Picture: Nil Nair
Proud Kaurna man and TAFE NSW graduate Nil Nair is providing support to homeless people of Western Sydney through his role as Director of My Best Life Australia, a not-for-profit organisation supporting homeless people and victims of domestic violence.
On Census night in 2016, more than 116,000 people were estimated to be homeless in Australia, with 32 per cent of this population in NSW.
Particularly during Homelessness Awareness Week, Nil said it was crucial for Australians to acknowledge those in a state of homelessness, particularly in the midst a global pandemic.
“COVID-19 has caused uncertainty and anxiety in the community, but for those without a fixed address dealing with the impacts of the pandemic can be particularly challenging,” Nil said.
In his role as Director at My Best Life Australia, Nil visits private boarding homes and offers support to homeless people who have little community connection or visitors. Nil and the My Best Life team offer counselling and food donations to private boarding homes in Granville and Liverpool.
Nil said his Diploma of Counselling at TAFE NSW has assisted him in providing a better service to his clients at My Best Life, where he supports homeless men who are mostly from an Indigenous background.
“I previously worked as a Director of a Commodity Trading Company for 15 years in Hong Kong. After returning to Australia, I decided to reevaluate my career path to help those in need. This led me to my role
“I enrolled in the Diploma of Counselling at TAFE NSW Bankstown so that I was better placed to help my clients. The practical skills gained from my Diploma improved my communication, helped me become an effective listener, and broadened my understanding of my client’s lived experiences.”
TAFE NSW Community Services team leader, Rebeccah Matthews, said TAFE NSW courses build a pipeline of highly-skilled, job-ready graduates to support the growing community services industry.
“It is fantastic to see Nil applying the practical skills and experience gained during his studies to support the homeless community. He is a great example of the person-centred approach to support people we encourage through our community services courses,” Ms Matthews said.
“Australia has already seen strong demand for community services with calls to Lifeline jumping 20 per cent during the global pandemic and the Federal Government committing $48.1 million towards mental health services after the unemployment rate spiked to 7.1 per cent.”
To find out more about the range of community services courses on offer at TAFE NSW, visit tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
Media contact: Jessica Cortis, TAFE NSW Media and Communications Business Partner, 0456 170 211, Jessica.Cortis1@tafensw.edu.au.