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Author: kristie

One of the few bright spots of COVID has been the development of new skilled workers for Latrobe Regional Hospital.

The month of May saw five trainees complete their qualification in medical administration with Community College Gippsland (CCG), with all five receiving offers of further employment in the medical industry.

The trainees were brought on in 2021 to support the important work of the Gippsland Regional Public Health Unit (GRPHU) in responding to the pandemic.

Michelle Papp, who is employed in Workforce Development at the GRPHU, said that the partnership with CCG made a challenging time a little easier.

“The trainees were employed in a range of roles, assisting with the vaccine rollout, contact tracing, pop-up clinics, home deliveries and logistics,” Michelle said. “It has been a very fast-paced and constantly changing environment.

“We were so thankful to be working with Community College Gippsland to build the skills of our trainees throughout this time. The trainer, Robbie, was so responsive to our needs, adapting the course to be suitable to our workforce needs and pivoting to online learning to keep the students on track during lockdowns.”

For Michelle, having a local training provider was really important.

“Having Community College Gippsland just up the highway is so convenient,” she said. “Our trainer has been able to come to the hospital and provide the customised training on-site for us. We have been able to develop a great relationship and work alongside one another to get the best results out of our team.”

With the current trainees graduating, plans are underway to enrol another trainee in Certificate III in Business Administration (Medical).

“The health industry is always looking for talented new staff and this is a great way to keep building the skill set of our team over time,” Michelle said. “We have been 100% delighted with the results we have been able to achieve with CCG.”

For CCG CEO, Sue Geals, the partnership with the GRPHU was a great example of Gippslanders working together.

“We really love supporting local organisations to thrive and traineeships are the perfect way to do that,” Sue said. “For students, they provide the opportunity to learn while they earn, and for businesses, they offer a cost-effective way to build their team and access tailor-made training on-site. It’s a great way to build the pool of professional talent in the region.”  

‘Better together’ is the unofficial mantra of My Support Australia, a people-focused organization providing participant-centered health care support right across Gippsland.

“We aim to be two things – a service provider of choice and an employer of choice,” explains My Support Australia CEO, Sophie Morell. “We put people at the heart of everything we do. That’s why we chose CCG as our training provider. It’s a true partnership, designed to give our staff the very best skills, knowledge and experience so that they can support our clients to live their best life.”

My Support Australia currently has five trainees enrolled with CCG, each completing the Certificate III in Individual Support qualification. For the organisation, CCG’s flexible approach to training has been a real benefit for the team.

“We love that CCG not only provides training for trainees in the workplace, but welcomes them into the classroom, too,” Sophie said. “This has given our staff, who normally work independently in a home care setting, the invaluable opportunity to learn together. They can share their ideas and experiences with one another, build team connections and rapport, and deepen the skill set they are developing on the job.

“There is also support and understanding for our team members when they need to take time out of the classroom to meet the needs of our clients,” Sophie continued. “The trainers make time to catch up with them and ensure that they have everything they need to succeed. The flexibility and assistance CCG offers enables us to provide better outcomes for our clients.”

According to Sophie, My Support Australia has been so pleased with the quality of training provided that they have also partnered with CCG to provide placement opportunities for classroom students completing the course.

“We were delighted to give a student the opportunity to develop hands-on workplace experience.” Sophie said. “They performed so well during placement that we offered them a role with us.

“It’s clear that CCG are the right fit for our organisation. They are small, friendly and focused on meeting industry needs. We look forward to having a long relationship into the future.”

At the CCG Celebrates Our People event in June, My Support Australia was presented with the Partner of the Year award. The inaugural award was presented by Board Chair Marianne Shearer, in acknowledgement of their collaborative partnership approach, which has enhanced the teaching and learning experiences of their trainees.

In typical fashion, Sophie reflected the win back to her team, saying “Our team don’t work for us, they work with us. This award belongs to all of us.”

For Dave Mifsud, the CCG Copy Centre has become his second home. Understandably so, with more than 25 years spent commanding the copiers – 15 of those sporting his signature ponytail. But Dave is more than a piece of the furniture. He is a stalwart of the Warragul community. 

It is safe to say that the customers ADORE Dave, with the capitalization necessary to demonstrate just how deep and widespread their devotion is.

“Nothing is ever a bother to you,” they say. “It’s always a pleasure working with you.” And, “Dave is an amazing problem solver. I always feel welcome going in there – it’s almost like an extended family!”

Dave’s time with the Copy Centre goes back to when it was the print room of our organisation when we employed just 5 people. Today, CCG has around 95 staff and the old print room has grown from Warragul’s best-kept secret to an industrious storefront on Smith Street.

“A lot has changed in 25 years!” says Dave. “The evolution of technology has been immense. We have moved from a little black and white copier to a full colour digital printing set up.

