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Giving Back to the Community: Vida’s Story

“Helping disadvantaged people, particularly victims of domestic violence, and being able to reduce even a bit of the burden they are carrying, makes my life meaningful.”

This was what drew Vida Rafiedzadeh Kermani to study for her Diploma in Community Services CHC52015 at Melbourne Polytechnic. She wanted the opportunity to empower, support and effect change in the lives of others.

Vida is Iranian and when faced with educational limits in her home country, she recounts having to take a proactive approach and begin teaching herself and her fellow students.

Now teaching English as a second language, Vida finds the classroom is not dissimilar to a small community, where each student brings their own experiences and perspectives into the classroom.

“I have gained new good friends, great knowledge and skills with which I can help others while also helping myself,” Vida says.

While completing her Diploma of Community Services, Vida completed placements for both an NDIS provider and a mental health clinic. She has since merged her course learnings and experience with real-world applications, adapting her lesson plans to include key topics such as maintaining healthy boundaries, practising self-care and self-advocacy.

Vida has been a longstanding community role model and traces her drive back to her sense of empathy and understanding of community needs.

She describes herself as a woman shaped by her responses to challenges. She expressed gratitude for even the most difficult times, the ones through which she forged her resilience and empathy.

Her journey of empowering herself has given her the tools and opportunities to empower others.

A worthy recipient of Melbourne Polytechnic’s award for Outstanding Human Services and Education Vocational Education Student of the Year, Vida hopes to continue her learning journey into the future.

She explains, “Finding true happiness is all about learning and discovering throughout our lives.”

Teaching as a Path to Discovery

For Vida, teaching is the avenue that allows her to learn, and helping others gives room for discovery. Her course at Melbourne Polytechnic opened doors to that path, and she says couldn’t be happier with the choice.