In a year with so many surprises, Khalid’s story shows how Good Cycles and our supporters stopped people from falling through the cracks. Most of all, Khalid’s story shows what young people can do when given the chance to contribute.
The Huddle recommended Khalid for supported employment at Good Cycles. Here was a young man who had always made the most of opportunities and yet opportunities were hard to come by.
He had studied hard, worked hard, won student of the year; but a lot of people didn’t understand the three cultural influences shaping Khalid’s identity. And because many people prefer what is familiar, Khalid’s chances of employment were being limited.
As a young Muslim, African and Australian man, Khalid didn’t have the luxury of just representing one culture, one community, one society. Fitting in with some of his community often meant feeling like an outsider to others.
Khalid arrived at Good Cycles ready to take on any role. He learned the Toyota Kaizen method we use to keep car-share fleets clean and serviceable all over Melbourne. But when our partner, CityWide, requested an administrative officer we knew this would give Khalid a chance to use some of his other skills and build his professional connections.
The new role went well. It became a full-time job and Khalid was loving it. Then the pandemic hit. CityWide had to downsize and the job was gone.
Because of the close relationship between CityWide and Good Cycles we knew Khalid had been left vulnerable. We consulted the community and local government partners and identified a new opportunity. It couldn’t have been more suited to Khalid if it was designed for him.
Agencies across the City of Melbourne wanted to understand young people’s experiences of job services and hear what that journey was like for those of African origins. With an Advanced Diploma and Bachelor in Media and Communications, Khalid had the knowledge required to tell these stories in a compelling way. As a multilingual person of East African origins himself, Khalid knew how to engage the community.
Khalid’s 12 case studies for Youth Pathways informed a round table of agencies and social enterprises and the City of Melbourne. Meanwhile, his own geographic and religious community was in a severe pandemic lockdown and COVID-19 was taking a toll on family and friends.
As another short term job came to an end, Khalid saw that the need it had been addressing was as pressing as ever, even if the project was ending. His community of Muslim, African Australians was not well understood by the services that had been involved in managing the pandemic, and their stories were not being told.
Kushitic Productions was born. From Street Team member at Good Cycles to Small Business Owner, Khalid’s journey is one of the triumphs of 2020. Good Cycles and our partners worked hard to make sure Khalid wasn’t left to fall through the cracks, but Khalid’s own skill, persistence and vision shaped his success.
Get on the journey with us and support Khalid’s business by checking out his services and sharing with your networks. Or use his content to start your own journey towards a better understanding of the East African people from which Kushitic Productions takes its name. Let’s all get more familiar with each other’s diversity and appreciate the value it contributes to our communities.