the caring tasks were performed,” says Giovanna.

“As they grew more confident over the days, and the clients got to know them better, their relationship blossomed into something great with beautiful smiles and laughs.”

The students had already visited Casa Serena in the past with a bigger group as part of the Immersion Day organised by the Italian Language Centre. At the time, the students interviewed the Italian clients of Casa Serena about their experience as immigrants.

Kelvin Grove College teacher Amanda Kennedy praised the initiative, affirming that Co.As.It. and ILC are creating something incredible for the students and community. “We are so blessed to have you as part of this project. We truly are creating experiences for our students so that they can become “globally competent learners, leaders and citizens. We are making it happen thanks to you.”