At IMPACT Community Services we believe there is no age limit to setting out in a new direction and changing your career. And Tinika McNamara is the perfect example.

Tinika, who is 62, recently graduated from her Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) CHC33015 at IMPACT and has already found employment.

Though she may have been the most senior member in the class, Tinika says she was made to feel welcome by trainer Elise Cottam and fellow students.

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The course started in November, 2019, and finished in May.

Elise was particularly supportive when Tinika’s vocational placement fell through when the COVID-19 restrictions intensified.

“I had resigned myself to not getting one,” Tinika said.

“Then Elise rang out of the blue and said she'd organised another with Local Personalised Service (LPS).”

A new beginning

LPS specialises in caring for people with a disability and now they've hired Tinika to continue on with them.

Tinika has worked in Aged Care all her life but was not afraid to retrain and acquire the skills necessary for her new career.

“I'm very experienced in Aged Care, but it is entirely different than working one-on-one with somebody who needs specialised attention,” Tinika said.

Tinika did a Certificate III in Aged Care in 2008 and worked at a nursing home and then in a hospital setting. But she wanted a change.

“In Aged Care you are looking after a lot of people in one shift and it can be demanding and tiring,” she said.

“This work involves giving all your attention to just one person and it is very rewarding and less stressful.”

A personal touch

Tinika likes the personal touch needed in her new career looking after those with a disability.

She said her new job required a great deal of patience and calmness.

Tinika praised the support she got at IMPACT as "awesome".

“Elise is great, she's always there to help,” Tinika said. “She has such a connection to people.

“She has a magic touch to put together people who work very well together.

“When you haven't studied for donkey years it is very difficult, but I had so much help from everybody.”

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