A 25-year-old Richmond theatre nurse has been recognised as a Vocational Education and Training (VET) champion, helping to inspire the workforce of tomorrow.
Christine Basco started as a graduate nurse at Epworth Healthcare, Richmond, four years ago. Initially, she worked with brain injury rehabilitation patients, before moving to orthopaedics and now, her current role as an anaesthetic and recovery nurse.
Christine is among the first ambassadors selected for the Victorian government's VET Champions initiative, which showcases high-achieving Victorians who have built successful careers through vocational education and training.
She says it was her vocational training in high school that prompted her to become a nurse.
"I studied VET community services as part of my VCE subjects at Braybrook College in year 11 and 12, undertaking placements at local community hubs and an employment service for people with disabilities," she said.
"I knew from an early age I loved advocating for people. When I studied community services, I engaged with vulnerable groups in the community and I decided nursing was the right path for me."
Christine says, in some cases, patients can lose their independence in hospital due to their illness or disability and she is a passionate advocate for them.
"I love encouraging people and making sure their rights are respected and their dignity is maintained."
Christine was born in the Philippines and moved to Melbourne with her family when she was nine.
She says coming from a family with many healthcare professionals, she has learnt how important passion is for a vocation such as nursing.
"When you establish what your heart is passionate about, you will have the strength and drive to conquer the world!"
As a VET Champion, Christine regularly volunteers at her old school and appears across government schools, speaking to students about her experiences studying VET and the career pathway VET has forged for her.
Epworth Richmond executive general manager Allison Evens said Christine was an asset to the team. "It's wonderful to see Christine recognised as a VET champion," Evans said.
"The fact she remains involved in her old school, helping and inspiring students, speaks volumes."
The VET Champions initiative is part of the Victorian government's senior secondary pathway reforms, which are about supporting every Victorian student to attain the skill they need for the jobs they want.