“We used to print publications for schools. Now, it could be anything from a funeral booklet celebrating someone’s life to house plans, legal papers, short stories, annual reports, cards and invitations – you name it, we print it.”

Throughout the COVID period, the Copy Centre team was there for the community, supporting the workforce who was quite suddenly and unexpectedly working from home.

“Very few of us have a printer or scanner at home these days,” Dave mused. “And while many things are digital now, not everyone knows how to get something off their smart phone and onto paper. We’ve been an important support for older people.”

For Dave, the job is still rewarding even after 25 years at the helm.

“There is something about being able to see a job through to holding the finished product in your hands,” says Dave. “There is such satisfaction in handing that over to the customer and getting the instant feedback of ‘that looks even better than I imagined!’.

The Board of Community College Gippsland (CCG) has announced that recruitment is now underway for a new Chief Executive Officer (CEO).

Board Chair, Marianne Shearer, said that with long-standing CEO Sue Geals moving on to another organisation, a career defining opportunity had emerged for the right kind of leader.

“Community College Gippsland transforms lives through education, inclusion and connection,” Ms Shearer said. “It is an organisation with a big heart and big vision. We are seeking the person who can empower our organisation to thrive in this exciting new chapter.”

Sue Geals will remain in the role until early-July, with Interim CEO, Kristen Theile coming into the seat for the duration of the recruitment process. 

The recruitment process will be led by SHK, with potential candidates encouraged to make early contact to discuss the opportunity in more detail. To learn more, please reach out to penny.wilson@shk.com.au

Community College Gippsland (CCG) has launched an appeal to support the development of outdoor sensory spaces for students with mental health conditions.

The initiative aims to provide a safe space for students of CCG’s alternative secondary school, ECG College, to retreat when they are feeling overwhelmed, overstimulated or anxious.

According to CEO, Sue Geals, this kind of resource has never been more needed.

“As a school that caters to a significant number of students with mental health conditions, wellbeing is always key cornerstone in our approach to learning,” Ms Geals said. “But following the impacts of the pandemic, it is more important than ever to provide resources that really support our students to thrive.”

Ms Geals said that the student retreats could be therapeutic on a number of levels.

“The outdoor sensory spaces provide both short-term relief and long-term benefits,” Ms Geals explained. “There is an immediate impact in empowering the students to take control when everything gets too much; to move beyond the classroom and connect with nature.

“Over time, our students can also learn important techniques to self-regulate and self-soothe in a safe, supported way. These skills will serve them for a lifetime.”

With community support, the specially designed spaces will include natural, passive and active elements, including a nest-like swing to cocoon and calm the students.

“We are appealing to our incredible community to help us raise $50,000 to make our dreams of installing an outdoor sensory space possible for our Warragul, Leongatha and Pakenham campuses,” Ms Geals said. “With the end of the financial year approaching, we are hoping that people will want to contribute to a local not-for-profit that truly changes the lives of young people.

“As a registered charity, any donation over $2 is tax-deductible and 100% of donations raised will contribute directly to the project.”

More information on the sensory spaces, including how to donate, can be found on the CCG website.

The Board of Community College Gippsland (CCG) has announced today that long standing Chief Executive Officer Sue Geals will vacate the role in mid-July 2022. 

Sue’s CCG legacy began when she took up the role of Early Childhood Education Trainer in 2006. She took on a range of leadership positions within the organisation before commencing the CEO role in 2014. Here, Sue applied her broad knowledge to driving growth and returning the organisation to a sound financial position. 

Chair of the CCG Board, Ms Marianne Shearer, expressed the Board’s sincere thanks to Sue for her exceptional hard work and dedication in leading the organisation through a period of major policy and fiscal change.

“Sue can be justly proud of her many achievements in growing an organisation that is part of the community. From opening ECG College to taking 170 senior secondary student enrolments at three campuses. Ensuring a quality RTO that responds to local needs and extending our Learn Local delivery to provide skills for life and work,” Ms Shearer said. 

“Sue has also safeguarded CCG, our staff and students, especially through these recent difficult pandemic years,” added Ms Shearer. “We wish her well in her new role as CEO with The Centre Wangaratta.”

Ms Geals said the decision to leave the organisation to pursue the next chapter of her career was not an easy one and comes with very mixed emotions.  “CCG is an organisation with great heart and real-world impact,” Ms Geals said. “I will deeply miss my colleagues and friends with whom I have worked for so many years.  It has been an honour to lead a team of talented and dedicated people and with them creating a family-friendly workplace with work life balance,” Ms Geals said.

The Board is confident the organisation is well-positioned for growth and has commenced the process of recruiting a new CEO through a broad Executive search.

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