Working as a volunteer for Anglicare gave Melbourne Polytechnic student Masoumeh “Massy” Hamidi the direction she was looking for.
After job-searching for nearly a year, she decided to train as a volunteer in the organisation’s “friends 2” program, aimed at supporting vulnerable children in the community.
“I take children who are in foster care out for activities, to the movies or for a walk. I also stay around when parents visit their children. It’s really fun and I enjoy it. I thought if I did the Certificate IV then I could take things a bit further.” Masoumeh recently enrolled in Melbourne Polytechnic’s Certificate IV in Community Services Work to help prepare her for a career as a social worker.
“To be a mentor, the children have to really trust you and be able to rely on you,” she says. “For them, being in the foster care system means it’s difficult for them to find someone who’s there for them and who they can trust. Once they get to know you well enough and realise you’re an ok person, they start to get close to you.”
Ever since she was 16, Masoumeh, now 22, has wanted to own her own home and adopt a couple of children. “It’s always been at the back of my mind and I’m looking forward to those days,” she says.
After previously completing a Diploma in Business at Melbourne Polytechnic, Masoumeh felt comfortable enrolling in another course here. “The teachers are very available to students. I know how the system works now.” Working as a casual in the student Services Department means she’s very involved in campus life, having organised events and activities like barbeques and tea parties for new students.
Masoumeh, a self-confessed Sudoku puzzle addict, is looking forward to starting her course and meeting new classmates. “The whole idea of working with the community and being able to help guide someone through their life process really appeals to me,” she says. At Anglicare, they are keen to recruit social workers, an encouraging sign for Masoumeh. “If I don’t get a job after this year, I’ll carry on and study for my diploma,” she says.
Certificate IV in Community Services Work