How Theo upskilled to provide better services to the community

Finding the right course and education provider allows Theo to develop his skills


Theo and his wife decided they needed a lifestyle change. Together, they decided to move to the Mornington Peninsula, an area with many aged care facilities and people with different care needs.

He says he has a strong sense of community and feels an obligation to contribute to it. As a natural communicator and a talent for creating meaningful connections with people, he felt he could improve his skills. Theo felt that a qualification in Community Services would give his clients peace of mind that they were dealing with a professional.

Finding the right course provider

Theo sought out recommendations for the best community services course. He noticed a theme in recommendations, as BRACE’s name always came up. He says people in the area said BRACE courses are more recognised. “They said the learning programs were more user-friendly.”

The personalised groups were a plus for him. “I would get lost if there were thirty, forty students in a class. I really appreciate the smaller class sizes.”

He says the other education providers didn’t give him the guidance that BRACE gave him.  “I wasn’t sure what course to do. BRACE really helped me through that process. They gave me advice and recommendations as to the right course.”

“The way they presented themselves and explained everything to me in detail was very good.”

Theo says that help didn’t stop once he enrolled. BRACE has what he calls ‘an open-door policy’. There’s always help for him whenever there’s something he doesn’t understand.

He loves the way BRACE gives him the opportunity to come to class one or two times a week. He says going to classes puts him in contact with a range of different age groups. That gives him a broader perspective on life as well as different ways of thinking about a topic.  He knows that he could easily talk to the teacher and support staff after class as well.

Support finding a balance between study and work

Theo says studying and working full-time requires effort. He says he has the right support and enjoys the experience. He looks forward to going to classes. “I enjoy coming here. There’s always a smile around. It’s a feel-good place.”

He knows there’s always the option to do more study with BRACE, “Maybe in mental health and then onto a diploma. I’ve heard that studying elsewhere is very overwhelming, big classes, and lots of people. I’ll stick with BRACE.”

Opening doors with a qualification

A Certificate IV in Community Services is helping Theo achieve his goal of giving back to the community. He believes the course will open doors for him as a qualified community services provider.

Theo says he started out in community services helping people without transport to go and buy their groceries. His role expanded to include things like taking them to the markets or to a show. He found that he built rapport easily with people and says, “I enjoy it. It’s lovely.”

He’s now working with people who have disabilities and aged people. He is helping with cleaning, taking them out for a cup of coffee or taking their dog for a walk. “It depends on what their needs are.”

Theo says that by giving back to the community and helping others, he also benefits from a two-way relationship. He meets a wide variety of people that have varying hobbies, interests, skills, and abilities. “Never judge a person by their disabilities. There’s always some way to connect.”

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