A little goes a long way
BSSC Alumni and recent nursing graduate, Ebony Clarke, is a shining example of how Work Placement at secondary school can have a huge impact on a person’s future career path.
“When I accepted an offer to do work placement at Victoria Heights Residential Care, I had no idea where it would lead me,” Ebony said. “I ended up spending four years working there.”
She credits VET Community Services for really opening her eyes and sparking a passion to help people.
“In Year 11 and 12 I studied Maths, English, VET Community Services, Health and Legal Studies,” Ebony said. “To be honest, I had no idea what I wanted to do when I was in Year 11. I was sitting in class one, day learning about the struggles people face in the community, and I just knew I had to do more to help. Nursing seemed to fit with everything I wanted to do.”
Once Ebony had set her mind on nursing, she threw herself into making the most of every opportunity, including completing a short course at Bendigo Tafe called Medical Terminology, a prerequisite for the Diploma of Nursing. Her commitment, hard work and enthusiasm in Year 12 gained her a 2013 Vocational Student of the Year Award.
“I really loved my time at BSSC,” Ebony said. “The adult learning environment and the respect and support from the teachers is something I value to this day.
“Rhonda Pithie was instrumental in organising my work placement at Victoria Heights, but more than that she was always there for a chat and support when I needed it.
“Sue Pickles’ Community Services class was always inspiring. There was open, honest discussion, no matter the topic, and the community excursions were amazing. The trip to Warrnambool, where we retraced the footsteps of the local Indigenous people of the region, was an incredible experience.”
Ebony is about to embark on the next stage of her nursing career in midwifery, and loves working in the Community Rehabilitation sector.
“Due to the nature of the job I can’t disclose exactly what I do, but it’s a program that helps some of the most vulnerable people in our society recover and hopefully get back into the community.
“I love that I can combine nursing with giving to those in need. Helping others in any way, shape or form is just so rewarding.”
VET and RTO Manager, Jenny Moloney, said that Ebony is a great example of what can happen when students enthusiastically embrace the VET training and workplace learning opportunities available at BSSC.
“Ebony’s work placement choice definitely helped her to clarify her pathway preferences,” she said. “Ebony has always been very willing to return to speak to other students about her experiences.”
And her message is a simple, yet powerful one: “Take every opportunity BSSC gives you. Embrace it with an open mind and enjoy it. The two years are short, but the impact and knowledge you will gain from BSSC is something you have for life.
“Most of all, do something nice for someone. A little goes a long way.”