In a landmark decision by the Fair Work Commission (FWC), thousands of aged care workers are set to receive substantial wage increases, marking a significant milestone for the sector. The ruling will see wage boosts of up to nearly 30 percent for these dedicated professionals.

According to Gerard Hayes, president of the Health Services Union (HSU), the wage increases vary based on the role of the worker. Personal carers stand to gain between 18 and 28 per cent, while home care workers could see raises between 15 and 26 per cent. This means some employees could enjoy a salary hike of more than $9 per hour, with personal carers potentially earning $32.52 per hour, up from $23.10.

Hayes hailed the decision as ‘historic’ and ‘life-changing’, noting that it brings aged care wages more in line with those in the public health system. He expressed optimism that the wage increases will attract more workers to the aged care sector, particularly in regional areas, where the demand for skilled professionals is high.

Anglicare, a leading aged care provider, welcomed the decision and urged the federal government to fully fund the wage increases. Kasy Chambers, executive director of Anglicare Australia, emphasised the significance of the decision in recognising the undervalued contributions of aged care workers, particularly women.

‘We are particularly pleased that today’s decision recognises that aged care workers have been underpaid as a female-dominated workforce and recognises the important contribution of care work,’ stated Chambers. The wage increases mark a significant step towards addressing long-standing wage disparities within the sector.

At Excelsia you can study a Graduate Diploma of Aged Care or a Graduate Certificate in Aged Care.

Excelsia College’s Bachelor of Early Childhood Education (Birth to 5 years) program is designed to equip graduates with the essential practical skills needed to seamlessly transition into the industry upon completing their degree.

Throughout the program, placement units are strategically integrated at significant junctures. These placements occur halfway through the first, second, and third years, culminating in a professional experience internship in the fourth year – the pinnacle of the students’ academic journey.

Each placement is carefully curated to focus on a distinct aspect, from child observation and assessment, to social, emotional, and behavioural interventions, and ethics and administrative responsibilities. The final capstone internship combines all acquired skills and knowledge. The program is led by a professional and experienced team dedicated to assisting students in securing placements, ensuring their preparedness, and guiding them through administrative requirements essential for success in the field.

What sets this course apart is the personalised attention provided to students during placements, with frequent visits from Excelsia staff members. Additionally, many students seize meaningful employment opportunities within the sector while pursuing their studies, some even benefiting from paid employment during certain placements. With an extensive network of early childhood services and recruitment organisations, Excelsia strives to match students with placements that align with their individual needs and aspirations. Moreover, Excelsia actively encourages students to explore diverse experiences, broadening their horizons and enhancing their prospects upon graduation.

Participating in the course offers students a wealth of skills and benefits. Placements focusing on ethics and administrative responsibilities deepen students’ understanding of professional conduct and ethical considerations in the field. Additionally, students acquire strategies for managing social, emotional, and behavioural challenges in children, fostering positive learning environments. These experiences not only cultivate professionalism and workplace etiquette but also provide valuable networking opportunities.

Ready to embark on a rewarding journey in early childhood education? Take the first step toward shaping the future of young minds by finding out more here.

Excelsia College offers a dynamic 12-week internship as part of the Bachelor of Management and Entrepreneurship (BME). This initiative allows students to bridge the gap between theoretical understanding and real-world application, thereby equipping them with invaluable experiences and competencies essential for their future careers. 

 

The internship entails students being placed within reputable organisations, enabling them to immerse themselves in roles that align with their academic pursuits. This hands-on experience serves as a platform for students to not only apply their classroom learning but also acquire relevant workplace skills, knowledge, and competencies. By actively participating in the daily operations of their respective workplaces, students gain profound insights into the dynamics of their chosen field. 

 

During the internship period, students are tasked with various assignments including developing a placement plan, maintaining journal entries, delivering a presentation, and submitting a final report. These assignments serve as reflective tools, prompting students to evaluate their application of skills, lessons acquired, obstacles encountered, and the strategies implemented to overcome them. 

 

The benefits of participating in the internship program are multifaceted. Students gain real-world experience, setting a solid foundation for their future careers. Through interactions with professionals in the field and fellow students, interns expand their professional network. The mentorship opportunities afforded to students aim to offer guidance and support, fostering both personal and professional growth. The program allows students to explore various career paths, helping them refine their career goals and reassess their future endeavours. 

