Cert III Brings Success

Making the decision to change careers and return to study has brought much fulfillment for former school teacher Donna Atkin, who now works in Minda’s MyPATH program.

Donna, who formerly worked in both mainstream and special education for the Education Department, completed the Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) at the South Australian Learning Centre (SALC) in 2015.

“I had been looking for a change in career, but I knew from my previous work that I really enjoyed working with children with disability,” Donna says.

“I did the Certificate III at SALC three years ago and got through it really quickly, in just six months. I then did my placement in MyPATH, which was probably the best hands-on learning I could have got. When I talked to people who were studying elsewhere, I saw them really struggling to find placements, but at SALC they organised our placements for us.”

Donna recommends the Cert III in Individual Support (Disability) at SALC to anyone considering a career change.

“At a later age, going back and studying some 15 or 20 years since you last did so … it can be quite daunting,” she says.

“But I found all the lecturers were fantastic; you could contact them any time and they’d be there to help. The support from SALC was incredible.”

After her placement, Donna secured a permanent position in MyPATH in the leisure and recreation program.

“MyPATH has all different areas – there’s cooking, there’s IT, but the leisure and recreation program is where my skills fitted the best because I’m someone who likes to get out and about and be quite active,” she says.

“The best thing about working at Minda is the people you work with, both the staff and the people Minda supports, and the activities we do.”

Donna took on a Pathway Session Lead role at the start of this year and is about to upgrade her qualifications to a Certificate IV in Disability, again through SALC.

“I’m happy I’ve made that decision to go back and study, it’s definitely something I want to keep on doing and keep on growing … and hopefully I’ll be working in this field for another 15 years,” she says.

For more information about courses at the South Australian Learning Centre, visit the SALC website www.salearningcentre.com.au or call 8422 6530.