Empowering Through Education: A Journey of Resilience and Renewal during Disability Action Week

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In 2020, Rick Gill faced a life-altering moment when a serious back injury at work led to severe anxiety and depression. Admitting that "it got pretty bad," Rick, who had experienced the toll of manual labour and management stresses, realised he needed a change.

"60-70-hour weeks and I just kept pushing till it ended up costing me three years of my life," Rick said.

Despite early signs of depression and anxiety, Rick's old-school approach led him to internalise his struggles, ultimately landing him in hospital.

Taking matters into his own hands, Rick sought a new path. Little did he know that this journey would lead him to a fulfilling career in the disability support industry.

Sharing his story to promote Disability Action Week (November 25 to December 2), Rick said he began with a commitment to self-improvement. It was a journey that connected him with the training team at IMPACT Community Services.

Attending an information day, Rick met Gay, Michelle, and Katie, setting the stage for a participation in a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability).

Reflecting on his training experience with IMPACT, Rick commended the support he received.

“Given that I was going through what I was going through, and I didn’t even tell Gay about the depression and stuff. I had told her I’d had a back injury, but she just got it somehow,” Rick said.

"But it wasn’t just me. She was able to engage with the entire class on a personal level, which kept us all plugging through it."

Now employed in the disability support industry, Rick said it had been one of the most rewarding things he’d ever done.

While the journey to overcome depression and anxiety continues, he finds fulfillment in his work.

“This is the best medicine. When I do something for someone, it makes me feel better, so essentially, it’s part of my healing.”

"I'm not out of the woods yet, but I'm kind of good with that," Rick said, recognising the ongoing nature of his mental health journey.

He encouraged others to explore opportunities working with people with disabilities.

"If someone reads this and thinks, 'I'm in a similar situation, maybe I should reach out,' it's worth it," Rick said.

“You hear about people saying it’s not a job if you love it. You always hear it, but you don’t believe it until you’re in that position. I do actually look forward to coming to work.”

That’s what working in the disability sector enables.

If you want to find out more IMPACT’s training pathways, visit Certificate III Training Courses - Impact Community Services.

IMPACT is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO code: 0115).

Now that borders are opening up all over the world, IMPACT Community Services has the perfect solution to help you work your way across Australia and the globe.

IMPACT's new hospitality trainer, Leigh Francis, believes that work in hospitality is the perfect way to finance travel to fascinating cultures and the world's top tourist spots.

And our next SIT30616 Certificate III in Hospitality course is just around the corner.

“I worked my way through England and Europe when I was younger, working in bars and restaurants,” Leigh said.

“It's the perfect way to fund your wanderlust.

“And let's face it, everyone's loves an Aussie behind the bar!”

Leigh believes work in hospitality is the most portable job there is, for no matter what the culture, everybody has to eat and drink.

“You can work in fabulous resorts, tropical islands, even aboard luxury yachts,” Leigh said.

She encourages everyone to travel and this is the best way to do it, but advises for people to begin close to home, as, in her opinion, “our backyard is the best”.

IMPACT's Certificate III in Hospitality (SIT30616) will teach you everything you need to know about the hospitality industry and how to get the best out of the tourism industry.

The course has a cookery unit, a customer service unit, a coffee service unit and at the end you will also have RSA certification that will allow you to work anywhere in Australia.

And Leigh is eminently qualified to set you off on your journey.

Leigh spent seven years teaching hospitality and also working as front of house manager at the cafe at the Tom Quinn Centre. She has also worked at the RSL, Across the Waves, an Alice Springs casino and taught at TAFE.

Leigh believes now that all the borders are open, the hospitality industry is ready to renormalise after the disruptions of the COVID pandemic.

Venues had to close, or had to let go staff and couldn't replace them. But she believes all that is about to change.

There might even be stiff competition for hospitality jobs and those with the better training and credentials will have a leg up.

“You have great fun meeting people,” she said.

“It's the ultimate people-person job.”

So if working in hospitality floats your boat, let us help you set sail on it on a grand journey across the globe.

IMPACT is taking new students in May. For more information phone 4153 4233 or visit the Certificate III in Hospitality page.

IMPACT Community Services is a Registered Training Organisation (RTO Code: 0115).

Please note: This website may contain references to, or feature images, videos, and voices of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples who have passed away.

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