I recently had the pleasure of sitting with our Lead Facilitator Gavin Andrews and getting to know a little more about his passions both at work, and at home.
Here is what we chatted about:
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
I am a passionate facilitator and educator. I taught for 12 years across several QLD schools holding both classroom teaching and Head of Sport titles. I grew up in a little town called Alstonville in northern NSW, and passionately support the BLUES!. My other passions are family, my Christian faith, sport, workshop facilitation and outdoor education.
I love creating opportunities for students to step out of their comfort zones and learn new things about themselves. I also like to lead by example in the breaking down of stereo types such as ‘real men don’t talk about their feelings’.
2. How did you first get involved in Character Builders?
I was teaching Year 5 in a local Brisbane school and had the opportunity to work alongside Character Builders in the leadership programs. I really enjoyed and connected to the values and purpose of the programs and felt my own personal values aligned. I took some long service leave and began working as a contractor and am now full-time as the Lead Facilitator.
3. What do you find most challenging about your job?
The most challenging aspect of my job is probably what makes my job the most fun! I never know what each day is going to bring or even what each session may bring. It sometimes can be challenging to be quickly thinking on your feet and catching a curve ball a participant or organiser throws at you. But I also thrive off this challenge.
4. Tell me about some of the people you’ve met while working with Character Builders?
I have met a wide range of people working with Character Builders. People from all backgrounds financially, culturally and socially. The individuals that stick out to me from the programs I have facilitated are the ones who may not be the loudest; however, have a real presence and impact on a group. They do this through their attitude and sticking to a task no matter the challenge.
5. How would someone describe your facilitation style?
My facilitation style has grown and changed in the time I have been in this role. I have moved from the rule following teacher style, to a more relaxed, fun and occasionally funny presenter. I like to enthuse and encourage with positive words and actions with individuals and teams.
6. What do you do when you aren’t working?
I love to spend time with my wife and 2 boys. This could mean time at the local parks, taking my eldest to rugby union or cricket training and games, attending Church as a family or just chilling out at home. I am also trying to still play some social indoor cricket as often as I can. Also since beginning with Character Builders I have also found enjoyment in running for fitness, something I never thought I would find fun!
7. What’s the best thing a Facilitator can do for students?
Connect – I believe making a personal connection with students is crucial in everything; but, also connecting presentations to personal values and beliefs. Without personal connection students don’t believe what you are presenting is authentic, it lacks meaning and purpose. Every session I facilitate I am to gather names and speak to as many students on an individual level showing a genuine interest in who they are.
8. Who are some people you look up to, and why?
My parents – Col and Gwen Andrews. My parents both have education backgrounds. Over the years I have listened to both mum and dad speak about individual students and the genuine love and care they have for them. They knew different aspects of the students’ lives and the challenges they were facing and celebrated the joys. Since retirement both mum and dad have continued connections with students they had previously taught and have engaged in their ongoing lives. Also since retirement their involvements in Church and community programs has increased. These roles involve mentoring and assisting other in the community to reach greater potential.
Gavin is such a valuable part of the team at Character Builders, these insights reiterate why. If you’re a client, you’ve no doubt gotten something out of all the hard work Gavin puts into his every day. If you’re yet to met Gavin, I have no doubt you’ll think as much of him as we do!