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Single mother of seven, Gladis said ‘This year is my turn!’

The mantra must have worked because the year has brought Gladis a bounty of good fortune including a new career path, new friendships and better health!

Originally from Cairns, Gladis and her family moved to Toowoomba two years ago in pursuit of a better life for herself and her children. Her children range in ages from 3 to 21 and the family is also highly diverse with Gladis hailing from an English/European & Filipino/Spanish background and her children having Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander heritage. Gladis has ensured her children remain connected to their Aboriginal culture through education and art programs.

After being a full time mother since her teenage years, Gladis was determined to gain skills and find a career path. When she heard about the Jarjum Childcare course through BUSY At Work and funded through the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program, she jumped at the chance. The course involved a 12-week practical and theory training component, work experience at a local childcare centre and the opportunity to gain a Certificate II in Community Services/Child Care. The course also offered Indigenous mentoring and culture support, along with support to place graduates into work.

About the course, Gladis said “The experience and joy of raising a large family made me naturally drawn towards a career in child care. I am so grateful for the Jarjum Childcare course for allowing me the opportunity to become a childcare educator. All of my children are Indigenous and I want to advocate for them in all spaces”.

Not long after graduating from the course, Gladis secured part-time work under a traineeship at Highfields Gardens Child Care Centre in Toowoomba, immediately impressing her employers with her enthusiasm and passion.

Gladis is now thriving in her new career, wanting to progress to a further qualification in the industry and said “I am so impressed by the work and high standard that the educators do. I’ve seen both sides as a parent and now as an educator.  They do an amazing job to support and communicate with the children and parents.

The best thing about working in childcare is seeing the kids faces light up. I know if I’m having a bad day or feeling down I always feel better after interacting with them. It’s such a rewarding career.”

Since the start of 2021, Gladis really has turned her life around, finding new friendships through work and community involvement, better health after starting martial arts training and a better diet, and she believes her and her children have a newfound peace in their lives.

Asked what advice Gladis would give to other mothers looking to enter or re-enter the workforce, Gladis replied, “You can do it at any age! I didn’t always feel confident being a stay-at-home mum, thinking I’m not good enough. Through my children, family and friends, along with my faith, it has made me a stronger person and woman! As a single mum of seven, I can do anything! To all the mums out there, don’t give up, no matter what – the world is your oyster!”

Managing Director for BUSY At Work, Paul Miles, said, “Gladis is an inspiring example to parents looking to enter the workforce and a reminder that no matter your circumstance or age, finding the right career path for you is achievable. BUSY At Work provide a range of programs to skill people of different age groups, backgrounds and circumstances, to support them to achieve meaningful and rewarding careers. We wish Gladis and her family all the best”!

For more information regarding the Jarjum Childcare course and all Skilling Queenslanders for Work courses, visit

(Image courtesy of Highfields Gardens Child Care).

MEDIA CONTACT:                     

Michelle Ryan, BUSY At Work

0407 169 029 or email

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