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True Stories Archives - care careerscare careers

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True Stories

TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.

Joseph is a Support Planner (Case Manager) with Community Care Options (CCO) in Coffs Harbour, NSW

Joseph Majambere  5

I was born in Burundi, a small country located in Central-East Africa. In 1993, at 11 years of age, civil war broke out in my country – I lost my father as a result of the war and due to survival needs, our family was unable to grieve for him. My family and I lived in a refugee camp for the following 14 years. Living in the refugee camp was extremely formidable, adjusting to a new way of living, I experienced numerous times of hunger and starvation. I often felt extremely scared and we did not feel safe. On many occasions we left our tents and slept in the forest, as we were in complete fear that killers would come during the night and murder us.

 

My mother became unwell and this became a normal state for my family. As the eldest child of my siblings, I assumed responsibilities and cared for my mother and my siblings. I grew up before my time and missed out on experiencing my childhood and adolescence. As time and the years moved forward, I was familiar with this way of living and embraced my circumstances – although I had no material possessions, I had great wealth in the love I shared with my family and the refugee community.

 

In the camp, I became a Youth Leader and encouraged children/teenagers to become involved in the Norwegian People’s Aid’s (NPA)  ’Right to Play Program’ (a NGO that established various activities to address needs of the refugee population such as emotional trauma; assisting people to maintain their health, hygiene and well-being; farming and knitting cooperatives to develop economic independence);  and becoming involved in NPA’s ‘Coach to Coach Program’ (various sporting activities, for example, soccer, netball, marathons, rectangular jumps) – Norwegian People’s Aid provided the opportunity for some play time, social interaction and teamwork for young people to enjoy and be part of in the camp. The work NPA achieved left a lasting impression upon me and was life-changing for me.

 

Ten years ago, my family and I arrived in Australia, unable to speak English and were settled in Coffs Harbour. This presented another totally different culture that I learnt to adapt to. I found this to be very personally challenging as Australia has so much freedom, I had never previously been exposed to the level of freedom enjoyed in Australia and the diverse culture. I learnt to write and speak English. As I have grown, my confidence has increased and I’ve become more comfortable and familiar with the Australian-way-of-life. The support I received in Australia is truly appreciated.

TRUE STORIES: Jenny Papara – It’s not a walk in the park, but I love my job.

 

Jenny is a Support Worker with Centacare, Queensland

Jenny Papara 2

I entered the sector because I wanted something very different than what I’ve done in the past.  I’ve done nursing in aged care and I have done behaviour at school for 10 Years, then my husband and I had our own business.  And now I work in disability and what an amazing job it is.

Atypical’ day for me is very varied and full –  with clients’ food and clothes shopping, banking housework,  medication,  personal care and doctors’ and other appointments.  I work out of Centacare’s Sunnybank office.  The support this office gives me to do my job is amazing.  I’m very lucky.

This job is not one where you sit down all day. This is a job that you have a lot of responsibility on your shift.  You need to make sure you’re on top of things with your clients.  Make sure you understand what the doctor is saying.  You need to make sure you’re giving the right medication to the right client, to right dosage, the right paperwork in place.

We don’t have the NDIS here yet, but we are learning a lot about how our clients will benefit from it and we are looking forward to it.

Supporting your clients and empowering them in their everyday life is a beautiful thing.   It’s not a walk in the park. I’m not going to lie.  But the best thing about the job is my clients. I love my job. I love coming back to work so I can make a difference in their lives.

If you’re a person who is not afraid of hard work and wants to learn something new every day, then this could be the job for you.

 

Jenny Papara

Centacare

Sunnybank, Queensland

www.centacarebrisbane.net.au

 

TRUE STORIES: Vanessa Adzaip – I never gave up

Vanessa is an Auslan program coordinator and lecturer, supporting deaf children, young people, and their families to improve their communication skills. Vanessa also works with professionals who want to study Auslan.

 

Vanessa Adzaip

 

I am a Deaf person raised by hearing parents who never lost hope despite the challenges I faced. My family sent me to a special education school offering a Deaf unit.  I found myself very comfortable and happy with classmates who were like me, because I could communicate and understand them completely, so much better than at hearing school.

 

My performance in my secondary years inspired me to keep on dreaming for more success with the enlightenment, love and support of my dear parents and relatives. I enrolled at Holy Name University taking up a Bachelor of Secondary Education majoring in Special Education and Computer Science.  I was very anxious, knowing that I was the only deaf student enrolled in the university.

True Stories: Dale Clark – If I can, anyone can…

Dale Clark

 

About three and half years ago, after being self-employed for many years, I decided that I was fed up with what I was doing and chasing money owed to me.  So I made myself unemployed and after a few visits to a job agency the opportunity came up to start a Cert III in Disability through the Pathways Program which was supported by Nexus and another organisation.  When it came to the work experience part of the program, Nexus gave me the opportunity to do so in one of their group homes.

