Room to grow

Ollie, Youth2Independence resident at Trinity Hill, Hobart, sitting outside in the courtyard

Ollie is a young man who’s hard to catch—full of energy and enthusiasm about what he can turn his hand to next.  It’s also clear he’s going places.

At just 21, Ollie has set himself a goal of buying a property within the next five years. Somewhere out of the city and close to the water so that he can follow his passions for spearfishing and diving and cooking his catches.

Along the way, he wants to grow his new gardening business and get more experience in roof labouring so that he’s in a good position to secure a plumbing apprenticeship.

Ollie has lived at Trinity Hill in North Hobart for the past 12 months. Trinity Hill is a 46-unit supported accommodation facility for young people that is funded by the Tasmanian Government and managed by Anglicare. Students pay a percentage of their income for a unit that includes a kitchenette and bathroom and gives them access to a gym, garden, games room, computers and professional support with education and employment. It also includes internet and electricity. It’s the perfect base for Ollie to develop his skills and save for his future.

“It’s great here,” Ollie says. “My brother and a long term friend also live here and there’s a really good network. I’m pretty self-sufficient—I’ve lived on my own since I was 16—but it’s been really helpful to have staff proofread my resumes and to be able to use the Anglicare computers.”

Ollie estimates he sent out around 150 resumes when he was looking for work—at a time when the coronavirus pandemic was affecting the economy and young jobseekers’ prospects with it.

“I got nothing back, so as soon as I got my driver’s licence I set up my own gardening business with the help of a family friend.  I did it to fill in the days where I couldn’t get any roof labouring work or work helping my family friend. I bought a ute from a family member and I started out with my granddad’s mower, whipper snipper and some other tools. I fixed them up and then slowly started buying my own stuff – next on the list is my own chainsaw. I trim hedges and trees and mow lawns and I’ve just built a pergola and a fence.”

Ollie’s business relies on word of mouth and an account on the Hipages app. It’s grown so quickly that after just three months, he now employs a friend on a casual basis.

“I would like to grow my business while also working at getting a roofing qualification,” he says.

Senior Youth Development Worker Rebekka Gale said Ollie was a very positive role model for other students at Trinity Hill.

“Nothing can keep Ollie down, not even COVID-19. He just tries something new,” she says.

“Ollie was the first graduate of a pilot program that we run on site in collaboration with TasTAFE, the accredited Certificate I in Developing Independence. As part of the course, students were asked to choose a community volunteering activity, so Ollie took inspiration from his love of cooking and created a herb garden for us, using plants and equipment kindly donated by Bunnings.”

When asked about the garden, Ollie looks slightly guilty: “It’s looking a bit neglected so I’ll have to get back into it,” he says.

In the small amount of spare time he has these days Ollie loves diving, particularly up on the East Coast where his aunt and uncle have a property. He’s also keen to complete his scuba diving certificate.

“The water on the East Coast round the Bay of Fires is just so clear, even down to six metres,” he says. “I caught my first abalone recently and it was the best piece of seafood I’ve ever eaten—I just pan-fried it really hot and quick with some garlic. My Pop used to be a cray fisherman and an ‘ab’ diver but he hasn’t eaten an ab for around 10 years, so I want to get one for him next time.”


Would you like more information on Trinity Hill?

Trinity Hill is located at 34 Church Street in North Hobart. It follows an ‘education first foyer’ model. Anglicare runs similar facilities in Launceston (Thyne House) and Devonport (Eveline House.)

If you would like to find out more about Trinity Hill, visit the Anglicare website here or give us a ring on 1800 243 232.



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