Learn to be a carer with a course that cares about you

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By Jen Gourley

What happens when there are about 900,000 personal carers needed all across Australia while many people are out of work, especially migrants looking to increase their skills that can lead to employment? A caring organisation called Central Queensland Multicultural Association Inc (CQMA) steps in with a wonderful opportunity, and this opportunity is available in Biloela.

CQMA, an award-winning, non-profit organisation that has been connected with Biloela for several years, is offering a fully-funded Queensland Government Skilling Queenslanders for Work Course – Certificate III in Individual Support. Graduates of this course will receive a certificate that will enable them to work as a personal carer in Aged Care, Disability, and Home & Community Care Services. This course, which is FREE for eligible applicants, runs for two days a week for 13 weeks as well as providing work placement in Biloela.

Dawn Hay, CQMA’s Manager, is excited about the opportunities this course can give people in the local community.

“CQMA Team looks after all people from different cultures who come from all around the world and have chosen Biloela or Rockhampton to settle,” Dawn said. “CQMA has been working in the community for the last 32 years, and we do all sorts of activities to support migrants coming into the community as well as assisting Indigenous and many other vulnerable people who are in need of work and support to cope with their daily challenges of life.”

She explained that once participants have completed the Certificate III in Individual Support course, they will be eligible to work in Aged Care, Disability Care or Home Care – these are the many areas where there is huge demand for Personal Carers and other health professionals.

Not only is there the ability to achieve a Personal Care Certificate, the course has the capacity to build individual students’ confidence and can act as a stepping-stone to other careers.  

“Biloela and its surrounding communities are need of personal carers, but the course can also lead people to other jobs,” Dawn said.

Students who have completed the course have gone on to pursue different career pathway such nurses, allied health and podiatry, or some have gone into finance, proving that embracing this opportunity can open many doors for people from all places and backgrounds.

“I am passionate that all people should be given a fair go,” Dawn said. “I believe every person is equal on this earth, and that everyone should have opportunities given to them to improve and succeed in their chosen careers or job pathways. Skilling Queenslanders for Work is a quality program for vulnerable people within the community and it gives them the opportunity to move on in life, wherever they may choose to be.”

People travel quite a distance to attend courses when they are available in Biloela, including some as far away as Monto and surrounding rural areas. When the participants arrive at the CQMA training room at 63 Raedon Street, Biloela, the two CQMA friendly staff – Connie Leighton and Jayne van der Walt, Biloela’s Community Skills Support Officers – are there to support each and help them settle in and achieve in the course.

CQMA in collaboration with their RTO “Collaboration Learning” will offer the course in Biloela. “It is exciting to welcome our Registration Trainer, Peter Moss who has ‘amazing experience’,” said Dawn.

Peter has more than 20 years’ experience working in Aged Care, Disability Care and Home Care. He has worked in the industry as well as training Aged Care and Disability support workers. He will be on the ground in Biloela to deliver both the theoretical components and the work placement of the course.

“I am industry qualified, and I use my industry experience when I teach my students, because I focus on making sure that they become safe and competent care workers,” Peter said. 

“I have a passion to empower my students and I educate them as if I would want to employ them at the end. I teach the students how to do personal care for elderly people, how to provide social support for people with disabilities and for people who are isolated at home, who want social support, company, conversation, social outings, and to empower elderly people to be far more independent in their own lives. I teach students to work with the clients, not do everything for the client. So, we get the client to do as much as they can. We only then fill in the gaps, that empowers the client to remain independent for as long as possible, so that they do not lose any of their skills.”

As well as being in the training centre to guide the students, Peter will also be available via phone hook-up at any time when the students need assistance and helping supervisors during work placements.

Work placement for the course is conducted at Wahroonga Retirement Village in Biloela and Ridgehaven Retirement Complex in Monto. “We cannot praise these organisations enough,” Dawn said. “They are our placement organisations, and they are brilliant.”

The next Certificate III in Individual Support course will be commencing on the 1st of September 2022 in Biloela and expressions of interest are now open. Late enrolments will be accepted until the 8th September 2022, so please hurry and put forward your expression of interest as soon as possible so you do not miss out on this study opportunity in your home town of Biloela.

Places are limited so secure your place by contacting Jayne 0431 600 645,  jayne.vanderwalt@cqma.org.au or Connie 0401 645 410, connie.leighton@cqma.org.au.

CQMA’s Connie Leighton is ready to assist those wanting to take part in the course in Biloela.
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