Student Profile: Soka Soy

As part of our Adult Learners Week this week, we’re thrilled to introduce you to some of our students who we’re extremely proud of. People who have ‘#changedtheirstory‘ to reach for their goals.

Meet our student, Soka who is studying CHC33015 Certificate III in Individual Support (Aged Care) at YCC…

I was born in Cambodia and I speak Khmer. I lived in the countryside with my parents.

I left high school in 1999, and went to Phnom Penn to study dressmaking for 1 year.

After that, I went back to my home town and taught dressmaking to young girls. In my home town there are not many jobs, so most people worked in the clothing factories.

I taught the young people dressmaking skills so they could get a job. I did this work for 1½  years. I did not get paid much, so I looked for other work.

Eventually I got a job as a waitress in a restaurant. The pay wasn’t much, $25 per month, 8 hours per day, 6 days per week, but it was better than what I was getting before. I also got a meal in the morning and at lunch time.

After 1 year, I decided to train as a ‘dealer’ in a casino. I was good enough to get work, and I did this type of work for 3 ½ years.

For the next 10 years I did lots of jobs around Cambodia, including working in agriculture for a number of organisations.

In 2012, I met an Australian man in Cambodia, we got on very well and fell in love. I visited him a number of times in Australia throughout 2014 to 2018. In 2019, we got married, and settled in to life in Melbourne.


In 2019, I started learning English at the Yarraville Community Centre in Footscray. I knew I needed to undertake further training to get an on-going job in Australia, so in April this year, I enrolled in to the ‘Skills for Work and Study: Aged Care’ course.

I had decided that I wanted to work with older people, to help care for them, because in my culture, respecting and caring for older people is very important. My mother and grandparents have all passed away, so I can’t care for them now. I have enrolled in the Certificate III in Individual Support (Ageing) at Yarraville Community Centre, and I hope to finish the course in December, and get work as a Personal Care Attendant in an aged care facility in 2022.


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