The academic year has come to an end and six carers who completed their Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability)* celebrated their graduation on the Thursday, 22 November, 2018.

The group included carers from all walks of life who came together to celebrate their achievements and enjoy this proud moment as a ‘family’.

The course, offered by Carers Queensland, provides an opportunity for carers to convert their caring experience into a qualification.

The event was attended by carers, their families and representatives from Carers Queensland.

Mother and carer, Susan Yates was one of them. Susan cares for her 21-year-old daughter Breanna who has autism. Earlier this year, she received an email from Carers Queensland promoting the course, including an additional module in autism, and that got her excited.

“Despite a lack of sleep over a long period of time I was so determined to do this course,” she says.

“After waiting almost for five years for the right time, this year was perfect.”

“I just thought, this will give me knowledge and it will help me further support Breanna with the NDIS rolling out. The more I got into it, the more I enjoyed it. I wish there was a Certificate IV that I could study next year.”

Breanna’s NDIS funding has been approved now. However, Susan wanted to finish her work placement and the course first, before looking for work and getting all the NDIS material organised.

She wanted to take some time to enjoy the moment, reflect on her journey, and think about the future.

“It’s exciting to know, I now have a key to open some doors within the disability industry. I will personally know when that key fits the door I’m going to walk through.”

“This has given me a lot of confidence. It’s also helped me gain insight, both in theory and in practice to obtain supports.

“Fluently speaking the disability lingo, has helped me greatly to communicate on a professional level while supporting my daughter.”

“The course was structured in an excellent way. I’ve really enjoyed it”.

Susan is very proud of herself after completing her studies. And so is her daughter Breanna.

“She pretty much gained all her experience in raising me. Now she has the written qualification in a Certificate III too,” Breanna said.

“The ground work comes from experience and compassion for people, knowing exactly how they are feeling and how they cope with daily challenges, and she has that gift.”

“My mother used to home school me too as back then, supports were a bit thin on the ground. Seeing her study was such a different experience for me.”

“She’s quite good at that and it’s really nice to see her achieving this. This is a starting point for us; we’ll see what opportunities come in the new year.”

Susan is now looking forward to using her knowledge and experience in assisting those people in the community. Having a lived experience and a Certificate III in Individual Support, she can continue to achieve her personal goals.

She is taking her time to focus on the things she wants to do like supporting her daughter and finding part-time work next year.

*This project is funded by the Queensland Government through the Certificate III Guarantee Program.

To view the Summer edition of the Carers Queensland TOGETHER magazine, click here.

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