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Tuesday, 31 December 2013

What is ahead in 2014?

By Darren Stones

As 2013 draws to a close, I'm looking ahead philosophically in the knowledge that my main goal for 2014 is to complete studying my Diploma of Community Services Work and Diploma of Community Development at the Kangan Institute.

My studies went well during the year, and I feel a strong sense of accomplishment. The opportunity to use my new skills has seen me move into areas where I can support people in a variety of ways.

2013 was an enjoyable year and one that presented new opportunities. I feel those opportunities assisted me to make new friends and connect and engage with people in the community services sector. I feel hopeful for my future to become a worker in the sector, however I'm aware we're in difficult times regarding employment opportunities. And this is where my life experience helps me to remain hopeful in the thought that being flexible and open to new opportunities may see me achieve a position where I can become a staff member as part of a team servicing people in our community.

Towards the end of 2013 I made shortbread biscuits and butterfly cupcakes. No big deal I suppose, however the inspiration for doing this came off the back of volunteering with the Young Carers I work with. Youth and people younger than me have inspired me to greater heights this year and I'm grateful for the opportunity to assist and support them as they grow as people.

Homemade shortbread biscuits made for Christmas gifts in 2013
Photo: Darren Stones

Shortbread and chocolates ready for gift wrapping
Photo: Darren Stones

Gift-wrapped shortbread biscuits and chocolates for Christmas 2013
Photo: Darren Stones

Butterfly cupcakes
Photo: Darren Stones

With my TAFE studies concluding in 2014, I am mindful of further education. Undertaking a university degree would be challenging and rewarding. I believe education is an important pathway to skills development and making new friends and industry connections. The Bachelor of Social Work is a degree that interests me and I may be investigating this further.

New technology is something else that I'm mindful of keeping up with, and recently I've been checking out the Apple iPad and Samsung Galaxy tablets. Having purchased an iPhone in 2013, I believe it's important to keep moving with the times so as to be contactable whilst also wanting to enjoy the functionality of these types of devices.

I'm hoping that 2014 is at least as good as 2013 because I'd like to build further upon the good things I've been involved with as a student studying community services work  and community development at TAFE.

Bronwyn and I enjoyed shopping and coffee together this afternoon - the last day of 2013. It's something we've done regularly through the year because we've needed time to chill out together and just chat about stuff. Good fun and an opportunity to share our respective experiences. I feel it's important to spend time together like this as it just gets us out amongst the hustle and bustle and seeing people going about their lives.

Last coffee for 2013
Photo: Darren Stones

And here's one of my favourite images of Bronwyn and I together whilst on holiday in Merimbula, New South Wales. We had a great time sightseeing, visiting places, and enjoying a rest and each others company.

My favourite song for the year is Roar by Katy Perry. I find this such an uplifting and inspiring song. Enjoy!

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Darren Stones