Zoe grew up in beautiful green Wexford, on the east coast of Ireland. Now she lives in beautiful green East Kempsey, near the east coast of Australia. She has changed continents, changed jobs, and changed her status to ‘mother’ in her adult life.

Some things don’t change, however, such as the need to find work. Zoe’s employment background includes working in communications, office administration, running a dry cleaner and banking.

When she started ParentsNext, a federal government initiative delivered in Kempsey by Bamara, she was still rethinking her employment goals and how they could best fit with caring for her five-year-old daughter.

“Bamara, and especially my ParentsNext Support Mentor Rachel, have been great in supporting me through the decision-making process,” Zoe said.

“I had an idea in the back of my mind of what I wanted to do, but Bamara has helped me move towards making that a reality.”

Zoe decided that she would like to retrain as a celebrant.

“Every wedding I went to, I used to think, ‘I’d love to do that as a job.’ Getting to share in people’s happiness at weddings and naming ceremonies sounds like a dream occupation.

As a celebrant, I will be qualified to do funerals, but I am not sure if that is something I want to take on. Other celebrants say they can be emotionally challenging.”

Bamara supplied Zoe with a laptop and computer training, which she describes as very helpful. During the training, she met a local celebrant, who spoke with her about the processes involved in becoming qualified, and what to expect when doing the job. Zoe also took Bamara’s Dress for Success course – presentation and grooming are obviously essential for celebrants – and Start Your Own Business training.

“Rachel from Bamara has been super-encouraging, and I am so grateful for all that they have done for me. After I worked out that becoming a celebrant was my goal, they assisted me step by step to make that a reality and subsidised my Certificate IV training.

“After you complete the training, you have to pay $600 and wait three months before you are officially registered. Bamara covered that fee for me, so now I am just waiting for my certificate, and then I can start advertising. I can’t wait to do my first wedding. This is work I can imagine doing for a long time. A good celebrant is an essential part of a good ceremony, and it will be great to see the happiness on people’s faces.”