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Stories From Learners

A ride to learn

Riding her bike around Melton one day last year, Jiraprapa Bonello discovered Djerriwarrh Community & Education Services (DCES). This unexpected discovery prompted Jiraprapa to enrol and complete the ACFE-funded English Intermediate courses and Café preparation at the centre.

Jiraprapa came to Australia in early 2022 from Thailand, with a keen interest in learning English. She enrolled in the Reconnect program where DCES supported her, provided guidance about living in Australia and helped her secure a job as a casual kitchen hand for one day a week. Jiraprapa feels the support saved her money and helped her deal with some other challenges.

Now confident enough to navigate the doctors, shops, and Google Maps independently, Jiraprapa emphasises that her newfound abilities were made possible by Djerriwarrh’s classes and the support from the Reconnect program. ‘Before I was very shy when I talk with people…but when I am learning…I can go outside and see doctor by myself.’

Despite the setback of her stolen bicycle hindering her work, Jiraprapa remains determined to learn computer (digital skills), arranging this with her local library.

Having made some new friends and enjoying coffee catch-ups, Jiraprapa recommends Djerriwarrh to others, believing it has given her a new lease on life.