WDEA Works student becomes a role model in the Horsham & the Goolum Goolum Community

As 2019 draws to a close many of us will look back over the year to see how much we’ve achieved. One person who can do this with immense pride is Horsham local Matthew Cockerall.  In February this year, Matthew began studying his Certificate III in Early Childhood Education and Care through WDEA Works Training who has an office based in Horsham.

Matthew has worked incredibly hard to turn his life around, he has found meaning and purpose, and to his surprise he has become a role model to other Indigenous youth in his community. Things where not always smooth sailing for Matthew, unemployed and without permanent residence he was reduced to couch surfing with friends, his future was far from certain. The one thing that inspires Matthew is his love of Horsham, his family and friends, that’s when opportunity came knocking or playing so to speak… a radio ad changed everything…

“I had been looking at different courses I could do without moving away from my community but there wasn’t a lot on offer where I live. My sister and mother said I should try to get in to childcare because I’ve always been good with children so I started looking in to it, I heard on the radio that WDEA works was offering the course so I went in to their Horsham office and spoke to them about it.”

WDEA Works Training (RTO 21701) offers both Certificate III and Diploma of Early Childhood Education in regional communities like Horsham, there are two pathways to study; the first includes a combination of classroom and placement-based learning whilst the second option is for those already working in the industry, called industry-based that doesn’t involve class attendance. WDEA Works Training understands that we all live busy and complex lives, it is this support and understanding that helps people succeed and is reflected in a successful graduate employment rate of 90%.
Matthew is now employed as a Koorie Preschool Assistant (KPSA) at Goolum Goolum Aboriginal Co-operative; here he is helping to run the Koori playgroups in Stawell and Horsham as well as going into Horsham Kindergartens to support indigenous children and families.

Photo Credit: The Weekly Advertiser

Matthew balances his work commitments at Goolum Goolum with his study and course work placement at ‘Community Kids’ in Horsham. “Matthew has a full schedule between his work at Goolum Goolum, Community Kids and his WDEA Works Training but does a fantastic job managing it all. Matthew has a fantastic work ethic and this story certainly highlights the demand for regional courses like Early Childhood Education in Horsham. ” said Raelyne Barnes, WDEA Works Trainer & Assessor.

When looking back over his achievements of the past 12 months Matthew said “Being a male in childcare has been filled with its own struggles and self-doubt at times, but I’m actually glad for everything that’s happened this year and I’m very hopeful for the future. I’m now employed and also getting great feedback from the Childcare Centre where I have work placement”
Raelyne concluded, “Matthew is a truly is an inspiring young man. He now has his own unit where he is living, regular employment and has become a great role model to Indigenous youth and males. He is a shining example of the possibilities, which exist when people are able to learn and grow in their chosen field. At WDEA Works Training, we’re very grateful that Matthew heard about the course and signed up. We believe he is an inspiration to everyone who is considering a career in childcare. I cannot wait to see what his future holds and to watch him graduate in 2020.”

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  • WDEA Works Employment division incorporates both Disability Employment Services and jobactive.
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