 

Interns emerge from the program equipped with a diverse skill set. Juggling responsibilities within a professional setting hones interns’ time management abilities. Effective collaboration with colleagues and superiors sharpens interns’ interpersonal and communication skills. Receiving and integrating feedback teaches interns how to effectively manage and utilise constructive criticism. As many employers in the market highly value these soft skills, a student gaining these skills during their studies will greatly facilitate their career advancement. 

 

Excelsia’s BME internship offers a transformative experience, preparing students to thrive in the competitive landscape of the business world. If you’re in need of a course that will empower you to unlock your full potential and embark on a successful career, find out more here. 

 

World Social Work Day this year takes place on 19 March 2024 and, since its inception in 2007, it has been a celebration that aims to highlight the achievements of social work, to raise the visibility of social services for the future of societies, and to defend social justice and human rights. 

This year’s theme is ‘Buen Vivir: Shared Future for Transformative Change’, emphasising the need for social workers to adopt innovative, community-led approaches that are ‘grounded in indigenous wisdom and harmonious coexistence with nature.’  

This resonates with the contemporary challenges and aspirations of social work around the globe. Our world faces multifaceted crises, ranging from violent conflicts, environmental degradation, to persisting poverty and political disparities. Against this backdrop, social work must evolve and adopt innovative, transformative approaches that are community-led and steeped in indigenous wisdom. Central to this transformative change is the principle of ‘Buen Vivir’, emphasising that true wellbeing is achievable when communities live harmoniously with nature, striving collectively for balanced development. 

This indigenous philosophy underscores the significance of interconnectivity, reciprocity, correspondence, and complementarity in human relationships and our bond with nature. Our goal is to champion this principle, fostering an eco-social world that thrives on inclusion, respect, mutual understanding, and the upholding of human rights. 

Social work operates in a world in crisis which is evidenced by thousands of people who die daily from violent conflict; millions who are displaced because of wars and violence or climate warming and environment destruction; persisting poverty, increasing inequality, and governments who choose ‘competition over collaboration and sovereignty over solidarity’ (International Federation of Social Workers, 2023). 

This theme serves as a timely reminder of the transformative role social workers play in driving positive change and fostering communities that thrive on mutual respect and sustainability, resonating with core social work values. 

Happy World Social Work Day from the Social Work team! 

Launch of global agenda theme 4: ‘buen vivir: shared future for transformative change’. (2023, October 31). International Federation of Social Workers. https://www.ifsw.org/global-agenda-theme-4-buen-vivir-shared-future-for-transformative-change/ 

Excelsia College organised a New Student Harbour Cruise following a two-day orientation at the campus. The cruise featured an array of food, views of Sydney’s most iconic landmarks, opportunities for networking between seniors and new students at Excelsia, and a special guest, Aunty Beryl, a Gamilaraay (Kamilaroi) Elder. A culinary expert in Australian Native Foods, Aunty Beryl is the proprietor of restaurants and catering businesses across Sydney, an early advocate for mentoring top chefs in ‘bush tucker’ cuisine, and a passionate educator and businesswoman. She is also the founder of the National Centre of Indigenous Excellence Job Ready Program and the EORA Project, contributing to the education and housing for First Nations Elders.  
 
Students and staff were privileged to have Aunty Beryl on board guiding them through an exclusive Aboriginal cultural journey. Through storytelling, she shared the traditional history and custodianship of First Nations peoples, illustrating how ancestral sites served as classrooms, and the reciprocal relationship with the land in hunting, gathering, fishing, and toolmaking for over 60,000 years. Aunty Beryl imparted knowledge on how Indigenous bush foods were used traditionally and later adapted to the modern plate and palate. Aunty Beryl delved into the various tools employed on land for tasks like hunting and gathering, crafting canoes, fishing, creating clothing, and weaving baskets. She also explored their use in caves, where stencil art and sandstone engravings played a crucial role in aiding First Nations peoples to interpret and navigate the site. Aunty Beryl’s sharing attitude stems from her profound dedication to preserving and promoting her First Nations culture, embracing aspects related to the sea, land, food, and community.  
 
The positive feedback from students reflected their appreciation for Aunty Beryl’s inspiring story and the newfound perspectives gained. The unique experience provided students with valuable insights that extended beyond the cruise, enhancing their studies and research. Students’ comments, such as ‘I enjoyed the privilege of this cruise and hearing about the First Nations people and culture’, and ‘It has helped me understand more about our subjects this semester’, underscore the significance of this integrated learning experience.  
 
We extend our heartfelt appreciation to Aunty Beryl for her presence at the New Student Harbour Cruise, where she not only presented the Welcome to Country but also shared the rich tapestry of First Nations cultural history.

