A Kellyville local and TAFE NSW Student of the Year has made the switch from environmental engineering to aged care, after finding his calling for the industry later in life.
Originally from Brazil, 32-year-old Paulo Pavani was spurred on to change careers after witnessing the devastating impact of dementia on his grandmother in her later years. He is currently studying a Certificate IV in Ageing Support at TAFE NSW, while working as an Assistant in Nursing at Bupa Seaforth.
Paulo was recently awarded Health, Wellbeing and Community Services Student of the Year at the TAFE NSW Excellence Awards for his exceptional work ethic and passion for helping others.
“Before moving to Australia in 2019, I worked as an environmental engineer for six years, however I wasn’t completely satisfied in my role. While visiting my grandmother when she was in a nursing home, I saw there was a gap in the system when it comes to providing specialised support for dementia sufferers. This is what ultimately inspired me to work in aged care, and hopefully one day reach my goal of specialising in dementia care,” Mr Pavani said.
“After studying a theory-based degree in Brazil, I was looking to gain practical skills here in Australia. The teachers at TAFE NSW were amazing and gave me the confidence and skills I need to succeed. I’ve found many families don’t really know how to deal with dementia, so I’m passionate about using my knowledge to help families like mine and help improve the quality of life of aged care residents, and those living with dementia.”
Due to an ageing population, it is estimated Australia’s aged care workforce will need to double or triple by 2050 to provide care for the growing number of aged care residents.1
Bupa Seaforth General Manager Lorraine Knight said: “Paulo is a valued member of our Seaforth team and his positive attitude and commitment have made him one of our most popular carers, not only amongst residents and their families, but also his colleagues.”
“Paolo is very kind and patient with all residents, but this shines brightest in our Memory Support Unit. As well as attending to his TAFE studies, Paolo always makes the effort to attend other education provided for team members at our home.”
Team Leader of Ageing and Disability Cathy Richardson said students like Paulo are a prime example of the opportunities TAFE NSW provides those looking to upskill.
“The aged care sector is crying out for skilled workers, and the Certificate IV in Ageing Support provides students with the deep working knowledge they need to pursue a rewarding career in the sector,” Ms Richardson said.
“Through theory and practical course work, students gain crucial skills such as the principles of person-centered care and strengths-based practice, the foundations of leadership, and how to advocate for the interests and rights of clients.”
To find out more about the courses available at TAFE NSW, visit www.tafensw.edu.au or call 131 601.
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