Gold Medallion – Health and Community

​Diploma of Community Services

“I’m now on the path that I want for myself. TAFE opens doors and broadens your opportunities in life.”

Currently an AOD (alcohol and other drugs) support worker at the Salvation Army, Danny is steadily building the life he had in mind when he decided to change his career path two years ago.

“I was employed as a welder for many years but I wanted a career change. I wanted a career that’ll give me a sense of accomplishment and the ability to help people,” he said.
“I was keen on the Diploma of Community Services as I have known family and friends with drug and alcohol problems. If I had the knowledge back then, maybe I could have made a difference in their lives.”

Bendigo TAFE’s program, which offered the opportunity for in-depth classroom learning with industry-experienced teachers, was the ideal choice for Danny.

“I spoke to a lot of people who did the course entirely online, but I needed the classroom environment so that I could have face-to-face discussions with my teachers. This interaction was the best part as I learnt a lot from teachers who have been working in the field for over thirty years. Tapping into their knowledge was a valuable opportunity,” he shared.

Juggling full-time studies with family and financial commitments might have been challenging at times, but nothing could deter Danny from his goals.

“I was working at Woolworths as well as looking after my family – I have a young son and another on the way. One of the scary things about a career change is studying but not being guaranteed the work after that,” he said.

“But at Bendigo TAFE the support’s there if you need it; teachers are flexible and empathise with the many commitments that mature aged students have.”

Attaining permanent employment at the Salvation Army following his work placement was “the cherry on top” of his overall TAFE experience.

“I got a job from my first work placement from TAFE. I’m now on the path that I want for myself. TAFE opens doors and broadens your opportunities in life. It did for me. Even my brother is thinking about a career change and pursuing the same course! If you’re serious about your studies, it will pay off,” he said.

“I also got accepted into the Masters of Social Services at La Trobe University, which I’ll start this year. That’s another reason to go to TAFE – I didn’t do too well in high school so this was a great pathway to university.”