Soon after this was complete I was employed by Nexus as a Casual Disability Support Worker Level 2 and after six months I gained a permanent Level 2 position.
After another seven months I was given the opportunity to work as a temporary Level 3 Key Worker position which in the last few months has been made permanent.

The Disability Sector offers so many opportunities and if I can relearn and commence a new career at 51 years of age anyone can. It’s wonderful!

Dale Clark
Level 3 Key Worker (DSD 3)
Nexus Inc
Moonah , Hobart
Tasmania

True Stories: Kathy Taylor – My one regret is that I didn’t do it sooner!

Photo of blogger Kathy Taylor

Before entering the disability sector I worked in a small goods factory for 10 years. A family member worked in the sector and suggested I try a career change and go work with him at Nexus Inc.

At first I was scared about the change, in particular the fact that someone apart from my family would be relying on me to care for them. After a gentle shove from him I bit the bullet and approached Nexus about a job. After completing a 3 week short course about community services I commenced work on the 27th November 2006.

I was allocated 3 houses to work across a on a casual basis and within 3 to 4 months I was offered a trial permanent position. This was the start of the best experience of my life.

Working with the residents is so rewarding. You feel like you can make a difference to how somebody sees themselves. It’s great going on outings, holidays and most of all just spending time with awesome people.

In 2009 I was offered a chance to try out for a House Manager position. This was something I had planned to do in the future, so when the opportunity arose I took up the position. This gave me a whole new outlook on things.

Over the time I have seen the sector grow and change for the better.

I only have one regret about entering into this sector and that is that I didn’t do it sooner!

Kathy Taylor
House Manager
Nexus Inc.
Granton, Tasmania.

True Stories: Lucinda Bruce – Doing what I can to help out

Lucinda is an All Rounder – a Business Services Supervisor with the Endeavour Foundation in Mackay, Queensland.

Lucinda Bruce

My role pretty much is helping out wherever needed. I returned back from Maternity Leave this year to find my role as Esafe Supervisor had changed as well as where I was situated in the workplace.  I perform office duties on a daily basis as well as filling in whenever a staff member is away on holidays, to help out!

Endeavour Foundation Mackay is a great facility that offers great opportunities to those with a disability. It’s been an honest privilege being a part of this company.

I continue to learn something new every day and Endeavour has inspired me to follow on with where I want to be in life. I’ve met some fantastic life-long friends along the way!

What I most value about my role is the experience with several different people with an intellectual disability. They have shown me to value life and given me a more positive outlook on life. We’re all different in our own ways and every one of us is perfect in our own way. I get to mentor and be a guide to many supported employees who make working in this sector worth it by helping them achieve their goals and help them life a normal life.

Lucinda was a finalist in carecareers Workmate of the Year 2106.  Part of her nomination read:

“Lucinda is a true all-rounder, who works hard, gets on with everyone, shows respect and care to all and is a real asset to our workplace.  Lucinda is also studying for her Certificate 4 in Business by correspondence, while working everyday Monday to Friday and raising a baby…

Lucinda is a very caring, compassionate person and has earned the trust and respect of all of our Supported Employees/Staff/Families/Carers.  Lucinda deserves our respect, gratitude and appreciation for all the hard work and care she puts into all of the tasks she does at our work place. “

Lucinda Bruce

Endeavour Foundation

Mackay, Queensland.

True Stories: Prue Clark – No two days are the same

Many of us easily ride a bike, kick a ball or swim in the pool on the weekend without a second thought. But for some children and adults with physical disabilities, they need hours, days, months or years of physiotherapy to be able to move with ease.

CPL has a team of expert Physiotherapists across Queensland to help improve the gross motor skills (like sitting, standing, walking and lifting) of children and adults with disabilities.

Prue Clark is a physiotherapist working for CPL

Prue Clark, one of CPL’s Physiotherapists in Townsville, said that while no two days are the same, every day is about helping clients to achieve their full potential for physical independence.

Working amongst a team of seven Allied Health professionals at CPL’s Townsville service, Prue helps over 15 clients every week with specialised exercises, therapy or equipment to help them participate in everyday activities and environments they enjoy.

Prue said she starts each day with a cup of English breakfast tea and a smile.

“Over my two and a half years with CPL, I’ve never had the same day twice!” Prue said laughing.

“My day can range from travelling to help a client in their home, to a school or community visit, running a group therapy class like hydrotherapy, or a client appointment at our Townsville office.

“From age range to individual needs, every client and every appointment is different too.

“One client might have a goal of improving at a sport or in play time, where another might need help with balance and core stability, or it might be time for an equipment update or review.

“I love that I can support each client in a different way to help them achieve their individual goals,” she said.

Aside from working in CPL’s Townsville service, Prue is also part of a team of three who tackle a 10 hour drive to Mount Isa for outreach services three times a year.

“In one week, we would provide at least 150 hours of service between the three of us,” Prue said.

“We visit around 15 clients out in Mount Isa that otherwise have limited access to physio, speech or occupational therapy.

