A LOCAL vocational education college has helped 26-year-old Michaela Bradley to make the career leap from administration to counselling.
The Change Academy Midland, which opened at the beginning of this year, offered Ms Bradley the flexibility she required to finally pursue her dream of helping people in need.
National Skills Week, which began last week and runs until Sunday, highlights the career leaps people can make from jobs like admin roles to counselling.
Ms Bradley’s motivation was hoping to change attitudes to mental health.
“I’ve always loved helping people through difficult situations,” she said.
“From my own issues, I developed a keen sense of helping people and my goal is to help change society’s stigma of mental health.”
Ms Bradley said she had benefitted from The Change Academy in Midland, which offered a blended learning model combining distance education with campus-based learning.
She said it enabled her constant access to support.
“It was quite hard at first because I was working full-time, however when I found a rhythm and created a timetable and talked to my tutor every week it became easier,” she said.
“The support is great no matter where I am and my fellow students made it easy as they were there for the same reasons.”
While only at the beginning of her studies, Ms Bradley already has strong ambitions of what she would like to achieve when she receives her qualification.
“Now I want to focus on the issue at hand of helping people extinguish the stigma that comes with mental health,” she said.
“I would like to work alongside companies such as Lifeline, Beyondblue and Headspace because they do great work for people.
“I’d also like to work with returning soldiers and young people.”
Ms Bradley encouraged anyone who, like herself, was not happy with their career and the work they were doing to make a change.
“If you want to achieve something, use the energy as fuel to make a change for yourself,” she said.
“Making that decision to make a career change was a big achievement for me. The fear of change may be there, but in order to create happiness for yourself, change is necessary.”
The Change Academy Midland opened in January and offers diploma courses in counselling, community services and youth work.
Each student is offered one-on-one tutoring and the ability to tailor his or her studies around their lifestyle commitments.
For more information visit www.changeacademy.edu.au.