Earringed and empathetic: How Mark makes a difference on Ainslie …

Posted by Big Rat on Campus on May 27, 2018 in Rat News | Subscribe

Mark Ransome quotes Shakespeare as he drives into the Ainslie Avenue flats, a commute he’s made daily for almost a decade.

Once more unto the breach, he tells himself. Let us try one more time.

Mark Ransome runs social programs in the Ainslie Avenue public housing blocks.

Mark Ransome runs social programs in the Ainslie Avenue public housing blocks.

Photo: Dion Georgopoulos

Mr Ransome is employed by social inclusion organisation Reclink as an on-the-ground manager for programs run at the notorious public housing sites throughout Reid and Braddon. Broadly, his job is to build relationships with Ainslie Avenue residents and government agencies then help them build relationships with each other. He talks, listens and runs activities and events. Mr Ransome is on-site during business hours, but discretely passes out his mobile number in case anyone needs help after hours, too.

Mr Ransome loves his job because he loves people, and he does love these people. Usually, they love him back. In a recent evaluation of the ACT government’s high density housing program, conducted by the Australian Institute of Criminology, he was described variously as a positive force, a father figure and a saviour.

The report authors noted that many residents were dealing with serious mental illness, disability, and/or issues associated with long-term drug abuse. They found it difficult to trust other people, the report said, because of their past experiences and trauma. But Mr Ransome, the earringed, empathetic angel of Ainslie Avenue, had broken through.

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