Wednesday, 3 December 2014

New Endeavours...

I don’t talk about work stuff much, partly because I have been out of work for some time: my work contract came to an end, then I went travelling, then I had a month left in that location before having to move away to live with the in-laws temporarily. Then there was a lot to do there to prepare for shipping out to Australia, and I was only there a few months before I went to live back in Pembrokeshire for my final month in the UK.

Now that we are getting settled in over here, I have been thinking a lot about what to do with myself. I can’t use the degree I already have because - long story short - my BSc hons was 3 years in duration rather than 4 like they do in Australia for the same subject. Although the course I did was condensed into longer academic terms and years than most UK courses in order to cover the same stuff, because the course only ran over 3 years, it cannot be ‘assessed for equivalency’ over here. Rubbish!!!!

This has left me in real turmoil here, as I am not at all keen to do school-leaver type jobs at the age of 35, but I have no recognisable qualifications for here… So another plan was needed. After several days doing nothing but research for all of the potential career paths I could get into, I came up with a plan. It’s not fool proof, there are several points where things could easily go wrong again, but it is at least a plan!

So what is my plan? Well, ideally I would like to eventually qualify as either a physiotherapist or an occupational therapist. This will involve me completing a Masters level course, which is really expensive. I also can’t start a course until at least 2016, as they are 2 years in duration and we have been told that we’ll most likely have to move to Brisbane in January 2016. Therefore, in the meantime, I have enrolled on another course that will allow me to find some work, and is vaguely related to what I want for my end result (plus I should get some funding back for this course!).

What sort of course? Not something I ever imagined doing! I’ve enrolled on a massage course! The course is a 2-part qualification. The first half gives me a Certificate IV in Massage Therapy, which qualifies me to give relaxation massages (Certificate IVs are nationally recognised vocational qualifications in Australia at post-high school level). The second half gives me a Diploma in Remedial Massage Therapy, which allows me to give remedial massage for various health conditions, deep tissue massage for various soft tissue injuries, and sports massage, for sporty people of course!

I completed the Introductory Massage course the other week after prompting from a friend, and having enjoyed it more than I had expected (having expected to not like it at all!) I booked on to the full Diploma course.

All of my course materials arrived the other day - so many booklets, some DVDs and a text book. I was quite impressed!

I will have to do home study and online tests for the theory modules, so that requires some study space… We popped out yesterday to an Officeworks shop down the road from us (equivalent to Staples in the UK). They had a selection of super-cheap student desks, and we picked one up for A$77, probably about £40. My project for today has been to clear a space in a spare room (we still haven’t organised any storage for our excess stuff, so space in our little apartment is at a premium!) and put together my flat pack desk.

It’s not great quality, but it’s certainly worth such a cheap price, and I think it will do the job. I’m pretty pleased with the little space I’ve carved out for myself anyway :)

As well as the theory study, I will go to college for the practical lessons in the massage and treatment techniques. There are also work placements to complete, and I’ll have to practice the skills when I’ve learned them. This means that some other equipment is required, namely a portable massage table! I ordered one online, a little shopping around meant that I got one for less than half the price offered by the college. That arrived yesterday too, and it’s pretty substantial! I’d prefer it to be a bit lighter for carrying around, but it seems a good, sturdy table that will be comfortable for clients, so I’m really happy with it.

Image from the website as I don't have space to get a decent photo!

I plan to start working as a qualified therapist as soon as possible, and I hope that this can help to fund me through a university course once we are settled in our next home in 2016. Fingers crossed that this plan works out!


  1. Hi Debbie, good for you. It sounds fun and it is good that you are enjoying it...think of the wool you can buy with the extra cash!! xx

    1. Thank you, and I have been thinking about that - quite a lot! lol