Personal Stories

In gratitude of my journey with L’Arche - Aileen Melzian

When I joined L’Arche Sydney my initial plan was to stay for a year and to return back to Germany to do my Master Degree in Management for Not for Profit Organisations. Now that is more than 5.5 years ago.

Since my arrival I have served in a number of roles and learned more than any course at University could ever teach me.

As assistant I learned to build deep relationships with people who are very different to me. I also learned that saying good bye can be very difficult.

As House Coordinator I learned how to develop people (with and without a disability) to reach their full potential. Furthermore I learned that it can be very difficult task to try to make everyone happy.

As Homes Coordinator I learned that you need passion for your role to survive and also that with hard work we can achieve great things – even the seemingly impossible. Moreover I learned how important it is to listen and to walk in the others person’s shoes for a mile or two and how our past experiences form our present reality.

I am very thankful for all the opportunities L’Arche Sydney has provided for me – to learn all of the above and many other skills. This knowledge will help guide me through the rest of my life – professionally and personally.

Thank you for being part of my life – it has been an outstanding journey. Also thank you for making me the person I am today.

New Assistant for L’Arche Brisbane

I was introduced to the community through Ronny Krosse who I met and lived with out in Chinchilla picking melons for our second year working holiday visa. We had both arrived on the same day to the farm and immediately formed a connection as he had spent several years with the L’Arche community in Kilkenny and hence was the only person on the farm that could understand my Irish accent.

We ended up sharing a rundown caravan together which rivalled a prison cell and spent much of our time together trading stories, songs and praying that our backs would heal ahead of the next twelve hour shift. It was clear that Ronny had a passion for working with people with intellectual disabilities which intrigued and inspired me.

He would talk at length, especially about Jason, and reckoned that despite Jason’s disability he was the funniest human being he had ever met. I have been living at the Carina house for nearly two months now and I must admit I was completely unprepared for the way Jason and Anthony have found their way into my heart and the power they have had over me from the moment I first met them.

I finally feel I truly understand the love my parents must have for me, and despite the distance that currently exists between us, I’m sure will only serve to bring us closer together. I’m looking forward to learning as much as I can during my time with L’Arche whether it be in a practical sense, relationship based or in a spiritual capacity.

If I can gain half of the insight and sense of enlightenment as Ronny has during his time with L’Arche then I’ll be doing well.