Stories From Learners

Stories From Learners > It’s never too late

It’s never too late

Smiling woman with brown hair

It’s never too late to embark on a journey towards a new career.

Anita Hohenhaus, 49, is proof of this, finding new direction and purpose after participating in the Your Next Step Biggest Morning Tea 2015 course at Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre.

Prior to the course, Anita’s confidence was low and, socially, she was very isolated. She had moved from Melbourne to Paynesville two years earlier and, suffering ill health and with personal issues, she lived a ‘hermit-like existence’.

‘My mum saw the ad for the course in the local newspaper and told me about it,’ explains Anita, who admits to being very nervous at the first class. ‘I remember feeling so happy and motivated when I got home that afternoon.’

The course saw Anita and fellow students learn hospitality, event planning and digital media skills as they organised and ran the Cancer Council’s Biggest Morning Tea in Paynesville.

‘The course was truly the catapult for an exciting new direction and change in life,’ says Anita.

Thanks to the course, and the interactions at the Centre – including with course teacher Karen Fleischer, Anita has grown from shy and unsure of herself to taking on leadership roles and a new career path.

With a new found confidence and passion for sharing her skills, Anita has mentored students participating in the Your Next Step Biggest Morning Tea 2016 course and has volunteered with the Your Next Step Adult Learners’ Week class. She’s worked as a volunteer sales assistant at the Red Cross Bairnsdale Op Shop and is also now the Treasurer for the Centre’s Committee of Management.

Anita is now enrolled at Federation Training doing a six month Certificate IV in Training and Assessment, with the aim of becoming a tutor in Art Therapy.

‘I have a new lease of life with a positive outlook to the future,’ says Anita. ‘I never thought that, at my age and with my health condition, I would be undertaking study to begin a completely new career. “Karen’s encouragement, inspiration and confidence in me has really turned my life around. There are not enough words or hugs to thank her for this opportunity.’