News & Media

05 December 2014

Training aims to change the face of aged and disability care

A practical seven-week course is equipping eleven women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with the skills needed for a job in aged or disability care.

Training aims to change the face of aged and disability care

A practical seven-week course is equipping eleven women from culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) backgrounds with the skills needed for a job in aged or disability care.

The course, ‘Changing the face of aged and disability care’, helps participants build confidence in their communication and written skills. This is done through role plays, case studies and education on industry terminology. The workshops include topics such as practice interviewing and preparing an application.

The course has included an industry tour to Yallambee, which provided participants with the chance to see first-hand the workings of an aged care facility.

Natalina Bango arrived as a refugee to Australia in 2006. She expressed frustration at Australian employers’ unwillingness to hire her. “I have a Certificate Three in child care and aged care, I’m going to do a Certificate Four in disability care. I have done the training. I have the qualifications. I have the will. I don’t want to do more courses – now I just want to work.”

“I’ve done everything in my heart to help my children, help my family. When you think about getting a job too much, it makes you feel sick.”

Many people from a migrant or refugee background struggle to find work in Australia due to cultural differences and a lack of confidence rather than a lack of skills, according to Debra Carnduff, Settlement Grants Program Project Coordinator at Latrobe Community Health Service.

“Often new arrivals have come from places where there are different expectations about work and workplaces,” said Ms Carnduff.

“But they are not insurmountable differences. This course is about women who are seeking to bridge that gap. I am encouraging employers to meet them half way.”

Ms Carnduff said that far from being a liability, the diverse cultural backgrounds of the course participants are a great asset to potential employers.

“In countries like the Philippines, Mauritius and Sudan, there is a real reverence for the elderly. Their care is a shared community responsibility. The care for the elderly that many new arrivals show is deeply ingrained, and deeply appreciated by people living in residential aged care.”

Mrs Bango agreed.

“In Sudan, you don’t put old people in aged care. Everyone takes care of the family. You take care of the older people because they have already taken care of you.”

Participants and trainers are available for interview at the remaining sessions, from 10am Friday 5th or 12th December at Gippsland Employment Skills Training, 7 Anzac Street, Moe.