Adult Learners Week - Read how returning to study changed Lee’s life. | Pines Learning
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Adult Learners Week – Read how returning to study changed Lee’s life.

1. Why did you decide to enrol in the Cert III in Individual Support at Pines Learning?

I decided to apply for the Cert III Individual Support at Pines Learning because it was close to my home and they were able to offer me the same qualifications for a lot less money than what a TAFE could offer.  I also felt calm after speaking with Julie Cranwell from Pines Learning because she came across confident in what she could deliver and an extremely kind and compassionate person.  I also wanted to make a difference and I felt the need to give back to society.

2. Were your expectations about the course and how has it been different?

My expectations of this course at the time I joined were completely different to what I now feel about the course.  When I first started this course, I had not studied for over 3 decades.  I was overwhelmed with fear and anxiety believing that I may not be able to pass this course, let along commit to a whole year of homework and studies. I felt unsure at times and I felt like I had dived into something I had no idea about, and that I was completely out of my comfort zone.  After having such a great teacher in Kevin Donovan and his realisation of my preferred learning hands-on style, my walls started falling.  After only a few weeks and making some good friendships within the group it was not long before I began believing in my own abilities.

3. Thinking about Covid 19 and the impact/changes it has caused to the course. How have you dealt with changes/challenges and what have you learnt about yourself.

I would have to say that Covid 19 put extra stress on my already stressful situation.  It was hard enough studying as a mature student in a classroom situation, but then having to now be forced to learn via zoom created extra anxiety as I had to rely on my own abilities as I struggled to adjust to the new ways of learning.  Both Julie and Kevin did what they could to support me with these changes, but the challenges I was faced with I overcame with the reality that I was not alone in all of this.  I just had to learn to adjust and I did just that.  I learnt that I was more resilient and that it was no where near as bad as I first thought.  I found myself even trying to help others in zoom and helping them to upload assignments on Moodle.  I have learnt to embrace change, ask questions, not to be so afraid of trying something new and most importantly putting myself out there and knowing I am more capable than I gave my-self credit for.

4. How has enrolling in the course renewed (transformed) you?

Enrolling in this course has transformed me because I now have the confidence to do more than I ever thought I could.  In my previous job I gave my all, yet in the later years of my 30-year service to one company, (some would say a 30 year sentence) I never felt appreciated or satisfied.  It has made me feel there is so much more that I can give to society and I now want to make people feel enriched with compassion and kindness.  I have had special people in my life that have given so much more than I could have ever imagined, and I now feel it is time for me to give that goodness back in return.  Having lost my own father recently to cancer cemented my decision in wanting to make a difference to the world.  It reinforced me that no matter how bad things are, there is always someone else that needs you more.  By enrolling in this course, it has opened my eyes to realise just how much there is out there and how many pathways that can be explored within Individual Care.

During this course I realised there is a new world out there for me and I felt a force pulling me towards Individual care more and more, within Aged Care.  After working on my resume techniques with Ruth Bailey (part of what this course provides), I felt compelled to apply for a job at Baptcare.  Pines Learning arranged a meet and greet via Zoom, allowing us to speak with Melissa Allan who spoke about what was involved with the job advertised within their organisation and gave us all the opportunity to apply for this role.  Of course, my feelings at first in applying for this job was overwhelming to say the least, given that I had not applied for or interviewed for a job in over 3 decades.  After speaking to my Trainer Kevin Donovan who made me realise that my skills and compassion were valuable, I decided to put myself out there once again and apply for the position on offer.  After being notified I had the position I felt comforted that everything I have learnt from Pines Learning can be put into practice and I can now start reaping the rewards of my success.

I would like to say to anyone out there who is looking to do this course at Pines Learning when it comes up next, to do so.  If you have compassion in your heart and willingness to learn then that’s all you need because the trainers and staff at Pines Learning will guide you to the right pathway that best suits you, and  support you along the way.