Our Stories

Marius Odiachi’s Story

Photos of past student Marius Odiachi

2019 Adult Learner’s Week, Marius Odiachi was nominated for the #ALW2019 scholarship. Coffs Coast Community College is very proud of Marius and his achievements since arriving in Coffs Harbour.   This is Marius’s story.

My name is Marius Odiachi thanks to Coffs Coast Community College, I have been successful in securing a job straight away while I was actually training. I enrolled for a Certificate III in Individual Support in January 2017 and then completed a second course in 2018/19 in Certificate III Individual Support Speciality Disabilities. It is mind blowing how much support and help the College gave me, it is incredible.  

My sisters and I moved to Australia from Nigeria couple of years ago to join my mother.  During the civil unrest (war) we lost contact with her. At that time, before the war broke out, we were residing in Sierra Leone.  I was only 7 years old in 1997 and my sisters were very young.  Luckily for us, we were put on a ship to Nigeria (our father’s home country) where we lived with relatives and once things settled down, we began to look for our mother.  We went through lots of search on social media, then, we finally found our mother through Facebook 15 years later; by then I was 22.   We started communicating and though she had her doubts but, I was able to convince her.
My mother had fled Sierra Leone in search for a better life, hoping she would find her children or family, but to no avail, then she moved to Australia. Once we found our mother, we came to Australia and my sisters and I made our way to Coffs Harbour to start a completely new life. We came in with the Child Visa 101.

I tried to quickly get myself to get work, as I was well educated in Nigeria but was unable to use any of my educational acquisitions, since I had not finished my University program I started over in Nigeria, and did not have any concrete evidence of acceptable grade here in Australia.  As part of my upbringing I had to try to contribute to the family, so the pressure to find employment, to support myself and my sisters became priority to me, as I am the only male present in Australia with my family. My family including my sisters and I had no access to Government funding, so employment was a serious concern as my mother was unable to work at that time, she was diagnosed with DVT, and was taken off work, I had to find a job.

Fortunately, I was able to get a job at the blueberry farms but getting there became an issue, as it was located at Woolgoolga/Nana Glen and I did not have any means of direct transport.  A friend of mine suggested that I should think about becoming an Assistant Nurse (AIN), she also suggested Coffs Coast Community College, and that they were really supportive to people like me.  So, I went into the college to ask about the Certificate III in Individual Support.  I had only $200 on me and nothing else. The College were so supportive in letting me pay for my course in parts, whereas in Nigeria you could only pay for such program upfront, but they were like, “are you sure you want to spend the $200 now”.  I mean that was unheard of for me, it blew my mind. I was determined to use that to pay for what I could for my course and they allowed me enrol. Just at that same time fortune shone its light on me, and I got a job as a cleaner, with that I was able to work through the night to bring a salary home. I found the long nights and the three days a week training very taxing, but I found out that the College and its trainers and staff were extremely understanding, and were very dedicated to seeing me achieve success, and completing the course; and then getting employed.    I will be forever grateful for the help I received as it has turned my life around.  The friendliness and the ease to me was the key, it made me more dedicated and I really wanted to go on.

Furthermore, conditions to the Certificate III Individual Support course required me to complete 120 hours at a workplace to become competent.  It had to be in an aged care facility or family support environment.  The college helped with placing me in the best workplace to gain this experience, as this was an extra boost for me to do an excellent job.  I was impressed how supportive the trainers at Coffs Community College were, because they would visit me to assess me while on my work placement and also ensured that I was enjoying the experience, this helped urge me on.  More so, this gave way for me to gain employment at a Nursing Home straight away and a career in caring and nursing in the community  and subsequently I had another offer to work  in the disability sector and this brought me back to the Coffs Coast Community College where I enrolled and completed the units of competency for Certificate III Individual support Disability Specialisation. 

I haven’t stopped studying, because I want to keep on improving, and now I have enrolled into University to become an Occupational Therapist.  While, I was at the college they were helpful with fine tuning my writing skills and this has been very helpful at University. I was nervous, stressed and was not sure I could complete the Certificate III in Individual Support and Disabilities, but the support and encouragement I got from CCCC helped me forge on towards improving myself and furthering my career.  

I want to thank all the people at Coffs Coast Community College for taking care of me.

If you are interested in becoming a Community Carer in Aged Care or Disability visit
Certificate III Individual Support and Certificate III Individual Support Specialisation Disabilities

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