12 January 2024
If you dream of empowering people with disability to reach their full potential, take the first step today and explore your study options at SM TAFE.
SM TAFE graduate, Natalie Brinkworth, reached her goal of becoming a qualified disability support worker and gained employment – all within the same year! Thanks to a State Government initiative that offers the CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) qualification fee free*.
Disability support is a part of one of the fastest growing industries in WA. There is a high demand for qualified care workers and attractive employment opportunities, with skills highly sought after.
Natalie gained the specialist knowledge in health and community services she needed at SM TAFE by learning in training facilities which simulate real-life workplace settings. There are also dedicated areas that emulate rooms in a modified residence or aged-care facility.
Natalie’s drive to make a difference was the inspiration behind her entry into the sector. Caring for others has been a key part of her life’s purpose, having been a foster parent for the past 17 years. She has fostered 69 children, which is true testament to her commitment of making a positive impact on the lives of others.
Before entering the disability support sector, she was devoted to the childcare industry for 12 years. She also worked in hospitality before considering a career change on learning she could gain her qualification in disability support for free!* Natalie took the plunge and enrolled in the CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability).
After completing her first qualification, she decided to undertake the CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Aging) , also part of the fee free* initiative at SM TAFE, equipping herself with an Aged Care skillset.
Natalie quickly gained employment at Crosslinks, a disability support service. She works in a residential care setting with five clients, supporting greater levels of independence.
Natalie says she thrived in the supportive learning environment at SM TAFE.
“The guidance you get from lecturers is amazing,” she explains “they are so encouraging and no question is a silly question – it was a very comforting, reassuring atmosphere in class.”
“Getting my qualifications at SM TAFE has helped build my self-worth and I now have a job in disability support that I love – I even arrive early to work as I can’t wait to start my shift,” Natalie said.
With free qualification opportunities, enormous employment potential and the chance to gain real-world training to create a life-changing career with SM TAFE, there’s never been a better time to pursue the field of disability support. Applications are still open for 2024 – find out more here.
*Note that the CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability) and the CHC33021 Certificate III in Individual Support (Aging) are fee free in 2024. The tuition fees are 100 per cent subsidised by the WA Government for WA residents.
Some eligibility conditions apply for the free training, and other fees may apply for some courses. Please see the FAQs on our Skills Ready page for further information. Tuition fees are free, but resource fees may be payable for some courses.