Unlikely friendship turns into a career – TAFE NSW Nowra
10 March 2021
Father of two, Antonio Malevitsis 44, arrived in Australia from Italy in 2013 and worked as a chef at Nowra’s 91 Junction Cafe, where he formed a friendship with Peter Nicholas, through a regular customer.
With nowhere to stay and in a foreign land, Mr Nicholas invited Mr Malevitsis to board with him for a short period while he found alternative accommodation. The two men grew closer and lived together for the next three-and-a-half years, with Mr Malevitsis acting as his older friend’s surrogate carer until his sad passing in February 2021, aged 98.
So moved was he by the experience, Mr Malevitsis vowed to make aged care his career, choosing a Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at TAFE NSW Nowra to give him the practical skills and experience to hit the ground running.
“Peter was determined to stay in his own home until the end and I wanted to look after him the right way,” Mr Malevitsis said.
“I promised him I would give him every possible chance to stay at home and that’s what I did.”
Mr Nicholas lived long enough to see his friend graduate in December 2020 and secure a job as a care service worker at Uniting Osborne, a residential aged care service in Nowra.
“TAFE NSW was great; the teachers were very experienced and so helpful,” Mr Malevitsis said. “I truly have found the career I was meant to have.”
TAFE NSW Nowra aged care teacher, Tracey Newcombe, said Mr Malevitsis exemplified the characteristics the aged care industry was crying out for.
“Antonio is so kind-hearted and has a great deal of empathy and compassion for older people,” Ms Newcombe said.
“The industry is desperate for workers like Antonio and there are so many job opportunities at the moment that most of our graduates get snapped up before they even graduate.”