Overcoming Adversity through Centacare

Overcoming Adversity through Centacare

Throughout the course of history, people have overcome adversity in many ways, on their respective paths to greener pastures. In this feature, we bring you the story of Caroline Garnett, someone who came to Centacare as a way of overcoming adversity, and who has since gone on to become highly successful.

Before joining Centacare, Caroline had unfortunately lost her job at a pharmaceutical factory in Belmont. However, instead of waiting around, she went to Centrelink, where she was linked with a job provider – WorkSkil Australia. Subsequently, Caroline enrolled at South Metro TAFE, where she completed a Skills Ready course.

“It was a transitional course,” Caroline said of the TAFE course. “They had us do a couple of things on computers, but most of the time it was somebody doing it for me, because I was never a computer person,” she said.

“After that course had finished, I was then told about Centacare that had computer courses, and I thought, ‘I’m not really interested in computers, but I thought if it’s going to benefit me to get another job, or another avenue’. So yeah I started here, and I couldn’t believe that before the course even finished I actually wanted to buy myself a laptop,” she said.

Because of the success of this course, Caroline has implored others to register for the Computer Skills for Work course.

“I don’t know how many people I’ve said this to, but I wish I had done this years ago. I really do. I just never thought I would be able to. I thought ‘nah, this is for the youngsters,’” she said.

After completing the course, Caroline set about becoming a volunteer at Centacare.

“I was gobsmacked at how much I learnt, especially through Rachel [teacher] and Paul [teacher’s assistant]. That’s when I asked Rachel before the end of that first course ‘how do people become volunteers?’,” she said.

Over an eight-to-ten-week period, Caroline undertook the Volunteering Tutor Program, where she learnt about the expectations required, adult learning principles, strategies for reading, writing, spelling and mathematics, as well as strategies for adults who are beginning to learn the English language.

When asked about what she enjoys the most about volunteering, Caroline simply states “just that she can help people.”

“It reminds me so much of all the years with work, when all the new people used to come in, from every walk of life, and I just enjoyed helping them learn and to train with them,” she said.

By providing students with a supportive environment, tailored instruction, and opportunities to excel, Centacare can help students develop skills and gain experiences that can help them find work or go on to further study.

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