You never quite know what life has in store for you.
Just a few short years ago, Cameron Porteous was working in logistics for a food company here in Bairnsdale.
He didn’t know it yet, but the epiphany that would change his career and his life was just around the corner.
That moment came when he started providing care for his aging grandmother. He says it was like a lightbulb went on.
“I immediately realised this is where I want to be,” he says. “I like caring for people. This is what I want to do.”
Cameron had the enormous courage to change his career, enrolling in study to become a Personal Care Assistant (PCA). He did his PCA placement at Maddocks Gardens in 2014, and began working there shortly after.
In the five years since then, Cameron’s passion for the work shone through, working in a number of different wards at Maddocks Gardens with great diligence, patience and professionalism.
But now, thanks in part to support from BRHS, Cameron’s career journey has just begun a whole new chapter.
With the help of the BRHS Scholarship Support Scheme, Cameron recently earned his Diploma of Nursing through a two-year part-time course with Partners in Training.
He’s now an Enrolled Nurse on the same wards where he took his very first steps in an Aged Care career five years ago.
Cameron recalls the moment when a colleague left a flyer about the Scholarship Support Scheme in his locker at work.
“(Maddocks Gardens Nurse) Janine Greenwood was the one who encouraged me to give it a go,” he says. “I wasn’t sure I could do it, but she had a lot of confidence in me. She’s proud as, now. Because I did it, and I finished.”
Cameron also calls out Clinical Coordinator Anne Brumby, who actually ended up teaching some of his diploma classes.
“She was like a mentor to me.”
Cameron says he went through some challenging times in his life, during his study, when he thought he would have to quit.
“But the support I got from here was amazing,” he says. “BRHS is a brilliant place to work. I love it here.”
The BRHS Scholarship Scheme helps pay for tuition, books and other expenses for BRHS staff to gain new qualifications in their chosen field.
Cameron encourages anyone who might be thinking of continuing their study to give it a go.
“Just do it,” he says. “It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. I’m so happy with the career that I’ve chosen.”
For more information about the Scholarship Scheme, BRHS staff can contact Kylie Hayes, BRHS’ Learning and Development Officer, at email@example.com., or call ext. 66362., or access the application form and guidelines on the BRHS Intranet.