Chris McGrady isn’t used to having a lot of free time.
Before he sustained a spinal cord injury in a motor vehicle accident, Chris worked as both a literacy facilitator for remote indigenous communities and a service station attendant, often working seven days a week.
While he’s no stranger to working long hours, Chris found himself with a lot of time to spare as he goes through the recovery process in the Spinal Injuries Unit of the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
He made the decision to build his knowledge and skills by pursuing study and, while talking to his Occupational Therapist about potential options, he was referred to Spinal Life Australia’s Back2Work program.
The program works with Spinal Injuries Unit patients in helping them return to or explore new avenues of work and study.
After going through options with Back2Work’s Vocational Rehabilitation Counsellor Tania Goossen, Chris decided to pursue an online Certificate III in Business through TAFE Queensland.
“While I have the time, I’d like to study as much as I can,” Chris said.
“I’m also hoping to potentially go on and do a higher level of study once I receive my Certificate but as I’ve never gone through tertiary study before, this will be a good first challenge.
“I’m not entirely sure exactly what industry I’d like to end up in, but I would like to explore my options.”
Chris said Tania was very helpful in getting him on track.
“She helped go through my options and work out what would be suitable,” he said.
“When we settled on an online Certificate III, she helped with the enrolment process and setting everything up.
“Tania also talked with my Support Planner at NIISQ (National Injury Insurance Scheme Queensland) and secured funding for the course.”
Back2Work is a Spinal Life Australia pilot project, in partnership with Princess Alexandra Hospital (Metro South Health) and The Hopkins Centre (Griffith University) and supported by the Motor Accident Insurance Commission.
For more information about the Back2Work program, visit www.spinal.com.au/back2work.