Financial wellbeing is different to financial wealth. Put simply, financial wellbeing involves the ability to meet everyday expenses, manage debt responsibly, be prepared for unexpected financial challenges, and bounce back from setbacks. It also encompasses the capacity to strategically manage finances to achieve medium and long-term goals. 
 

Meeting your everyday finances and managing debt responsibly 

Financial wellbeing starts with the ability to cover daily expenses and manage debt in a responsible manner. This involves creating a realistic budget that aligns with your income and expenses. Regularly tracking your spending habits can help identify areas where adjustments can be made to ensure your financial stability. It’s crucial to prioritise essential expenses such as housing, utilities, and groceries while being mindful of discretionary spending. 

Managing debt responsibly is a key component of financial wellbeing. This includes understanding the terms of loans, credit cards, and other financial commitments. Strive to make timely payments and avoid accumulating high-interest debt. If necessary, seek professional advice from your bank to develop a repayment plan that suits your financial situation. 
 

Being prepared for unexpected financial challenges and being able to bounce back 

Financial shocks and unexpected expenses are inevitable. To enhance financial wellbeing, you should establish an emergency fund. This fund serves as a financial safety net, covering unforeseen expenses like medical emergencies, car repairs, or sudden job loss. Aim to save three to six months’ worth of living expenses in your emergency fund to provide a cushion during challenging times. 
 
Being able to bounce back requires resilience and adaptability. This may involve developing a contingency plan, exploring additional income streams, or acquiring new skills to enhance employability. Embracing a mindset that anticipates and responds constructively to setbacks is a key component of financial wellbeing. 
 

Managing your finances to achieve medium and long-term goals 
Financial wellbeing extends beyond day-to-day needs and emergency preparedness. It involves setting and working towards medium and long-term financial goals. This may include saving for a car, home, or a holiday. 

 

Develop a clear roadmap for your financial future by identifying specific goals, estimating associated costs, and creating a plan to achieve them. Utilise tools like savings accounts, monthly financial charts, and bank statements to effectively monitor your financial situation. Regularly review and adjust your financial plan to accommodate changes in your life circumstances and economic conditions. 
 
Achieving financial wellbeing involves a holistic approach that encompasses daily financial management, responsible debt practices, emergency preparedness, and a strategic focus on long-term financial goals. By actively addressing each of these aspects, individuals can cultivate a secure and resilient financial foundation for a more prosperous future. 
 
At Excelsia College, we understand the importance of financial wellbeing in shaping a successful future. Excelsia College has a Student Support team to assist students with their wellbeing, including financial wellbeing. Our commitment goes beyond traditional education we seek to empower our students to thrive in all aspects of life, including their financial health.  

The choices we make profoundly shape our future. The Life Choices Foundation stands as a guiding light, offering educational resources and programs aimed at empowering individuals to make informed and positive life decisions. 

 

Founded on the principle of providing information, education, and a voice of reason, the Foundation’s mission extends beyond conventional boundaries, reaching areas often left unexplored. Andrew Fisher is the advocate for change and empowerment, leading this movement in presenting the Life Choices Program to students nationwide. 

 

Excelsia College proudly stands as a key supporter of the Foundation, emphasising its commitment to holistic student development and personal growth through impactful sponsorship. The Foundation’s programs, rooted in evidence-based practices, extend beyond conventional boundaries, addressing crucial aspects such as personal values, self-discipline, addictive behaviours, and self-perception. 

 

With a few dedicated ambassadors passionately representing the Foundation, the message of informed choices and empowerment is carried far and wide. Their tireless efforts are complemented by the invaluable support of volunteers, who through their dedication have collectively as a community contributed almost 518 days to the operational success of the Foundation.  

 

One remarkable collaboration is with Brett Murray’s ‘Make Bullying History’ program, a testament to Fisher’s dedication to empowering young minds. This joint effort has shown significant results particularly with Year 10 students, as evidenced by a remarkable 99% acknowledgement of the program’s relevance from staff members. 

 

Excelsia College’s sponsorship of The Life Choices Foundation aligns with the Foundation’s commitment to social causes and the program’s positive feedback from both students and educators underscores its impact on student empowerment and wellbeing. 

 

As the Foundation continues its impactful journey, Excelsia College remains an integral part of this transformative movement. This year, we anticipate ongoing success reinforcing Excelsia’s enduring commitment to shaping a future where students make informed and positive life choices.