Moving from his home in Fiji to Australia in 2019, Charlie had big dreams to study and start his career as a nurse.
But when Charlie finally arrived on Australian soil, his circumstances quickly began to change. After preparing himself to apply for a Bachelor of Nursing in late 2019, personal circumstances meant that Charlie could no longer pursue his dream career.
Known as a hard worker with a heart of gold, Charlie was not going to let personal circumstance hold him back. With his sights strongly set on a career that genuinely helped people, Charlie began to research what other options were available. But just as Charlie was ready to recommence his studies and enter the workforce, there was yet another obstacle he had to overcome.
The Covid-19 Pandemic
As 2020 rolled around, it was rapidly becoming apparent to millions of Australians just how serious the global pandemic would become. As restrictions began to limit movement, Charlie suddenly found himself lacking study options, without a job and with not many alternatives due to COVID-19.
Now almost a year since his big move to Australia, Charlie was becoming increasingly anxious. Intent on finding a job that would allow him to care for people, Charlie set out once again to see what study options he could find outside of the Nursing discipline.
Following one late night Google search, he stumbled across breakthru College and saw many of the qualifications available were similar to the work he wanted to be doing as a Nurse. With this new information top of mind, Charlie lodged an enquiry to find out more.
A Fork In The Road
As a young man in the thick of a global pandemic, Charlie felt he only had two real options: he could wait for his personal circumstances and the global pandemic to subside; or he could pursue a career in the community services sector.
breakthru’s SQW Coordinator Tracy called Charlie the following day to discuss his options.
“After explaining my circumstances to Tracy over the phone, she suggested that I apply to study a Certificate III Individual Support,” he said.
“Taking her advice on board, I decided to make the plunge and steer away from nursing in favour of community services. That afternoon, I handed in my application and within just a few days I was enrolled to study.”
With restrictions still in effect, courses could not commence in-classroom and breakthru College instead had to transition to an online learning platform.
“It wasn’t ideal, but due to the COVID-19 restrictions my classes commenced online,” Charlie said.
“Despite the lack of face to face class time, I found my trainers adapted well and delivered each unit perfectly. Being support workers themselves, they were all very well prepared and equipped with the knowledge needed to carry out their role as a support worker.
“I was also pleased to discover that in addition to the wonderful trainers, breakthru College could also help me find a work placement once I completed the necessary theory in my qualification.”
Having witnessed Charlie’s exemplary work ethic as a student and knowing his warm and caring personality, SQW Coordinator Tracy knew just the place for Charlie.
“We’ve worked with another local service provider, Kith and Kin, for a number of years here in Townsville,” she said.
“Like many providers, they were looking for compassionate and reliable candidates with a genuine interest in supporting people in need. If anyone meets this criteria, I thought it would be Charlie. After a brief discussion, we agreed to put his name forward for work placement and the rest is history.”
Following a six-week work placement as part of his qualification, Charlie’s outstanding work ethic saw Kith and Kin extend a permanent offer of employment. With enthusiasm Charlie accepted, and he still works there to this day.
QLD Training Awards Finalist
With close to 12 months of employment under his belt, Charlie’s story doesn’t end there. As one of Townsville’s exemplary new support workers, Charlie was nominated for Equity VET Student of the Year as part of the Queensland Training Awards.
In a sea of hundreds of applicants, Charlie was proudly named one of three finalists, receiving much deserved recognition for the fantastic work he does every day.
“breakthru College has really kick started my career, ” Charlie said.
“Their help and support has been instrumental to my success, and I look forward supporting those in need through my role at Kith and Kin.”