For Students and Volunteers!

Introducing our second blog in the series from our student placements is by Karl, who speaks from the heart here about his experience with the Character Group…


Hey guys, my name is Karl and I am an undergraduate student at QUT who had the pleasure of conducting my placement with Character Care and Character Builders, located in Moorooka. I know some people find new experiences a little nerve wracking, but becoming a part of the Character team will quickly eliminate those nerves as the staff a super friendly and enjoy what they do – and you will enjoy it too!

The most interesting experience is unarguably being introduced to reflecting teams and then getting an opportunity to practice it. It truly is a unique approach where the primary therapist will be in one room with the client and the reflecting team sits behind a one-way mirror, noticing the client’s strengths and offering alternative perspectives to the client’s presenting issue, and collaborate preferred futures. This is a great opportunity to practice your counselling skills under supervision and with other students.

The most enjoyable experience was working with the Character Builder’s team where we facilitated activities with primary and high school students, with the purpose of influencing leaders and helping the students understand who they are, what they value, and where they want to be. The Character Builders team have phenomenal energy which makes the learning process for both us and the students’ fun and enjoyable.

I particularly enjoyed my time helping facilitate a year 5 school camp in Maroochydore.  The students were incredibly polite and curious sponges, soaking up everything you shared. It was incredibly cool to see how much the students transformed from day 1 to day 3. The students were able to spend time and make friends with others in their grade they wouldn’t normally associate with. They learnt how leaders step up, encourage others to step up, and learn when it’s appropriate to step back. The MOST IMPORTANT thing the student’s learnt however, is THE BIG UP! This is where the students are encouraged to nominate who they would like to give a positive affirmation to and why, with the cohort as their witness. Often these sessions start slow, but as time progresses, students muster up the courage to stand up and give out their BIG UP. These BIG UP sessions are truly valuable and can be quite moving – there hasn’t been a BIG UP session where at least one student has left me fighting back tears of emotion from what they had to say.

Any students looking for placement or volunteering opportunities and the above sounds far from what you expected from psychology, counselling, etc., yet it still sounds unbelievably fun and you’re willing to learn and realize how this experience is applicable to your future career goals, then I would not hesitate to make it your first choice. It turned out to be much better than I anticipated. No RAGRETS!