Tuned in and Ready to Rock

At 60 years of age and after 15 years as a Floating Floor Installer, Terry came to a place where he was no longer able to cope with the physical demands of the work. Often working 10 hour days, 7-10 days straight had left him with, at times, incapacitating back pain, which necessitated almost daily use of Panadeine Forte as prescribed by his doctor.

X-rays revealed degenerative arthritis in the lower back. “Jobs were taking increasingly longer to complete and he was totally exhausted at the end of the day. All he was doing was working and sleeping”

Terry was also diagnosed by his doctor with depression, brought about in part by his continual exhaustion and anxiety about future employment possibilities.

At the beginning of 2015, on the strength of a medical certificate from his doctor, Terry came to the confronting realisation that he was no longer fit for work in the building industry. He took himself off to Centrelink to explore his options for retraining.

After some months on a medical certificate, Centrelink assessed him as capable of 15 hours of light work a week. They sent him to Great Southern Personal (GSP), in Albany – a local disability job service provider. “To be labelled as ‘disabled’ was a bit disconcerting, to say the least, especially as i had been engaged in physically demanding work most of my life”, says Terry.

In his first interview with GSP, Sandra mentioned the possibility of study to increase his opportunities for finding suitable employment. He and Sandra discussed such options as Aged Care, Community Services etc.

They also talked about his passions, interests and hobbies. Terry has been playing music around the place, primarily as a hobby, but was interested in turning that into an alternative career path. With Sandra’s encouragement and support, Terry contacted Tony King at the (then) GSIT in Denmark to enquire about options in the music programme. Tony decided that with Terry’s previous experience in the industry, he could place Terry in the Diploma of Music programme, a 12 month full time course.

He has subsequently successfully completed the Diploma, AT THE END OF JUNE 2016, and now has a number of further skills to take him closer to his goal of working professionally in the Music Industry.

Among many other tools, the course gave Terry access to the GSIT’s recording studio and the knowledge to operate the Protools recording software. He also learned about online promotion through Facebook (Terry MacKintosh Music), Soundcloud, and has subscribed to various online A&R groups that can help with the process of getting his music heard.

Terry has steadily increased his performing profile on the south coast and can be seen playing regularly around the place, including the Boatshed Markets, Elleker Tavern, The White Star Hotel. “The course has given me the skills and the confidence to promote myself to venues, festivals etc”

Just before Christmas 2015 Terry released his first CD called “The Seed”. He plans to be back in the studio this year (2016) to begin work on his second project. “It is very satisfying to have a product which I can use for promotional purposes and also for sale at gigs. It’s a real thrill when someone enjoys my music enough to buy a CD to take home”.

He has recently purchased the latest Protools software as a first step in setting up a home studio, where he can initially produce demos of his work. With further experience he plans to offer this service to others in the musical community.

Terry is well on the way to making a regular income from the music scene, either as a live performer and/or assisting in various musical events, including the Denmark Festival of Voice and the Denmark Markets, as well as the Vancouver Street Festival and the Snake Run Skating Festival in Albany

“I am very grateful to the team at GSP, in particular Sandra in Albany and David in the Denmark office, for their on-going support and encouragement, and of course also to Tony King and the (now) South Regional Tafe. Without them, I would never have taken seriously the idea that I could turn a passion and hobby into a viable career path,” Terry.