Clare O’Connor is one of the new team leaders at St Agnes’ Parish’s Emmaus Nursing Home Port Macquarie. She has been working at Emmaus since she was 17 years old where she began her School-based Traineeship in Individual support through Newman Senior Technical College. For Years 11 and 12, Clare attended Newman College where she started doing workplacement one day a week at Emmaus while studying her HSC.

Clare says, “Ever since I was young, I knew I wanted to work in aged care”.

“After a few weeks of work, I decided that I was really enjoying working in aged care so I applied for the two-year Traineeship and was successful. During this two-year Traineeship, I had to complete 800 hours of work experience. In Year 11, I worked every Thursday; in Year 12, I worked the Wednesday and Thursday morning shifts,” says Clare.

Clare completed her Traineeship in 2017 and was offered a part-time position at Emmaus, working the afternoon shift where she gained valuable experience and knowledge. In late February this year, Clare was offered the opportunity to progress into a leadership role at Emmaus.

“I plan to pass on what I have learned over the years to students, who are starting out as I did, and to new staff members who come through,” says Clare, “I look forward to working closely with my colleges and management to enhance the great care we already provide our residents here at Emmaus”.

Sharmain Peterson, Residential Services Lead at Emmaus says, “Clare will be an inspiration and a mentor to future trainees and we look forward to continuing this pathway with other students”.

Clare’s story is a great example of Newman College and St Agnes’ Parish’s long-term partnership in investing in young people’s passions to return valuable resources to the wider community particularly, in this case, for the elderly in our Parish.