Emilio came to us from the Austin School as part of their work experience programme. He had been at Viewbank College and when he finished there he wanted some job-seeker skills. He started doing front of house and then moved into coffee-making. He worked with Matt and soon was very competent in his barista skills. He ended up 2018 working 3 days a week with familiarity in most areas of the coffee shop. Emilio started applying for work in 2019 and has just been accepted for a position at Brunetti in Carlton.

Emilio mentioned that what he has really enjoyed has been working with the other staff and our customers, the people contact (although this is an area he wants to work more on too).

Mary – Volunteer Profile


Mary has been with the Sycamore Tree since September 2012. She started doing Front of House – looking after customers and taking orders. Her favourite part of the job is that “there is always something to do”. (And she likes being a “clean freak” too – which is very handy now that she has expanded her job skills to include working on the sandwich bar and as dishwasher.) Mary loves her monthly discos that are run by the City of Port Philip and she loves her Maine Coon cats and her Groodle dog.

Liam – Volunteer Profile


Liam started work with us early in 2016. He had attended a local high school and had been involved with a youth group at Northland. One of his contacts at the group thought that the Sycamore Tree would offer Liam the opportunity to practise his development of people skills and self-confidence.

Liam started quietly, but it rapidly became apparent that he had great organisation skills and speed. (Liam never walked where he could run!) He moved from working front-of-house to learning coffee and barista skills and now does two days a week making coffee for us.

Liam notes that the Sycamore Tree has increased his self-confidence and his people skills, as well as giving him valuable job skills. We look forward to seeing where life takes him.