Blogs (Media Centre)

Mother and son a class act helping Aboriginal elders through their twilight years


Mother and son a class act helping Aboriginal elders through their twilight years

A mother and son have become classmates and are now using what they learn to help ease Aboriginal elders through the twilight years of their lives.

TAFE NSW Nowra students Tammy Hendrie and her son Ryley are employed as carers at Rose Mumbler Village, one of only two registered Aboriginal aged care facilities in the state.

The pair are studying the Certificate IV Ageing Support and Certificate III Individual Support by combining classroom lessons and on-the-job practical experience.

Mrs Hendrie said “Some people say they couldn’t work with their children but I’m enjoying it.

“It’s good studying at TAFE NSW with my son, Ryley. We discuss our training and he asks me questions about what he’s studying.

“He loves the work and he has a good manner with the residents. It makes me proud to see him being so caring.”

The number of Australians aged 65 and over is forecast to double in the next 36 years, leading to an increase in demand for qualified aged care employees. [i]

Rose Mumbler Village is operated by Illaroo Cooperative Aboriginal Corporation, the corporation’s CEO Tony Allen recognises the importance of ongoing training in the aged care industry. He said the TAFE NSW workplace-based training suited the business and the staff.

“You can’t get a better system; we support our staff to up-skill with the TAFE NSW teachers delivering the training right here on-site,” Mr Allen said.

“The training that has been customised for us by TAFE Enterprise means more opportunities to learn for our staff. The training also empowers staff to offer our residents a higher level of care.

“The TAFE NSW training puts a lot of emphasis on respecting culture and that’s very important to us,” Mr Allen said.

Ryley (20) is at the beginning of what he hopes is a career path to becoming a registered nurse and credits his TAFE NSW teachers as his mentors.

“To learn from someone with current industry experience adds authority to the lessons and gives me a good insight into an industry I want to be a part of,” Ryley said.

“I’ve learned a lot this year including using different techniques to talk and listen to people. Those skills, make a real difference in my day to day work.

“I’ve also learned about manual handling, assisting with medication and how to handle emergencies.

“The residents are here for the rest of their lives, and I’m pleased to be able to make them smile, have a laugh and to listen to their stories.”

For more information about how TAFE Enterprise tailors training for businesses visit or phone 131 601.


[i] Treasury’s 2015 Intergenerational Report