August 11th, 2017

The Victorian Seniors Festival, provides the opportunity for older Victorians to explore programs, services, events, activities and connect with people of all ages and backgrounds and to celebrate with their community. Held in upcoming October, the 35th Victorian Seniors Festival, is celebrated with 2,500 free or low cost events for the 150,000 older Victorians, their friends and their families.  Acknowledged at this time is winner of the Victorian Senior of the Year Award winner, someone who has made a valuable contribution to their community.

Local initiatives such as this, bring a focus to the many contributions older people make to their communities, as well as the many ways in which communities can engage with their older members. The Seniors Festival also provides an opportunity for Australians to think about careers designed to help and engage the elderly in the lead up to Australia’s pinnacle week for celebrating vocational education and training (VET), National Skills Week.

“Careers in the community and aged care sector can be very rewarding, offering variety, an opportunity to exercise your health care skills, a chance to building strong relationships and offer much career fulfilment,” says Kirstin Casey, General Manger at SkillsOne.

Caitlin Maher, national VET Alumni member and 2014 Australian Training Award’s School-based Apprentice of the Year finalist, began a two-year course in VET Allied Health whilst in Year 10.  Through this training, she could experience first-hand the field of nursing, with a focus on women’s health, cardiology and paediatrics.

It was however her following placement at Blue Cross Willowmeade aged care residence, where she confirmed her passion for the health and aged care industry.

“I went into aged care not 100% sure if it was something that I wanted to go into and it turned out that I love working here, so I have stayed on since I’ve finished and it was good to be recognised for the work I have done here”, said Caitlin.

Caitlin balanced her Certificate III in Aged Care studies at Goulburn Ovens Institute of TAFE with her secondary studies at Assumption College Kilmore, and went on to enrol in a Bachelor of Nursing upon completion of her Victorian Certificate of Education.

“I’ve got the skills, I know I can take into nursing and its confirmed to me that I definitely want to go onto university and finishing nursing which I am doing now,” said Caitlin.

Caitlin is passionate about the VET sector, talking with parents and visitors at her school’s open days about the opportunities on offer at the school.

“I think the main thing to tell people about school-based apprenticeships, is that there is nothing to lose.  When you’re in school, this school based apprenticeship gives you an opportunity to get a taste of what it’s like to be in the workforce.  When you finish, you can then test to see what kind of careers you want to go into when you leave school.”

“By doing the VET course, it’s given me the motivation to go on to an apprenticeship, which has encouraged me to definitely go to uni.  It has confirmed that I want to be working in the health field and its helped me start off my year with a flying start,” said Caitlin.

VET qualifications will be on show during National Skills Week from 28 August to 3 September 2017. National Skills Week is Australia’s primary week to acknowledge vocational achievements and celebrate the endless opportunities available through VET.

For further information on Caitlyn’s story, or other inspiring career stories from the Australian Training Awards, VET Alumni Program or the Australian Apprenticeships Ambassadors Program, visit the Australian Training Awards website.

To organise an event, or take part in the many events that can be found across the country, visit the National Skills Week website.


For more information please contact: Kirstin Casey (General Manager at SkillsOne)

Mobile: 0420 652 558 Email:

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