Caring Experience Leads To A Career Change
9 Sep 2021
Devasehnan Archunan originally planned to pursue a career in tourism, but just after he attained his Tourism Management degree in Malaysia the COVID-19 pandemic arrived and effectively shut down the international tourism industry. While weighing up his options Deva decided to accompany his grandfather on a trip to Australia, who wanted to visit Deva’s uncle on the Gold Coast.
As Deva had spent much of his young life caring for his grandparents, he began to consider the prospect of a career in aged care.
“COVID was a turning point in my life because it impacted the tourism industry so significantly and I began to reconsider my career path”, Deva says. “Taking care of your family members is an Asian tradition and something I had already been doing at home with my grandmother and grandfather, so I thought why not take care of people as a career?”
After doing some research Deva discovered that aged care is a growing market in Australia, so he started looking on the internet for Gold Coast institutions that offered training in the sector.
“I chose Educare because they have a great reputation. I’ve had a really good study experience here. It was challenging at first living and studying in a new country and trying to adjust to the pandemic conditions, but the staff at Educare have been so helpful.”
Deva is studying the Cert IV in Aged Care and as part of his training Educare helped him to gain a placement with local aged service provider TriCare. The team at TriCare were so impressed with Deva that he’s now employed there in a part-time capacity while he completes his studies.
“I’m really enjoying working at TriCare, every day I learn something new. They have about 65 residents and they all have their own personalities, so every time you work with someone new you tailor the experience to suit their needs. I do a lot of personal care, showering them, dressing them, helping them get ready for breakfast – it’s all about personal support.”
New found maturity
Deva says he’s really grown as a person through the experience. “At 26 I feel as though I’ve found a new level of maturity as a person. The most enjoyable aspect of my work is my passion for taking care of people, it really gives me a lot of satisfaction. You’re helping people to get on with their lives so you can see the difference you make for them on a daily basis.”
With his study and work responsibilities now well established, Deva is also appreciating the lifestyle that the Gold Coast offers. “Geographically it’s an amazing place. I really like the hinterland areas – the farms, forests and mountains remind me of my rural home in Malaysia and it’s only 30 minutes from the beautiful city of the Gold Coast and its beaches. This really is a very special place”, he enthuses.
Once Deva gains his aged care qualification he plans to undertake a Cert IV in Disability Care at Educare, with the aim of attaining a Diploma in Community Services.
“In Malaysia there isn’t an aged care or disability care sector – those roles for caring are undertaken by family members. It’s a family responsibility, not a paid career path. My family in fact are quite surprised by the opportunities in these sectors in Australia because they simply don’t exist at home”, he says.
“In Malaysia work is your life. You work all day long, day after day and by the time you get home you’re tired and you go to bed, before getting up the next day and starting all over again. On the Gold Coast life is far more relaxed, people have more time to do things and work is just a part of life. Here I feel so liberated, there’s so many things you can do – it’s all about enjoying life. I really love this place.”