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Working and caring: a balancing act for Andrea

Published On: 8 November 2020Categories: News, Stories

Wednesdays became the ‘highlight of the week’.

Andrea doubted herself many times and almost pulled herself out of study.

After many late nights, hard work and determination, she worked her way to complete her Certificate III in Individual Support with Carers Queensland.

“I had a bit of anxiety around the fact that I hadn’t done any form of study since I was an apprentice printer around 33 years ago,” she says.

“I worried that I might not be able to do it however, my determination to better myself, and have the chance to change my career, to do something that I would love, and to be able to help others, helped me a lot.”

“I did everything in my power to never miss a week.”

For 16 years, Andrea has been a carer for her husband who has a heart condition and her two children, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) and Dyslexia.

She helps her husband with his appointments and general time management. She also works part time, so she had to fit her training around her work commitments.

“My life could be described by my friends as crazy busy, but I would describe it as structured and well time-managed.”

“It’s the only way to do it. At the beginning, I was relieved to know what my children had, but I felt so shocked, alone and isolated. I didn’t know where to turn for advice or support, and was totally lost.”

Andrea learned about Carer Queensland from a friend. Later on, she accessed counselling services for a while, and then started her Certificate III in Individual Support through its Registered Training Organisation (RTO).

“Doing this course has brightened my future, and given me the confidence to strive for a better life and career change, even at 51,” she says.

“Participating in this course has changed my life for the better, without a doubt.”

“I would recommend this course to any other carers that desire some sort of outlet to cultivate their caring skills further.”

“I will always feel blessed to have been given this opportunity, and will always be grateful to Carers Queensland.”

Andrea has been working in an admin role for over 10 years now. Her job involves helping customers over the phone and processing data.

She has completed her work placement and would like to work as a Support Worker one day. Wanting to expand her vision and learning, she also joined Carers Queensland’s Your Caring Way program in April this year.

“It has opened my eyes and mind to future career opportunities that I never would have realised possible. In fact, I never realised that I actually have the skills and strengths within me already,” she says.

“Being a carer can be such a lonely existence at times; your dream of progressing is just outside of your grasp because of your caring role.”

“This program has worked for me by giving me the confidence to want to strive to better myself, and my current situation, and to work hard to further educate myself to achieve my goals.”

Andrea’s dream is to continue learning so that she can advocate for families and individuals.

“I am now studying for my Certificate IV in Community Services thanks to Your Caring Way and the fantastic team they have.”

“I have been advocating for each of my children, and husband ever since. I think that I have become quite good at it, and now want to use the skills that I have gained through advocating for my own family, to help others.”

“I think that I would look forward to every working day in a role like this.”