CC Cares is a program for pregnant and parenting students from the ACT and surrounding districts. Thought to be a world first, Jan Marshall pioneered the program in the early 2000s. It enables student parents to continue their schooling by allowing them to take their children along with them. In addition to education, students are also provided transport assistance, nursing and dental care, legal aid and general care and protection. The program has grown from ten students initially, to over 170 today.
TSA started on the project in 2014, through the construction of a bespoke building. The building itself is not a traditional classroom setting and is separated into three parts. First the ‘caring pod’, which includes private meeting spaces, medical rooms and adjunct childcare where parents are supported by staff as they mind each other’s children. The ‘campfire pod’, which is an open learning area with workstations and lounges. Here, students take part in online classes under the guidance of teachers. And lastly, the ‘discovery pod’, where students undertake vocational training in fields such as business, hair and beauty and hospitality.
The TSA team worked with a form of cooperative contract new to the ACT. It stipulated that the team needed to work together, support each other and give early notice of any potential or realised issues. We facilitated a 30-people-strong workshop to kick things off, gathering all key players in one room. Before even starting on the job, the vision and culture was set and there was real passion to create something special.
It was a tight project with only 12 months to finish the facility in time for a new school year. The team faced delays on the job, inclement weather (including a major storm event early on), and a once-in-80-year flood through the site. Our people sat down and worked through how best to address these delays and get the project completed on time. Regular monthly meetings were held with additional targeted meetings to solve specific problems and facilitate decisions from the client. By maintaining high levels of communication, collaboration and flexibility, the TSA team ensured the project was ultimately a success.