Debbie suffered from anxiety and depression and spent a lot of time at home, seldom going out.

Prior to undertaking training, she didn't have a social network outside of her daughter and support worker.

Before enrolling in the CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability), Debbie had only driven from Childers to Bundaberg on her own twice.

She was accepted into the course, but due to her daughter’s already overloaded schedule, she needed to be able to drive herself to class on a daily basis.

Though driving long distances was a fear of Debbie’s and the first two weeks were mentally and physically exhausting, she persisted.

Debbie’s daughter and support worker were a constant source of encouragement and when Wayne, her tutor, told her she had high literacy and numeracy skills, it was the lift she needed.

Wayne encouraged Debbie, even when she wanted to give up and have some time off.

She proved to Wayne and to herself that she had what it takes.

According to Debbie, Wayne made the classroom environment interesting, with his style and presentation being easy to listen to.

Debbie had 10 days absence due to health issues and though she returned to class as soon as she could, she had fallen behind in her work.

Her peer support worker helped her catch up and they changed Debbie’s class days to have Thursdays off, as the drive was getting too much for her.

Instead the support worker would go to Debbie’s home and go through her class notes and books with her.

When Debbie became unwell, she was losing her drive to continue the course.

Wayne and the support worker were most encouraging and consistent and other students were understanding, empathetic and compassionate.

Debbie completed vocational placement at CPL (Choice, Passion, Life) in Bundaberg, working with clients with disabilities.

This certificate enabled her to put into action all the new-found skills gained during her training.

Debbie soon commenced employment as an Outreach Support Worker with Bridges Health & Community Care.

Her outlook on life has improved drastically, in addition to her health.

Debbie is an IMPACT Volunteer in the Community Visitor Program and a volunteer at CPL in Bundaberg.

She looks forward to continuing these volunteer activities throughout her work/study life.

Due to the support Debbie received from IMPACT, she feels there is no limit to what she can achieve now and her confidence is at an all-time high.

Debbie is grateful to everyone who has supported her throughout her journey.

Debbie’s story has also been recognised at a regional level as a finalist in the Queensland Training Award’s North Coast region.