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ORCA Project participants help make virtual Synod in Session a reality

People with different abilities have played a special part in the 35th Synod in Session, writes James O’Callaghan.

The 35th Synod in Session will be a unique experience for members as for the first time, the meeting will be held virtually due to COVID-19.

Through the ORCA Project—a program for young people with different abilities including training, work experience and ultimately employment—event packs have been sent to more than 300 Synod in Session members featuring event programs, online meeting tips and treats to help make the virtual Synod a memorable experience.

According to Nicole Edwards, an employment coach for the ORCA Project based at Chermside, the ORCA initiative is very important.

“People with disability find it very difficult to find employment and often programs are a means for people to entertain themselves, rather than learn work skills and ultimately be employed,” says Nicole.

“That is the ultimate focus of ORCA.”

At the beginning of the two-year ORCA program there is a focus on workplace skill development including teamwork, communication, how to perform tasks and time management.

“Participants also go on site visits and discover what work they might enjoy,” says Nicole.

“This represents another part of the ORCA program, helping participants recognise their own skills and what they are passionate about.”

During the second year, participants experience a number of tasks through its connection with Wesley Mission Queensland, like the preparation of Synod in Session packs.

Kellie Broderick, Program Manager for the 35th Synod in Session thanked ORCA participants and Wesley Mission Queensland for their support of the event.

“When members of the 35th Synod in Session receive their packs in the mail they can smile knowing that ORCA participants thoroughly enjoyed the opportunity to be part of the event,” said Kellie.

The ORCA Project is currently run at Albany Creek Uniting Church, Broadwater Road Uniting Church and at Wesley Mission Queensland’s Chermside office.

For more information on the ORCA Project, please visit the website.

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