ACAP Bachelor of Counselling graduate Callie Hooper started her new job as manager of Paradise Kids two weeks after finishing placement at the facility. The Gold Coast charity provides support services for families suffering from grief, loss, bereavement, illness, and divorce or separation. Callie left the finance profession to study counselling at ACAP and volunteered in the sector when she began considering a career change.
“My ambitions became clear during my studies and soon after I began my placement: to actively make a difference in the lives of children and families in the community.”
Read Callie’s story:
I enrolled in the Bachelor of Counselling course on-campus in Brisbane on a part-time basis to begin with, as I was working full-time in an unrelated industry. Starting academic study as a mature-age student was a big step for me, but ACAP was very welcoming and supportive in so many ways. I eventually left my full-time job to study to full-time so I could graduate sooner.
After being a volunteer at another organisation for around six years, working with a child in foster care, I chose Paradise Kids to expand on that experience and determine if this was the direction I wanted to take. After experiencing firsthand the amazing work Paradise Kids does, I am more passionate than ever to continue and make a difference in families’ lives. Seeing the children work through their grief and learn ways to cope with the changes in their lives is a privilege and an honour.
I secured my position as I have a unique blend of skills that fitted perfectly - my corporate and business skills, which will serve well as I begin building relationships with the relevant government personnel to achieve funding; and my counselling degree, which incorporates my placement experience in the organisation.
My role is to manage and lead the team to maximise resources for our community by developing and expanding the existing services, to create effective marketing strategies and achieve government funding.
My ambitions became clear during my studies and soon after I began my placement: to actively make a difference in the lives of children and families in the community. Through expanding our programs and achieving government funding to support this, I will certainly be succeeding in my goals.
I was at a stage a few years ago where I was contemplating the future and wanted to do something that would be meaningful and fulfilling. After personally experiencing the amazing benefits of counselling, I decided I would love to facilitate the same healing for others. I chose an ACAP course after looking into a few different options because it seemed to be the most suitable, since it offered smaller class groups on-campus. I also loved the idea of being able to work closely with the educators as opposed to some other institutions, which seemed to be impersonal by comparison.
ACAP has excellent student support services and they are always willing to help or guide you in the right direction. I have experienced a great deal of personal growth during my studies with ACAP and I will remember this for many years to come.