Leon Larkins’ passion for sport and an appreciation of the benefits of massage led him to study massage therapy at Central. Despite being legally blind, Leon drive and determination earned him not only the accolades of his lecturers but also employment as a Massage Therapist as soon as he completes his qualification.
Nearing completion of his Diploma of Remedial Massage, Leon attributes his success to the support of his classmates, Central’s teaching staff and the crucial support role of his Student Support worker, allocated to him by the Access & Equity Program.
“I was terrified when I started the course. I hadn’t studied anything for over three decades but I had a lot of other workplace experiences, including running my own business. I came into this course determined to make the most of it. I have treated study like a nine to five job. I am here in class or the library every day, and then keep the weekends free for my family,“ Leon said.
“I found the pace of the course difficult at first but I got a bit used to it all by the time I started my Diploma. I’ve enjoyed the whole course, especially learning about anatomy and the body. My lecturers have been very helpful, making themselves available to me and giving me extra assistance, for example providing printouts of Powerpoint slides so I can have someone read the content to me. I have had incredible support from my Student Support Workers too.”
Janek Slon, Leon’s Student Support Worker, assists Leon in accessing internet resources, making research far less time consuming. Their partnership is strengthened by their shared study interests as Janek is currently studying exercise and sport science at university.
“I am very focused on the end result. Once I finish my Diploma, I will be working as a massage therapist at Bodyworks Intergration, a progressive massage therapy clinic. They are doing work in innovative areas that will take my knowledge to a new level,” said Leon.
Asked if he had any advice for new students, Leon suggested that students just need to be focused, apply themselves and good results are sure to follow.