Graduate Story: Carol Lockwood
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.”
While reading your story I saw a little of myself in it . I’m 47yo and hope that it isn’t too late for me to change career once again as I did it few times in the past . I just started the course and intend to finish it within 2 years as well. I admire your courage and optimism. For me the only problem I can see in myself, is my accent, as I’m an European. In your opininon how much more difficult this career can be for a non-Australian person? Did you meet somme non-Australian counsellors?
Hi Carol, Like you and Peter I too have left current employment in the finance industry to pursue my dream of working with children and families. I recently gained paid work working with women and children at risk of homelessness from work experience I did. I am in my early 40’s and gain great optimism from reading your story. Good luck with everything I am sure it won’t be too long until you are in the area you want to be.
Like you I began the course out of self interest. I particularly was looking for something to give me a better understanding of people in a working environment. Currently I am half way through the third unit and my thinking is leaning slightly toward making use of the qualification once achieved. At 66 years of age and planning to work until I drop I have never considered age to be a barrier to much in life at all. What does concern me a little is, based on the information through these pages the vast majority of counsellors appear to be women. I would be interested to know what the ratio of counsellors male to female actually is. Equally I would be interested to know the same about clients.
Good luck with your venture.
According to the Australian Job Search website, the Counselling profession’s gender breakdown is 32% males and 68% females. You can find out more about counselling in the following link:
It’s great to hear you’re doing so well with your AIPC study. Re your comments about age and studying, I have come to realise that I have so much valuable experience and knowledge now, and I’m sure it’s the same for you. Also clients often prefer an older person. In response to your question about non-Australian or europeans with accents – counsellors, yes I have known quite a few.
There seems to be a small percentage of men out there generally as counsellors and it’s so necessary. Your accent is an attribute and really I would think it would help break down barriers with clients who also have an accent. Let’s face it, there are a lot of people in Australia with accents!!
Good luck with your study and with your counselling career,
Dear Carol, I read your story and can see that if you want something you have to get up and reach for. like Peter J. i come from Europe and I have accent. I do not have partner for studies and I like get in touch with sam other student like Peter J. I come from Croatia and I speak fluent croatian. thank you for encourage to keep trying, and that what I am keep doing. I wish you all the best. Maja Vlatko