Samantha Krause always had an interest in the social sciences and a passion for helping others.

In her 20s she worked in administration, and in 2012 she completed a Certificate IV in Community Services at Swinburne, but continued doing office work.

It was only after having her daughter that she decided to really pursue her dream of working in community services.

While the prospect of study would be too much for most new parents, it wasn’t the case for Samantha.

In 2017, when her daughter was just shy of a year old, Samantha began her Community Services study at Chisholm.

Samantha followed a TAFE pathway to a degree, starting with a two-year diploma and progressing on to a two-year degree.

“I’d done research and I’d heard great things about Chisholm, especially about how well recognised they are in the sector and the quality of education and of the teachers,” Samantha says.

Samantha excelled academically. She achieved high distinctions in all but two of her units (she still scored distinctions for those) and was a nominee for Higher Education Student of the Year at the 2021 Chisholm Education Awards.

She also formed great friendships, which she maintained even after completing her studies at the end of 2020.

“I enjoyed so much about the course – the content, theory and teachers were excellent,” Samantha says.

“All the teachers had many years of sector or industry experience, so that really helped.

“Learning the content from people who had experience and getting real-life anecdotal stories that went along with it made all the difference.”

What was so great about the pathway study option was that Samantha could start working in her industry sooner, as she already had the diploma qualification by the time she started her degree.

Samantha used her diploma qualification to score a job at Peninsula Health doing intake and assessment for Allied Health services, all while completing her bachelor studies.

At the same time, she volunteered at a community centre that offered services such as crisis support for the homeless or substance users.

Towards the end of her studies in 2020, Samantha felt a pull towards family violence, and after graduating she got a job as a men’s family violence practitioner at The Orange Door in Frankston, a family violence agency.

“If you’re passionate about helping others, servicing the community and empowering people in the community who are vulnerable, I’d definitely recommend this type of career,” Samantha says.

“Once you’ve already got that care or that empathy in you, the studying part comes quite easily because you’re already interested and engaged.

“I would 100% also recommend volunteering if you can, because you’re really transferring those skills over in real-time and putting your theory into practice.”

Please note Chisholm will not be commencing new students into the Bachelor of Community Services in 2021. A La Trobe University Bachelor of Community Services may be available to diploma-holding students at Chisholm’s Dandenong campus.