How Luciano was called to youth work

All the practical experiences I got during my studies at TAFE and uni gave me the confidence and skills to work with young people.

Luciano Cornelius
Youth Worker

While undertaking life-enriching travels, Luciano Cornelius was always drawn towards a calling – he just needed to follow.

"Looking back, I know now I needed to ‘live a bit’ before I settled on what I wanted to do.

I had itchy feet and was keen to travel so I joined Camp America as a camp leader, initially because it was a cheap way to travel to the US – but I discovered I could make a career out of helping young people reach their potential. The kids were from all walks of life, abilities and cultures.

When I came back to Australia I started studying arts twice at different unis, before I deferred, moved to Darwin and worked with Indigenous kids from remote communities.

By 24 I was back in Melbourne and ready to get stuck into my studies, so I started my youth work studies with VU Polytechnic. I then took the course pathway straight into year two of VU's Bachelor of Youth Work.

My previous job experience was also recognised as credits towards my diploma.

I did a placement at Heads Together, an organisation that helps young people with acquired brain injuries, and I was lucky enough to go on a study tour with them to Queensland. Another placement was with Marist180 community garden – helping to teach life skills and woodwork.

For my third practical placement, I worked part time in an outside of school hours care organisation while I continued to study. All these practical experiences gave me the confidence and skills to work with young people.

I’m now a teachers' aide at two primary schools – it’s fulfilling and rewarding to support kids with behavioural issues and disabilities. I’m helping to bridge the gap between the kids, their teachers and their classmates."

Courses studied

Certificate IV in Youth Work CHC40413, now CHC40421

Diploma of Youth Work CHC50413 (course no longer offered)

Bachelor of Youth Work