Not too long ago, Josh aspired to become a police officer. But his career plans suddenly took an unexpected turn. While studying a Diploma in Social Sciences (Policing), Josh’s plan derailed due to his health. So, Josh changed his course major to focus on community welfare.
While disappointing at first, this study shift led Josh on a pathway towards discovering his passion for helping young people. And he’s never looked back.
“A lot of young people don’t have a voice, they get missed. I wanted to be in a position to advocate for them. So casework is the next step to help their voices be heard,” Josh says.
Through a partnership between Wesley Mission and Western Sydney University, Josh was given the opportunity to study a Certificate IV in Mental Health (CHC43315) through Wesley Vocational Institute (RTO Code 90091).
“The trainer was really passionate about what she did and really wanted to help us understand and be passionate about what we are doing,” Josh says.
The course enabled Josh to put his studies into practice through a work placement at Wesley Operation Hope – a program that supports disadvantaged young people to develop life and personal skills to make plans for their futures.
“I’m better at learning on the job, not necessarily in a classroom environment. I thought this would help me interact better with young people or anyone that I start working with in the future,” Josh says.
“It’s one thing to just read about it on your own and then complete an entire course based on helping young people understand themselves. It just gave me a better understanding of how to talk to and understand what people are going through.”
All while juggling his studies at university, Wesley Vocational Institute and his work placement, Josh worked for Wesley Out of School Hours Care (before and after school and vacation care) at the Riverstone and Marsden Park centres. Josh says his experience at Wesley Out of School Hours Care has also helped prepare him for a career as a caseworker.
Earlier this year, an opportunity opened for Josh to work at Wesley Brighter Futures – a program that helps build strong families by educating and guiding parents about how to safely care for their children. Josh hit the ground running in a support role, helping young people navigate through family conflict. And over the last few months, Josh feels he’s already made a difference.
“I’ve actually been able to see the change that I’ve been able to make in my kids’ lives at home. It’s really good to see how much some of these families have changed in just a short time that I’ve been working with them,” Josh explains.
In August 2020, Josh was offered a full-time caseworker position at Wesley Brighter Futures. Now working in his chosen field, Josh says it’s his studies through Wesley Vocational Institute that gave him the tools for the job he’s now in.
“It gave me the chance to connect with young people that I’m working with on a deeper level.”