Success Stories

The Skilling Queenslanders for Work project is proudly funded by the Queensland Government.

Shiralee

Emu Park resident Shiralee Owens’ dedication in obtaining her Certificate III in Individual Support has been second-to-none. After overcoming numerous barriers to gain the qualification and permanent employment, she’s also been nominated for a state-level training award. 

As part of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) program, with the support of Multicap and ARC Training, Shiralee enrolled in the 17-week course. With a hectic family schedule of her husband working Drive-in-Drive-Out shifts, her twin 13-year old boys both NDIS participants, and ongoing battles with her own health, Shiralee finally decided it was time to do something “just for her,” in a career that offers flexibility. 

When a friend at one of her boys’ support services told her about SQW at Multicap, it seemed like the perfect solution. Shiralee found completing her Certificate III challenging while managing course study, work placement at two organisations and her family life, but says she was grateful for the individual support and flexibility provided to her through the SQW program, Multicap and ARC Training.

“By having all the wonderful support and guidance from a great trainer, my awesome classmates and other students, along with access to resources readily available to me at all times, it made completing the course so much easier.

"The work placement played a major part in gaining my qualification and it equipped me to further understand the industry and how it works to best support people of all ages with disability, and the elderly,” Shiralee said. 

Her tenacity and determination shone through, and after obtaining her Certificate III, Shiralee gained employment within the disability support sector, which gives her flexibility to balance her work and home life. Her success impressed so much that she has been nominated for the Equity VET Student of the Year category in the 2020 Queensland Training Awards. The nomination came as a surprise to Shiralee.

“When I found out that I was nominated for the award I was actually lost for words. I am still very humbled by it all and can’t fathom that someone like myself could make it this far.” 
“My journey is just a drop in the ocean compared to others and I wouldn’t change it for the world, it has made me who I am and where I’m meant to be.”

Overall, Shiralee said the biggest satisfaction of her experience with the SQW program was gaining her qualification and starting a new career.

“The highlight was finally receiving my certificate and gaining meaningful permanent employment in a field that is very dear to me, especially after being out of work for so long.”

“If you are looking to do something extremely rewarding in the disability or aged care sectors as a Support Worker and don’t know where to start, I highly recommend getting in touch with the Multicap Skilling Queenslanders for Work team to get you where you want to go – they helped change my life!” Shiralee said.

Melony

Melony has always been interested in gaining a qualification in disability and aged care. Having been exposed to the field from a young age, it was almost second nature to register for the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) Program in Rockhampton.

For Melony, gaining a Certificate III in Individual Support and becoming a Disability Support Worker (DSW) was the perfect opportunity to make a difference in the lives of people living with disability every day.

Melony says that she would most definitely recommend the course to anyone who is eligible.

“It’s a great learning curve for knowledge in the disability and aged care field, but also in daily living” she said.

“My hard work had paid off and I was recognized for the effort I put in, gaining employment straight away.

“Other staff members always comment on how good I am with the customers within the unit. This is a dream come true” she said.

Throughout the program, Melony was impressed by the support she received from staff delivering the program.

“Annette our SQW Coordinator was amazing, always checking in to see if we needed anything extra, even making us cakes!

“Our trainer Traci was amazing also, she thoroughly knew her role and had the knowledge we required for our training” she said.

Jody

Welcome aboard Jody! Jody is one of Multicap’s newest Disability Support Workers (DSWs) at Eight Mile Plains. After graduating from the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) program with a Certificate III in Individual Support, Jody has already completed her first shift with Multicap.

Jody is not new to the disability sector. Seven years ago, she completed her Certificate III in Disability.

“I couldn’t secure a position when I did it so I went into retail,” Jody explains.

However, after hearing about the SQW program through a friend, she decided to give it another go.

“I was referred it by a friend and thought I would,” she said. 

Jody said her favourite part of the course was the practical work, especially the buddy system.

“The buddy [a Disability Support Worker] took us under their wing to show us what to do,” she said.

“We got to do lots of hands on work – it was really good!”

Jody said she enjoyed the course more than the Certificate III in Disability course she completed seven years ago. 

“I learnt more from this course than I did last time,” Jody said.

“Everything was different. We had more support this time than last time.”

Jody also preferred working with Multicap customers. 

“The high needs support prepares you really well. It was a big help!” she said.

“That’s why I applied for Multicap when I finished.”

Chantel

After completing four weeks (120 hours) of organised practical placement with Multicap, Chantel successfully received her Certificate III in Individual Support. 

