Meet our new Townsville team member, Amanda Nicholson

Welcome to the ICAN family, Amanda!  How does it feel to start your journey to becoming a financial counsellor?

It’s fantastic!  Financial Counsellors are an essential service, especially during this pandemic, and an important link to advocacy work for vulnerable people in our communities. 

Can you tell us a bit about your career and the places around Australia that you’ve lived?

I started training as an Apprentice Pastry Chef as a 19 year old married mum of two, in the Bauxite mining town of Weipa, Far North Queensland.  I love the outdoor lifestyle – boating, fishing, camping, four-wheel driving – it’s great fun.

I was forced to give up my apprenticeship as my trainer left Weipa, so I decided to study with the Remote Area Teacher Education Program (RATEP) and pursue a career in education instead.  We then decided to relocate our family to Perth, where I continued working in the education sector.

After my marriage breakup, I decided to finish my training as a Chef which I did while balancing life as a busy single mum.  I eventually moved back to Cairns at the end of 2016 to be closer to my parents and opened my own catering business.

I have been working in the community in different roles since.

What interested you about working for ICAN?

I’m passionate about helping people, especially those in dire circumstances that can’t see a way out.  

What has been your most rewarding life experience to date?

Travelling across the Nullarbor Plains with my family.  My best memory is ‘Lookout Point’ on the Great Australian Bight, standing and listening to the thundering sound of the waves roll in and admiring the cascading sand dunes which connect the land to the sea.  And of course being a mum and nana to my four grown adult children, Joshua, Genai, Caleece, Zachary, and my beautiful grandson in Weipa, Matthias.

What’s on your wish list for the next couple of years?

Finishing my Diploma with ICAN Learn, a trip overseas post Covid, and more trips to Brisbane to watch my 19-year-old daughter and 18-year-old son play AFL.

Is there anything else you can share with us?

I am a proud West Coast Eagles and Queensland rugby league supporter!