It is never too late to make a difference – The Gordon Institute of TAFE

May 2021

Jodie Kalbitzer is a proud mother of seven children, five of which are still at home with her. At the start of 2020, her husband was retrenched, which meant that returning to the workforce for Jodie was a necessity.

With a deep passion for caring, having nursed her mother for the past three years, Jodie knew that working with the elderly was a logical progression and was a career path she wanted to follow.

With a family that still needed her support, Jodie needed a career that was flexible and could be close to home. With numerous aged care facilities on the Bellarine Peninsula south west of Melbourne, this type of work would suit her and her family’s needs.

“I knew there was a great need for carers in the region and I knew I could help make a difference by re-entering the workforce.

“I choose The Gordon to study individual support because I knew they had a wonderful reputation. My daughter had previously completed this course and a Certificate IV in Disability, so I knew my education would be in good hands. Free TAFE also made returning to study more appealing, especially in our current situation.

“Commencing study in the middle of COVID you could say was very daunting, but with great teachers who managed the Zoom sessions so well and then with the weekly practical session, I felt comfortable and supported and made some great new friends along the way. With 120 work-placement hours (that took a few goes to complete due to lock downs) I am confident that I have the skills and knowledge to be a very good personal care attendant.

“I completed my work placements with a Bellarine Lakes aged care facility, and I was delighted at the mentoring and support I received during this time. This placement led to my employment and it is a great place to work. They were able to navigate around my personal circumstances, and are caring, compassionate and flexible; which is just what I need with a family who still depend on my support.

“It is so nice to go to work and be appreciated not only by the clients but the people you work alongside, including management. Yes, working in aged care can be emotionally and physically demanding but at the end of each day you always leave smiling, knowing you have made someone’s day a little happier.

“I love working in this sector and in the coming years I hope to extend my learning into further understanding dementia and palliative care. Maybe one day, when I have the time I can return to study nursing or disability.

“So to anyone looking to work in aged care, I cannot recommend it more highly. Yes, it is physically demanding at times but if you are young or older like me, it is never too late to make a difference. So if you are passionate about caring and assisting the elderly and are looking for a truly rewarding career, being a personal care attendant and working in aged care could be the right choice for you.”