Big Apple beckons teen social worker

Chaeli Bertram: embarking on a new journey in life.
Chaeli Bertram: embarking on a new journey in life.

Michaelia ‘Chaeli’ Bertram (18) will bring what she learns at the US camp back home to use in her work at camps with the Global Good Foundation, an organisation that brings a ray of light to children who have been victims of or witnesses to family violence.

Ms Bertram has volunteered at three of the Foundation’s camps, and was so moved by the experience that she changed her degree from theatre and drama to a double major including counselling and youth services.

She will work as a paid camp counsellor at three 16-day camps for homeless young people aged between seven and 15, at a CCUSA camp an hour from New York City.

Miss Bertram said she expected the US camps would have parallels with those at the GGF, particularly considering their target children.

‘I want to learn their different coping strategies, new games, basically everything,’ she said. ‘I loved (the GGF camps), it was amazing, just really different to anything else I’ve done.’

Michaelia, who has never been out of Australia, will leave for the US in June.