Brendan is a Youth Support Officer. Such was his drive to make things better for our young people in need, he enrolled in and completed a Certificate IV in Youth Work with Skills Generation that gave him the skills he needed to get his dream job. Three years on, his passion for his role remains strong, and with the experience of his Vocational Training behind him, he has now enrolled in a Bachelor Degree in Youth Studies at University.
But if you asked the young Brendan who joined the army after school, he would tell you that he never expected his life to look like this.
Study had never been Brendan’s strong suit and an academic career was not on the cards for him. After serving in the army, Brendan still felt a strong pull toward roles that would allow him to serve and protect his community, but he was also looking for greater service-family balance. The police force seemed a natural choice but when his application to join the service was unsuccessful, he needed to reconsider his options.
A chance conversation with the President of his local AFL club, who was also a Director of Skills Generation, revealed a new path for Brendan. He learned about the opportunity to become a Residential Youth Worker, a role that resonated with his values and desire to help people. He also learned that he needed a certificate qualification to gain employment.
Brendan’s school academic journey hadn’t been smooth. He had left School in Year 10 with mediocre grades and the idea of returning to study was intimidating. But Skills Generation provided the support, guidance and motivation he needed. With courses designed to be completed within a year, Brendan’s determination, the support of his trainer and the flexibility of the course delivery saw him earn his Certificate IV in Youth Work in almost half that time.
Soon after graduating from Skills Generation, Brendan was employed by Anglicare Southern Queensland, working across five youth residential homes in South-East Queensland. The homes cater to young people aged between 9 and 17, and Brendan’s days are filled with developing case plans, teaching life skills, and organising essential appointments and events for the young people in his care. Although challenging at times, Brendan is driven by the positive transformations he is privileged to witness in many young lives.
Brendan’s aspirations to improve the lives of young people continue to escalate. His Certificate IV was more than just a qualification, it gave him the skills he needed for employment and is now a stepping stone to further education, launching him into his first semester of university. With confidence gained through his vocational training, Brendan’s focus is now on becoming an Out of Home Care Social Worker. As for the future, Brendan’s vision is to make a sustained positive impact on the circumstances and lives of young at risk and in need people in our communities.
The journey to a successful career might not be what you think. This is Brendan’s story…..What’s yours?