Chantel fondly reflects on the program and is grateful for the opportunity to learn more and develop her skills in preparation for the workforce. 

“I absolutely loved the program!” Chantel said. “The Multicap staff were so supportive through everything and I am so grateful they were there to support me,” she added. 

“I am so proud of myself!” Chantel said. 

“I have dyslexia and never thought I would be able to do some of the things that I have done in this program.” 

“It has been very rewarding for me and I have learned so much through Kate and Tina, and also the amazing customers,” she added. 

Chantel completed her work experience at the Mt. Ommaney Hub and thoroughly enjoyed working and supporting customers in community activities across Brisbane. 

“I have had some experience in Aged Care. However, working with customers one-on-one was so rewarding for me,” Chantel said.

“The customers are very intelligent and they taught me so much during my time with them."

Through the program, Chantel has been able to successfully work towards the career change and path she is looking for. 

“My computer skills have improved and everything! It’s just great,” she said.  

“I really enjoyed the class work and the experience overall."

Francois

Francois was one of the first students to participate in the Queensland Government’s Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) training at Multicap. Prior to studying in Australia, Francois was struggling to find work. 

Francois was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Francois and his family lived comfortably in DRC until the Second Congo War started in 1998. In all the chaos, Francois and his family separated. 

In 2000, Francois heard rumours his family were still alive and living in a refugee camp in Tanzania. At the tender age of 11, Francois flew to Tanzania to reunite with his family. Francois spent more than 15 years in the refugee camp, finishing primary and high school within the camp. He even spent four years studying laboratory science at a university within the camp. 

This all changed for Francois, his partner and children in June 2016 when they were granted visas to enter Australia. It was a bittersweet moment for Francois. Although moving to Australia would give Francois, his partner and children more opportunities, he would have to leave his parents and siblings behind.

When Francois arrived in Australia, the study he had completed in Africa did not meet Australian standards so he was told he would have to start again. Understandably, Francois did not want to spend years studying again. He was struggling to find work and mentioned this to a friend, who heard about the fully-funded Certificate III in Individual Support course. Francois leapt at the chance as he has always been passionate about helping people with disability. While living in Africa, Francois had a friend with a disability and always encouraged him to do whatever he wanted to do.

“I didn’t get paid or anything – I did it out of love!” he smiles.

Francois began studying his Certificate III in Individual Support in May 2017 at Multicap in Eight Mile Plains, attending training from 8am-4pm on Mondays and Fridays and completing assessments during the week. 

“It is a really good course,” Francois said. “The class was like a family.” 

While studying, Francois had a work placement in an aged care facility, where he got hands on experience. 

After graduating in October 2017, Francois commenced work with Multicap. 

“I really, really like my job,” Francois smiles.

“I am really happy when sharing ideas with customers. I love to encourage them to achieve their goals,” he said. “I love it so it shows.”

Bosco

Bosco arrived in Australia in early 2009 from South Sudan, after growing up in a Ugandan refugee camp. Upon arrival here, he was keen to get on with life and find a job, so he studied and obtained a Certificate III in Community Service.

Bosco was unable to find a job in Community Services, so continued studying and achieved a Diploma in Youth Work. Unfortunately, he was still unable to secure a job, and had been out of work for ten years when a friend referred him to the Queensland Government-funded Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) scheme, where he undertook a Certificate III in Individual Support at Multicap.

Bosco initially did not believe that Multicap could help him secure a job after training as other training providers had said they could help with jobs after the courses but none had worked out. “I thought it was a lie because of my previous experiences,” he said. Nevertheless, he decided to give it a try. “It was hard to find the right place to do the course,” he said.

Bosco began the 17-week SQW course in January 2019 at Multicap’s Eight Mile Plains campus.

“I found the training very good. The teachers were very supportive and willing to help out or explain better if we did not understand anything,” he explained.

After the training at Multicap, he undertook work placement, applied for the role of a Disability Support Worker (DSW) at Multicap and successfully secured the job.

Bosco says he finds the job very rewarding and likes the teamwork. “Multicap is my first job and it’s been very exciting! I am very happy to be given the opportunity.”

“Multicap is real. I will recommend the course to anyone.”  he commented.

Bosco believes having the job has given him wings to fly and to better plan his future. “This job has given me the opportunity to do anything,” he said. His partner is still in Uganda because he could not afford to bring her over to Australia. With this job, he is looking forward to saving up so she can join him here in Australia.

“I enjoy working with people with disability. In future, I may get training to become a Disability Nurse,” he said.

 

 

 

 

 

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