Often, very few careers are as rewarding as providing care for others, telling a familiar story of hope, passion, and sheer determination to make a difference. As essential workers, they are our heroes, now more than ever. 

Before first participating in the ParentsNext program delivered by Bamara, Melanie was a passionate, friendly, professional, caring and dedicated young woman who had already completed three years of study towards a degree in Nursing.

However, with a one-year-old boy at home, she decided to put her career goals on hold. 

When she teamed up with her Kempsey based Bamara Support Mentor Rachel towards the end of 2019, her immediate goals were as clear as day.  

“When I first began to help Melanie, her confidence level was high – she had a definite plan to resume getting into a career in Nursing and was committed to following it through,” says Rachel. 

Rachel then set Melanie’s wheels in motion by setting some initial goals. As a result, Melanie re-commenced her university studies at Coffs Harbour and gained valuable industry experience through work placements. 

There were also several obstacles along the way, impacting the New South Wales Mid North Coast, such as bushfires, floods, and COVID-19 lockdowns. Although there were some delays along the way with travel to her learning and work placements, Melanie completed the remaining two years of her Nursing degree – ahead of schedule. 

“I enjoy being in the ParentsNext program and working with Rachel and Bamara. I stayed on as a volunteer even after I was eligible to exit, as Rachel helped keep me on track, and was always supportive and encouraging,” says Melanie. 

2021 was a year to remember for Melanie, who has become a registered nurse and continues to work shifts at the local hospital and starts full-time in February 2022. 

“The thing that inspires me to be a nurse is that I meet people when they need you the most and do everything I can to help them through that time. It is the most rewarding thing I can think of doing. 

“I want to build a career in Nursing. I am going to continue to study whilst I am working doing my Graduate Certificate in Leadership and then my Graduate Certificate in Critical Care. I hope to be a Nurse Unit Manager in an Emergency Department one day,” says Rachel. 

Rachel was also able to further maximise Melanie’s available opportunities and funding by utilising all that ParentsNext offers through the Participation Fund provided for participants of the program. 

Bamara assisted Melanie in obtaining a National Police Check, Working with Children Check, updates to her First Aid and CPR training, nursing registration and shoes to hit the ground running in her career. Rachel is very proud of how much Melanie has been able to accomplish in realising her career and education goals. 

“She is intelligent, resilient and resourceful and has been committed and determined the whole time I have known her.” 

“I am very proud but not surprised that Melanie has achieved her goal, and I couldn’t be happier,” says Rachel.