Raising a family changed life priorities for Bathurst’s Shannon Denmead, and as a result she was unable to finish her HSC. With her family now growing up, Shannon turned to VERTO to help her gain all-important life and workplace skills and qualifications that would ultimately prove life-changing for the young mum.

With support from VERTO’s Training Services team, Shannon completed a Certificate II in Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways in early 2019, before enrolling in a Certificate III in Individual Support, specialising in aging.

“I knew I wanted to study a Year 11 or 12 equivalent course, and I came across VERTO’s Skills for Work and Vocational Pathways course,” Shannon said.

“With three daughters and now two step daughters I knew I wanted to make a change and be someone they could look up to, which really pushed me to succeed in my new studies and show people that no matter how much life throws at you, you can always make something of yourself.”

As part of the Certificate III in Individual Support course, Shannon undertook work placement at Opal Bathurst, where she immediately made a positive impact.

“My VERTO trainer, Margot Steenson, organised for me to complete my placement at Opal Bathurst, where I quickly connected with the wonderful, supportive team and residents.”

Opal Bathurst’s Clinical Nurse Educator, Kerri Hallinan, added: “Shannon turned up each day to her placement and was respectful, intelligent, kind and patient; all the things you want to see in a nurse.

“You can tell by her motivation and drive that Shannon wants to make a positive change in her life those of her family.

“Even with the additional challenges brought about by COVID-19, Shannon always has a smile on her face, helping to keep our residents feeling connected.”

Shannon made such an impression during her placement that she was offered a full-time position. She hopes her story will encourage other young mothers, or those wanting to enter the workforce for the first time, to just ‘give it a go’.

“Although it is daunting having never worked before, you just have to push yourself and keep trying because it is definitely worth it,” Shannon said.

“It is such a rewarding feeling to see your residents smile and laugh daily.

“I gave the training a go and I am so proud of how far I have come in such a short space of time.”

To find out more about VERTO’s Training Services, or how VERTO can help, phone 1300 4 VERTO (1300 483 786). For more information on a career in caring with Opal, visit opalagedcare.com.au/careers.