“We also assist a variety of staff with professional development opportunities so they can better support people with disabilities in their community,” she said.

Prue Clark

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life

Queensland

 

TRUE STORIES: Carron Bullock – Patience, encouragement and understanding

Carron Bullock is Manager, Townsville and Surrounds for Cootharinga North Queensland.   She provides support to staff, customers and their families and has worked in the sector for over 35 years.  She welcomes the NDIS which ‘means our customers and their families have a greater say in what type of service they want and who delivers this.’

Carron Bullock (Community Support Manager - Townsville)

I entered the sector so I could learn how to be a positive role model and help make a difference in someone’s life.  I have enjoyed working with customers who moved from home into supported accommodation.  This was to learn how to cook and prepare their own meals, attend to basic household tasks such as cleaning and washing, and learn how to budget and pay bills and do grocery shopping.  Anything that would assist them to live by themselves.

The customer then moved out into their own home with very little support.  I still see some customers from the past around town and it makes me proud to know I played a part in their independence.  It’s rewarding to see customers are managing well and some are in new relationships.

I value the friendships I have made and the people I have met. Every single person I have worked with has taught me to be the person I am today. It hasn’t all been easy. I have been yelled and sworn at, told to mind my own business and told to get out. Of course I never went anywhere. I look back now and laugh with some of those customers. With patience, encouragement and understanding I was always there.

 

Carron Bullock

Cootharinga North Queensland

Townsville

www.cootharinga.org.au

True Stories: Tania Hornberg – Preparing young people for the disability jobs of the future

Tania Hornberg - True Story

Tania Hornberg is a person with a spinal cord injury trying to lead an ‘ordinary’ life in rural Queensland in all its fullness, including accessing the support for leading an active community and social life.

For years, she has been held back by having the control of funding and design of services outside her own hands. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is set to put the power back in her hands, with new, targeted support and better coordination of access and services.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will generate a growth in the sector, with thousands more job opportunities. Tania believes it is a basic human right to receive adequate lifestyle support funding, and why she is committed to sharing here experiences with young people.

“For my quality of life and in my experience as a person with a disability, it is very important that we engage with young people and make them aware that there are good careers in the disability sector,” she said.
Tania Hornberg works part-time and has recently become a workshop facilitator with projectABLE, a free program for high school students offering an interactive disability awareness and an insight into careers in the disability sector.

Her openness, out-going nature and honesty have made her a natural for the role. Ongoing training and support will help her engage with school groups, and develop new skills for her advocacy work and career.

Tania, along with a team of projectABLE presenters in Townsville, recently held her first successful workshops with mixed groups of public and private school students. It was a fulfilling experience, she said.

“I’m proud of having the opportunity to use my skills to make people aware of the range of career options available in the sector. There are a lot of young people with the nature, the aptitude and the passion for advocacy work or to be good support workers or to design the next generation of wheelchairs,” she said.

“With the NDIS kicking off, people like never before have the opportunity to look at the type of services and support they might need, think outside the square. “They’ll be saying ‘this is what I need’ and we’ll need more workers who can deliver on what people like me need.”
Tania Hornberg

Contact projectABLE

 

True Stories: Martina Cross – There’s no business like show business

Martina Cross and Amy Lawrence performing their roaming act The Tattered.

For many people with disabilities, being able to communicate your thoughts, feelings and emotions can be a daily challenge. But thanks to CPL’s Screech Theatre, and one very dedicated CPL employee, people with disabilities have found their voice on the stage.

Martina Cross, Director of Screech Theatre first started with CPL five years ago as a support worker.

“I’ve have always been interested in drama and theatre performance – I was the child that was always dressing up and putting on shows for all my friends and family!” Martina said, laughing.

“I studied applied theatre at uni, which is a little different to traditional drama, because it uses drama and acting in the community for a reason.

“At CPL, we use theatre and drama for therapy and to help our clients improve their communications skills and confidence.

“I’ve been coordinating Screech Theatre for the last three years, and I love it because it provides an avenue for people with disabilities to express themselves in a different way. The confidence they gain in the drama room can be transferred into every day confidence,” she said.

Martina describes the best part of her job as “seeing performers overcome huge barriers to achieve things like speaking for the first time, or using a new communication device in front of an audience.”

“We had a performer last year who was 22 and was nonverbal – he had never spoken. But after four years of drama and performance training with Screech, he used his communication device for the first time in public, on stage. It’s these kinds of stories that make my job one worth having,” she said.

Martina explained that Screech Theatre is currently planning their next performance, which is a collaboration called ‘Beyond the yellow brick road’, which is based around the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s next adventure!

“I’m really passionate about having every client involved and participating – we modify activities for each session so all ability levels can be included.

“Screech Theatre’s participants are all interested in different parts of theatre too – from production, directing, costume and set design, dancing, singing and of course acting. I like to encourage each individual to pursue the parts of theatre they enjoy the most,” she said.

Martina Cross

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life

Queensland

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