the dale young mothers’ program: tamara and talan
We’re continuing our series on the Dale Young Mothers’ Program (YMP) from Wyong, NSW.
Funded by the Youth Connections program and the Wyong Better Futures Local Solutions Local Advisory Group, the Dale Young Mothers’ Program gives young parents the chance to complete their year 12 certificate and form pathways to further education/work by creating a supportive environment that is flexible and that caters to the needs of both the parents and their children.
Lip spoke to four of the young mothers completing the program about their experiences, and what their future looks like now. Last week, we brought you the story of Skye, a young mother who is completing the Dale Young Mothers’ Program to finish her High School Certificate and fulfill her dreams for her future.
Today, meet Tamara (24), who is raising her four-year-old son Talan while also completing the Young Mothers program. Through the program, she’s built her communication skills and is now enrolled in an assistant nursing course through ET Australia.
Lip: Tell us a bit about your life at the moment – what do you get up to on a day-to-day basis?
Tamara: I live in Budgewoi. I rent my house with my little boy Talan, who’s four. We live by ourselves so it’s just us. I come here (to the YMP), we go to the beach and stuff like that. Basically we just do mother/son things!
I play netball, I love hanging with the girls and going to the beach. We (the girls and I) got our nails done yesterday, that was good! Just girly things… Because I have Talan we do a lot of boyish things. I love being outside!
Lip: Can you tell us a bit about Talan?
Tamara: He’s a four-year-old going on twenty-four (laughs). He is a terror at the moment! But I wouldn’t give him up for the world. I love his personality. He has so much to offer, he’s just amazing! Everything he does amazes me. He amazes me everyday! He has the biggest imagination. He thinks he’s everything and anything! He’s just a beautiful little boy.
Lip: How do you think the Young Mothers’ Program is helping you?
Tamara: Believe it or not I previously had the worst communication/social skills ever. [The YMP] has given me way more confidence to go and talk to randoms I suppose (laughs) – socialising I guess! All the girls here are in the same boat so you feel comfortable talking to each other, it’s an amazing program, I love it. I’ve made so many friends and they all understand because everybody is going through the same thing, so you aren’t judged.
Lip: Before you started with YMP, do you think you had a different view of your future?
Tamara: Oh yeah. Before I came here I was sitting at home staring at four walls thinking what am I going to do when Talan turns four and starts preschool. Now I’m enrolling in an AIN course. It’s an assistant in nursing course through ET Australia. I start in June.
Lip: What have you achieved through the YMP already?
Tamara: Oh my goodness – life skills and budgeting! Just learning day-to-day life skills. I sucked at maths and essays, and now I know how to do it all, I’ve conquered everything! It’s so good, I love it! We do get assignments, which when I first got I was like, how do I do this? But I’ve had amazing support which has helped me.
Lip: What are your plans for the future?
Tamara: I want to own my own house. That’s my dream goal. If anything was to happen I would want to be grounded and I know Talan would be okay. I would like a full time job and to make sure Talan has everything. It’s all about him!
Lip: If you could offer any advice to young parent, what would it be?
Tamara: Don’t do it! (laughs) No. To make the best of things. Don’t look at it as a negative because there is so much support out there. Do a program like this. Don’t bottle things up. That’s worse. Always make sure you get the support you need.
You can find out more about Youth Connections through their website.
The Wyong Local Advisory Group funds the Young Parents Program Wyong and also supports the local community. The Local Advisory Group aim to increase employment opportunities, improve social economic and social participation, promote accessibility to early childhood support, increase levels of educational attainment and promote the development of life skills of young parents, jobless families and the long-term unemployed in the Wyong Local Government Area (LGA).