When the ParentsNext program works best, it is a genuine partnership between the participant and Case Manager, working in tandem towards achieving agreed goals.

When you hear Bamara Kempsey ParentsNext participant Christine and our Bamara Kempsey Case Manager Rachel talk about each other, you understand how well they work together.

Christine describes Rachel as “fantastic, always happy and bubbly, always ready to laugh, as well as smart about things. Any time I have an issue, no matter what it is, Rachel is so ready to help.”

For her part, Rachel says that Christine is “really focused on achieving her goals. She lives a long way from town but still never misses an appointment or a shift. She is always keen and enthusiastic and has taken up any opportunity to get work-ready. Not even bushfires or COVID delays will stop her getting there!”

Christine lives in the beautiful hinterland behind Kempsey, about half an hour from town. She has three children, aged from four to fifteen, and a passion for the beauty industry.

“When you give someone a beauty treatment or do their nails, it makes them feel awesome,” Christine says.

“You can see how uplifted they are and how it makes them feel better about themselves.”

With the support of Rachel and the Bamara team, she has completed her Certificate III in Nail Technology. She is well on the way to achieving a Certificate III in Beauty Services as well.

Now, however, she is looking to source funds to start her own business in Kempsey.

“Bamara has assisted in lots of ways, including a computer literacy course. I was provided with a laptop which I have used through all of my studies. Rachel puts on so many things for the parents she works with, from get-together programs for mothers and kids, through to help with resumé writing and buying an outfit for interviews.”

Over a decade ago back in Port Macquarie, the thought of preparing to open her salon would have seemed a distant dream for Christine.

“Becoming a parent so young was tough, for sure, but I had my family all around to help out. I think the hardest thing is that you switch straight across from being a child to being a parent while still pretty much being a child yourself.

However, having children so young means you grow up closer with your kids because you understand them so well.”

When she is not studying, Christine loves to go camping, to the beach, fishing, or relaxing in front of movies.

“I just do what the kids like to do,” she says.

No doubt the kids like seeing her happy, focused and moving towards her dream job as well.