Merimbula’s Kate Mustard went from working in a bakery and studying
at TAFE NSW Bega, to a career in a $50 billion industry in less than
The 22-year-old was yet to graduate from the Diploma of Community
Services when she was successfully interviewed for a job by one of the
region’s growing community service providers.
Australia’s ageing population is driving demand for workers in the
care sector, and Bega Valley and the Far South Coast have not escaped
that same influence.
Nationally the community services sector employs more than 600,000
people, according to IBISWorld industry research. As regional centres
like Bega grow in population the pressure is on for care service
providers to employ qualified people to meet the growing demand.
Ms Mustard said that TAFE NSW training provided her with the
nationally recognised qualifications demanded by the community
services industry and that she was pleasantly surprised to be entering
the workforce so quickly after enrolling.
“This Diploma gave me the skills and the confidence to work with
people who have a mental health diagnosis.”
She is now a Mental Health Community Support Worker, helping people
with a mental health diagnosis to live full and enriched lives.
“We learned a lot of industry-specific skills and, being a Diploma
level qualification, we learned about management roles in the sector
too, which is something I’d like to explore further at some point.”
Cabrini d’Arcy-Stewart looks after Wellways Consumer Directed
Services for ACT and Southern NSW, covering Bega, Bombala, Crookwell,
Goulburn and Cooma.
She divides her time between her former home town of Bega and the ACT.
“Growing up in Bega Valley, and returning to it now, I can see it has
changed and grown so much. There are a lot more people living here,”
Ms d’Arcy-Stewart said.
“That growth connects directly to this industry, there will always be
people experiencing a crisis or living with mental health diagnosis,
so there will always be a need for qualified people to work with them.”
She said Ms Mustard’s TAFE NSW qualifications enable her to work with
participants who have a complex mental health diagnosis.
“She knows what she is doing and has made some really positive change
to people’s lives,” Ms d’Arcy-Stewart said.
For information about nationally recognised qualifications for the
growing community services sector, visit TAFE NSW Bega, phone 131 601
or go to www.tafensw.edu.au.
Media contact: Adam Wright, TAFE NSW Media Officer, (02) 4421
9895, mobile 0466 375 552.