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Nambucca Valley local Debrah Donovan (Deb) is a single mother who has a passion for helping others, particularly in the Health Services industry.

As her children grew older, Deb found herself wanting to return to the workforce and secure a career in what she loves doing most. So she approached her local employment service provider, ETC, who placed her into the New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP) program.

“I’ve always been a people person and enjoy interacting with and helping others. I explained that to Aunty Jen (ETC Aboriginal Employment Advisor) and she suggested I apply for an Aged Care opportunity with Nambucca Valley Care (NVC),” said Deb.

“She helped me with my resume, application letter, interview skills and support throughout the course.”

Deb attended an information session with NVC which included interviews with the management team.

NVC Autumn Lodge Facilities Manager Andrew Bailey said Deb was a stand-out candidate.

“Deb successfully made it through the first stage and then undertook the prevocational block which took a month. From there she was offered a Certificate III in Aged Care traineeship with our Autumn Lodge facility,” said Mr Bailey.

“Fast forward a year, we could really see that Deb was thriving in our industry – the residents loved her and we were constantly receiving positive feedback about her. So we offered her a full time position as a Personal Carer.”

Now 5 years later Deb is considered a senior mentor for less-experienced staff members and is often called to be buddied-up with trainees.

“It’s wonderful to be able to help new staff here to gain skills and knowledge. I love my job here and the residents are all so lovely. I work with a range of different residents including those with dementia and low care,” Deb said.

Deb thanked ETC and the NCAP program for the opportunity to follow her passion.

“The course really helped with my confidence to work within the Aged Care sector. When I first started the job, Aunty Jen would visit me to see how I was going and make sure I was settling in well and had plenty of uniforms,” she said.

“I’ve come a long way – I have a nice car now, can be a good role model for my kids and balance out being a single mum whilst having a career. My daughter has even said she wants to get into nursing as well after seeing how happy I am. I highly recommend the NCAP program.”

ETC Aboriginal Employment Advisor Jennie Rosser (Aunty Jen) said she saw real potential in Debrah when she first came to ETC.

“Deb has had the passion and drive for this industry for many years now. She is keen to further herself even more – so I’m currently working with her to get a Nursing Degree (Registered Nurse training,” said Aunty Jen.

The New Careers for Aboriginal People (NCAP) program is funded and administered by the NSW Department of Industry, Training Services NSW, Aboriginal Services. To find out more contact Jennie Rosser on 0419 895 170.



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