AIPC Graduate Carol Lockwood shares her story…

“I decided at the age of 52 to pursue study in counselling, after working in administrative roles since leaving school. That was in May 2004. The study took 2 years and 2 months to complete and I’m so happy to have accomplished the Diploma. For many years I had been unsatisfied in my administrative role, although it was well-paid with good conditions, it was also stressful, demanding, unrewarding and I suffered many migraines and disturbed sleep patterns as a consequence.

Initially I thought I wanted to gain the counselling skills and knowledge as a general interest. But as the course progressed, I began to entertain the thought that I could pursue employment with these counselling skills where my caring, empathising qualities would be utilised. A job that would make a positive difference and contribution in other’s lives, and at the same time provide personal satisfaction and fulfilment.

Since graduating with the Diploma in July 2006 — it’s such an unbelievable feeling to accomplish and also it’s providing opportunities and changes in my life that were not possible a couple of years ago. My lack of self-confidence and deprivation of personal ambitions has now been transformed to pursuing my ideal employment. I am focusing now on developing patience and realism to make my ideal job happen.

The AIPC study has taught me to have faith, confidence and strength in myself, as well as a myriad of other skills, but these personal attributes have enabled me to leave to leave the security of my administrative position in late June 2006. Since that time I’ve been working as a Personal Carer/Support person for 4 days a week. One day a week I do volunteer work with a Child Contact Service where I take phone calls regarding child contact or supervised visits. There is also an opportunity to assist with the supervised visits, and to do emergency relief work, and foster care assistance. I enjoy this volunteer work which is providing me with a variety of excellent work experience that is invaluable. Through this agency, I have recently attended some presentations, such as Child Protection & Safety and Positive Parenting.

I now apply for jobs and constantly search the web, and am thirsty for information and any courses that further my skills with counselling or support work. I now feel confident that with my AIPC Diploma qualification, community work, and volunteer work, I will be successful with my job search. Recently I have had two interviews with a job placement agency for disabled persons and a community agency. Whenever I have mentioned the. AIPC Diploma qualification, I have received a positive reaction and recognition of this study.

Rob Carrigan seems to have endless compassion, time and understanding for people like myself, and has been very helpful and inspirational throughout my units of study, and even now that I’ve graduated, continues the support and assistance. Also other staff at AIPC have been continually supportive, and responsive to all of my requests over the 2 years of study. I would encourage you to keep trying, don’t give up as it’s well worth the effort. Each unit you finish is another step to achieving your goal, and I wish you all the best.”