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Student Q&A: Ashlee Smith

Community Services Faculty Student - Community Sector Management

Despite having a wide range of experiences and qualifications in the community services sector, Ashlee Smith was eager to study a qualification in community sector management with Upskilled. She decided that in the future she would like to run her own community services organisation and felt that this course can help her develop relevant skills to be able to do this.

Not only was she able to expand her current skillset but she felt like she was able to gain some management skills up her sleeve while undertaking this qualification. In this Q&A, Ashlee shares more about her course experience with Upskilled, how her trainer supported her throughout her studies and her goals for the future. 

Can you share some of the reasons why you decided to study Community Sector Management?

I’ve always wanted to work in community services from the age of sixteen. I completed a number of certificates in community services while attending high school and after I completed Year 12, I took a gap year and started volunteering at my local community centre. 

Volunteering definitely helped me gain more of an insight into the community services industry and the following year I completed the CHC52015 - Diploma of Community Services

I was unsure what steps to take after completing the diploma. As I had always been interested in running my own community services organisation, I decided to see what courses were available, and the CHC62015 - Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management was a perfect match. 

What skills have you developed from the course?

I’ve not only developed my existing skillset but also skills in management. I also learnt how to look at different situations from other perspectives, and be able to effectively manage a group of people from various backgrounds and life experiences. hands in the air

What made your study experience with Upskilled unique?

A few things made my experience with Upskilled unique:
  • Student support: The student support team were amazing. My student support consultant would regularly email me to see how I was going, if there were any issues and congratulated me every time I passed a unit of competency. It provided me with the encouragement to keep going. 
  • The flexibility: I loved the fact that I could potentially smash out a cluster within a week or take it slow and do it over a few weeks. This worked well with my jobs and life in general. At no time throughout the course did I feel pressured to study or hand in assignments – it was a pretty relaxed experience.

What do you think are the main benefits of studying this course?

You learn how to manage an organisation and that every employee/volunteer’s approach to handling different situations and cultures is unique.  

How did your trainer support you throughout your studies?

My trainer was amazing! They answered every one of my emails very quickly – even late at night and on weekends. He was great at explaining questions using terms I understood and provided more information where necessary. 

I had many phone calls with my trainer and he took an interest in why I was doing the course, giving me advice for the future. There were some weeks where it was a struggle to complete assessments, however, my trainer provided encouragement to keep going as the end was near. 


care worker looking after client

Who do you think would benefit doing this course?

I think people who are interested in management or community services. If you’re interested in community services but not sure which path to take, I would recommend doing this course as it opens up so many doors

What are your short-term and long-term goals for the future? 

I’ve already enrolled in human resources qualification through Upskilled. My long-term goal is to either run my own community centre or work in a centre as the Human Resources Officer in the future. I’m so excited to see what my future looks like thanks to Upskilled. 

Want to work towards a management position in community services?

Upskilled's community sector management qualification is an online course that is suited to those working towards a management position in the community services sector. To be able to do this course, you ideally should have 2-3 years of experience in community services and hold a diploma in a related discipline.

Topics you'll cover during the course include managing legal and ethical compliance, providing case management supervision, leading and managing organisational change, and more. If you're interested in this course, get in touch with the Upskilled team on 1300 009 924 to make an enquiry. 

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Start your next course with Upskilled. Enter your details in the form below.

*By providing your information, you agree to our Privacy Policy and to receiving email and other forms of communication from Upskilled. You are able to opt-out at any time.