When Chanel Kennedy moved to LA after high school, she had stars in her eyes – but the desire to help others was at her core. Chanel decided to fulfil her dream of becoming a youth worker after exploring her options and discovering VU offered the passion, placements and global recognition.
“When I finished school, I aspired to be an actress and did quite a few acting courses, both in Melbourne and LA. After a while, I felt drawn to do something more fulfilling that contributed to society, so I explored my study options.
I did my research and met with the heads of youth work departments at several universities. I felt that the team at VU really believed in their course. VU’s Bachelor of Youth Work also needs to meet criteria to maintain its global accreditation, which assured me it was a high-quality degree, and gives me the option to work in youth work overseas.
The level of care I experienced from lecturers and staff was incredible. They were enthusiastic and knowledgeable, and many were still practising. All of the coursework was current and left me feeling even more ambitious.
I was never really academic in school, but once I started studying my true passion, I really surprised myself!
I did two work placements during my degree – the first at a local government youth program in Melton, and the second a placement overseas in the Solomon Islands and Vanuatu – such an enriching experience. Both placements were invaluable for my development and prepared me for employment.
When I graduated, I went straight into a role as a residential carer with MacKillop Family Services, which was the perfect foundation for working with vulnerable young people. Within six months, I was offered a case-management position. More recently, I moved into case management within the Lead Tenant program, helping young people transition to independent living. I love engaging with young people and ensuring they receive the holistic support they need.
I’m committed to people having equitable opportunities and being supported to achieve their potential. There are many barriers for children and young people, but with the right level of understanding and approach, we can help them to navigate these barriers to be the best they can be.”