Paddl Spotlight: Get to Know Our Community Service Students

July 15, 2016
By Robelen Bajar

This week we shone the Paddl Spotlight on the Students in our Community Services Village. From nursing and allied health assistance, to justice and youth work, our Students are gearing themselves up for a range of careers in the future that all contribute to making the world a better place.

We spoke to a few of them to hear about their passion for the industry, their aspirations for the future and how they hope to get there.


John Otieno

Bachelor of Nursing, Holmesglen Institute

How did you get into nursing?

I’m originally from Kenya, and worked for over a year as a language interpreter. When my sister and I moved over, I took a job at an aged care facility as an assistant in nursing. I enjoyed my time there so much that I thought why not go and study further to become a nurse full-time. My sister works as a social worker so you could say that helping people is a family vocation.

What do you love about the health industry?

What I love is the ability to help people. I think we’ve established that we have a strong messiah complex in my family with helping people! A job in the health industry provides an opportunity to help people in creative ways; not everybody is the same so you constantly have to find new ways to work with different people.

Do you think it’s important to get work experience as well as a formal education?

Relevant work experience is very important because when you finally get your qualification, you have everything you need to hit the ground running. I think it’s great to have experience in a few other fields outside your immediate studies also because you never know when you might need to borrow skills from another field to use in your industry.

What do you like about Paddl?

It is very easy to use. With one of the job applications I’ve done, I found it streamlined the whole process. The employer often knows exactly what they’re looking for and Paddl streamlines the students to match those expectations. It’s the same for students who are unsure of what to apply for, it’s inspiring to know everything in my feed I’m capable of doing.


Linda Kurnianingsih

Certificate IV in Allied Health Assistance, Holmesglen Institute

Do you have a niche in health you particularly love?

At the moment, I’d just love to work in any health related field, due to my personal situation and I also have a huge passion for work with people and helping them. From my own experiences through life, where I’ve been away from home for almost 15 years, first moving to Singapore, Beijing, China and then to Australia and to China again, where each time I’ve always had to start again. It’s a very lonely feeling starting over, so whenever I see people who’ve just arrived, I can relate to them and am happy to help them in any way I can. Whether that’s in the form of advice or tips, or just sharing stories of my own experiences, it all helps. Currently, besides studying, I am volunteering at Monash City Council as an Aging Friendly Ambassador where we are promoting various positive aging activities which engage senior citizens in the community or just help them with daily life conveniences.

What do you like about Holmesglen?

They have great teachers; they’re very experienced and very patient with students. They’re also very knowledgeable and love to share their personal experiences with us. I think Holmesglen is a really good place for learning. I love the course I’m currently doing also as it means I can take my own experience and apply it in a new context as well as expand on my knowledge.

What’s your experience with job hunting in Australia been like so far?

I’ve used a lot of jobs boards and it’s been tough. I’m not very confident about my resume and I got a lot of rejection and a lot of no replies. That’s why I’ve returned to studying, to refresh my knowledge in the industry as well as to build out my network of local connections.

Do you think it’s important to get experience as well as having a formal qualification?

Having real world job experience as well as a formal education is very important. A lot of feedback I hear from my friends is that most employers respect and look for local experience amongst international applicants. If you don’t have that local experience, it may be difficult to get a job. From my own experiences, I would say this is very true! I’ve never really worked here, so I’m hoping that a work placement opportunity will give me the experience I need to get my foot in the door.

Looking for casual and part-time staff? Connect with talented Students like these by heading to: