Phung’s pathway from SEE to employment
Phung had worked as a cashier and a waitress in the past, but with a young son to look after, she wanted a job that could provide a better future. When she interviewed unsuccessfully for a job at a real estate agent, she realized she needed better English. Even though she speaks Mandarin, Cantonese and Vietnamese, English would be the key to a job in Australia that would allow her to buy a house to live in with her son.
Phung first came to Djerriwarrh as a part of the ParentsNext program. When her son went to school she wanted to improve her English and get a job. She knew about Djerriwarrh as her mother had studied here previously. She specifically wanted to study here and she asked Centrelink to refer her to our SEE program.
Her SEE class with teacher Julia Mortarello allowed her to gain more skill and confidence in English. She asked her teacher about volunteering opportunities in hospitals but she also heard about the Certificate II in Community Services. Djerriwarrh delivers this course in collaboration with Western Health as a preparation for working as a Health Services Assistant. Djerriwarrh’s admin team member Lucy explained all about this course to Phung. Phung reported that, ‘Lucy was so nice when I talk over the phone with her. Everyone was so helpful. I’m so lucky.’
Phung was intimidated by the large number of people at the course information session and didn’t think she would get in. Of course she was delighted when she passed the interview and testing for language, literacy and numeracy and was accepted.
This course is run by Djerriwarrh’s trainer, Helen Dobson. ‘Helen really supports us and is happy to help. The learning environment and my classmates are also good. When I first came to class I was shy and nervous and I didn’t talk. Now I’m more confident. Now the whole class is a team.’
Phung has successfully completed the Certificate II and just found out that she has been offered a paid traineeship at Western Health. She will work at the hospital while she studies for her Certificate III in Health Services Assistance.
‘I’m so proud of myself. I was so nervous and I can’t believe I did it. I’ve recommended this course to my sister and to my old classmates in my SEE class as well.’