Student Counsellor and Volunteer Coordinator
Centacare Student Support Services
My job involves helping students to find solutions to personal issues that affect their ability to study through consultation, counselling, guidance and referral to relevant external agencies where required.
In addition to advocating on behalf of students to relevant agencies and organisations, I aim to provide emotional support and empowerment to boost a student’s optimism and the power to control the direction of their lives.
I love the variety of my work and the opportunity to meet students from all walks of life. Probably the most rewarding part of my job is working with teachers, coordinators and other community organisations to help students identify available options and opportunities and seeing them push hard to improve their personal circumstances and their lives in general.
Skills for Education and Employment, Cannington
As the Site Coordinator for Centacare’s Cannington site, my job is quite diverse – from interviewing and enrolling new students to supporting teachers in class through to assisting students with issues that might otherwise hamper their ability to study such as help with dealing with Centrelink and other agencies, applications for Citizenship, passports, housing, driving licences and more.
Every day at Centacare is quite different. Our students come from a range of backgrounds with many interesting stories to tell. Some days I feel as though I have travelled the world albeit without leaving my desk.
Interaction with so many different people, all working to the same goal of a safe and productive life for themselves and their families in Australia, is incredibly satisfying.
I’ve always worked with minority groups. Previously I was a guidance officer in the school system. I then moved sideways to adult education and loved teaching. Later I was asked to be an education coordinator and have stayed in this role because of the supportive ethos of Centacare and my immediate Manager.
Aboriginal Community Development Officer
Centacare Student Support Services
Part of my job with Centacare involves increasing awareness of our education and training courses for Aboriginal people, both directly to Indigenous communities and indirectly via Centrelink, employment agencies or via our Outreach Partnerships.
My role also involves supporting Indigenous students through their studies, ensuring a culturally-safe and appropriate environment and providing strategies and support to facilitate positive outcomes including further study or employment.
Working with a diverse group of people and cultures is fantastic. I love supporting students with their employment goals and seeing the positive changes in their lives that are brought about by an increased level of confidence as a result of education or training.
Course in Applied Vocational Study Skills (CAVSS)
At Centacare, I ‘team teach’ with Course Trainers to support the language, literacy and numeracy needs of students whose first language is not English. The support I provide is tailored to the needs of individuals as it relates to their area of study and is designed to help students succeed in achieving their qualification.
Prior to joining Centacare, I was a Teacher. I chose teaching because I���m a people person and having also spent two years teaching overseas, including one year in Japan, I know how daunting and difficult it can be adapting to a new way of life, language and culture. I enjoy my job with Centacare because I love interacting with students from a diversity of backgrounds, working in a team environment and empowering and nurturing students through to successful outcomes. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing students develop confidence and a sense of achievement when they have finished their training.
Skills for Education and Employment (SEE)
I have been a teacher at Centacare for the past six years, teaching language, literacy and numeracy to students from disadvantaged backgrounds. I try to make learning relevant and practical, using everyday events and situations as the basis for my lessons. As a result, we have a lot of fun in class and as groups, we have become involved in an endless array of fantastic community projects.
One of the things that I love about my job is hearing my students’ point of view in class discussions, particularly in relation to family, education or current social issues. My students are enthusiastic to learn and seeing the sparkle in their eyes when they have learnt something new is incredibly rewarding. It’s what motivates me to do my job the best that I possibly can.
I was a refugee from Vietnam. After completing the 800 hours given to me by the government to learn English, I wanted to stay and volunteer at Centacare and help others receive the opportunity I was given.
In class, I listen and learn and then help individuals or small groups by explaining what we were taught in class. I also help students with their pronunciation and help to build their self-confidence as the students are often very shy and afraid of making mistakes. Two days of the week, I support a student who has only 15% visual capacity. I use my eyes to help him with the reading exercises and I explain to him the activities proposed by the teacher. I also bring and look after plants in the centre to make the environment more appealing.
This position has given me a new lease of life and I have continued my learning progress. I work with nice people and I love contributing to their lives and helping them for the future.