From construction to caring

For nearly a decade Paul Feckner worked in the manufacturing industry – both in warehousing and on construction sites as a forklift driver, a machine operator and a plumber’s assistant.

One day he took a good hard look at his life and thought, “I want to follow my heart – there must be more to working than this.”

He thought about what brought meaning to his life and images of his grandparents and great aunties flashed through his mind. So, Paul packed away his hardhat and construction tools and studied a Certificate III in Aged Care, followed by a Certificate IV in Leisure and Health.

And that, says the Lifestyle Coordinator at Condare Court, is the best career decision he ever made.

Paul initially started working at an Adelaide aged care facility before heading off on a working adventure to Canada with his partner. They stayed there for two years before returning to Australia and settling in Melbourne.

Paul worked as a Lifestyle Coordinator at Preston for two years during the COVID-19 lockdowns. Today he’s working at Condare Court, where he’s been for eight months and loves it.

Paul, 41, says he gets great joy in seeing residents having both purpose and fun in their lives. “I love networking with the community and, for example, bringing in art teachers so residents can reignite a passion they had for arts and crafts. When a resident is settled and happy, then I’m happy.”

One of the residents Paul enjoys spending time with is Bo Xiu, who moved to Australia from Beijing in 1985 and is a Melbourne United and mad-keen Hawthorn footy fan. Bo, who has cognitive challenges, used to be an architect. “We chat a lot and share a few laughs,” says Paul. “I like to think that I make a difference to his life.”

Paul says the values of Uniting AgeWell mirror his own and he plans to continue working in lifestyle, where he has found his niche.

He also likes the regular hours, so he can enjoy his hobbies of travelling, going to music festivals, camping and playing volleyball, squash and tennis.

Explore career opportunities here

Meet our team at the Care & Ageing Well Expo

Join us at the in Melbourne on Saturday 10– Sunday 11 February for the Care & Ageing Well Expo.

Visit the Uniting AgeWell stand to explore career opportunities and be part of a team that values kindness, respect, integrity, innovation and inclusion.

Care and Ageing Well Expo