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Prace Stories: Adrian finds his calling

Posted November 15, 2021

Meet Adrian, a young man embarking on a career in Education Support after completing a Certificate III in Education Support at Prace. Adrian was recently offered a position at his old primary school, talk about coming full circle!

When Adrian Vella was called into the principal’s office and sat down opposite the principal and two of the teachers, he was very nervous. He wasn’t in trouble though – quite the opposite. It had been 12 years since Adrian had been a pupil at the school and now he was returning to be interviewed for a position as an Education Support staff member.

Adrian Vella - making a career in Education Support

Adrian had been on an interesting journey since finishing school, as he tried to find his calling.

Straight out of high school he began a traineeship in Physical Education at his former secondary school.

“I assisted with the years 7-12 Physical Education classes. It was challenging at first, having to work with students who are almost the same age as me but as the year went on, I really enjoyed it – and working with my old teachers as well – but I found it wasn’t for me,” said Adrian.

He had always enjoyed carpentry, so he approached a shop fitting company and asked the owner if they were offering apprenticeships.

“The owner was really impressed because he said not many people proactively approach companies these days. He offered me a full-time apprenticeship and I began studying at TAFE as part of the apprenticeship.

“At the end of the year I knew that this wasn’t really the path I wanted to follow. My Mum was starting the Cert III in Ed Support and suggested I should try that, so I thought I’d give it a go.

“I went in for an interview about the Certificate III in Education Support at Prace. Ancy interviewed me, but she wasn’t sure if this course would be the right fit, with me having High Functioning Autism, so she suggested I do a few classes and see if it was a good fit,” said Adrian.

His teacher Edita saw how keen he was and recommended that he continue after his trial classes. Adrian knew from the first day that he’d found what he was looking for.

“Right from the start I really enjoyed what we were learning, so it was easy to get stuck into the work.”

In fact Adrian was so interested in the course he had no trouble being the first student to hand in an assignment!

“I was the youngest student in the group; most of the others were parents. But that didn’t matter because everyone was very friendly.

“I felt lucky really, because the other students were juggling parenthood with study and they had less time to spend on the assignments than I did,” he said modestly.

Adrian Vella completed a Certificate III in Education Support

Once Covid-19 set in, the classes had to move online, but Adrian still stayed engaged and worked hard. Before he knew it, he’d completed one school placement, had almost finished another and his assignments were done.

“I saw my old primary school was advertising a role for a new Ed Support person, so I sent them my resume.”

And that was how Adrian found himself sitting down with the principal and teachers, hoping to get an ongoing position in Education Support.

Although this was the first time he’d applied for an Ed Support role, Adrian was confident in his answers.

“At Prace we’d covered all the things I was asked in the interview and we’d had a lot of hands-on experience during the course and in our placements, so I felt comfortable once I started talking about Ed Support,” he said.

His strong interview, and a glowing recommendation from the Primary School where he commenced his first placement, resulted in Adrian being offered a position at his old school.

“It took a while for it to sink in. I think Mum was more excited than me when we heard the news, but I’m really happy.

“I’m glad that I kept trying things until I found what I really wanted to do. It’s important because you spend a lot of your life at work. I might not always be an Education Support worker; I may pursue teaching or some other related role, but I know that this area of work is where I want to be,” said Adrian.

“I was supported throughout my primary and secondary school years with Ed Support staff guiding me along the way, so I really wanted to give back and be a role model for kids who need a bit of help. It just puts a smile on my face every day, knowing that I’m able to give them the support I had and encourage them to achieve whatever they strive for.”

Are you intersted in working in Education Support? Find our more about the Certificate III in Education Support.