NSW

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: Sunil “The pursuit of happiness”

Sunil Bhakri Ceo

The Pursuit of Happiness

Having been in recruitment my whole career and ran two successful businesses, in 2012 my wife and I decided to start our own aged and disability care service organisation, ADS Care. She had already been in the industry for 4 years and her dedication, professionalism and caring approach convinced me she should have the freedom to run an aged and disability care service the way she wants.

Initially I was in the background mainly assisting with non-operational tasks, such as websites, attending seminars and conferences, recruitment etc. As with most start-ups the first few years were very tough in terms of generating an income while maintaining our values of high quality care, individual choice and re-enforcing the values of participants.

As we grew I found my self spending nearly 100% of my time on day to day activities which involved training and mentoring support workers on the field. This is where I achieve my greatest satisfaction,

One example I always like to share is that 2.5 years ago we were supporting a 13 year old boy with Down syndrome. Although he has a beautiful heart he was prone to absconding, hitting, self-harm and general non-conformity issues. However we persevered and learnt more about his needs and wants.

I have supported him for approximate 100 hours without charge over this period in conjunction with his key support workers. Now 2.5 years on he has stopped hitting, never absconds, is active in the community and it is pleasure to be around him as we listen to his music and disco dance.

This participant has changed my life because after 25 years I now know what I was meant to do in my life. Although I am the CEO of ADS Care I am very hands on and relish the opportunity to play a  part in the development or progress of people who need care.

This is a hard yet rewarding industry and I appreciate it more with each passing day and thank Care Careers for letting me share this life changing story.

Sunil Bhakri CEO

ADS Care

ADS Care operates across the Greater Western Sydney area in NSW.

Mariam Hussein – Building relationships and careers

Mariam

I get bored easily, so when considering university degrees, I wanted to do something broad so my options weren’t limited when it came to careers. As such, I did a Bachelor of Business and majored in marketing. I am able to use the skills I learnt at uni, such as building and developing relationships and marketing in my job as an Employment Consultant with Afford Employment. (Which by the way is perfect for me because it is so varied – which means I am never bored!)

A key part of my role is relationship building. I have to build and maintain a network of employers across all industries, which then allows me to offer my clients more choice of jobs. I constantly look for new opportunities to develop new contacts and meet new people. From when I’m shopping, eating out or even visiting the mechanic, I’ll strike up a conversation and foster a relationship so that in the future I can hopefully secure a job for one of my clients.

My clients range in age and gender, and are also people with disability. Some have had troubled lives, lack trust and are very vulnerable. As such, I work extremely hard to develop a good rapport with my clients so they know that I am always here for them, that I will do my best to support them.

I split my day in half. I tend to spend the morning in the office, tending to emails, meeting with clients, helping them with job applications and resumes. Then in the afternoon I’ll hit the road to check in on my clients in jobs, provide training or have meetings with employers.

The best part of my job is seeing someone grow and develop. I have one client who has flourished. When he came to me he was so shy and this prevented him from communicating. I support him through a retail course and assist him to find a job in a shop stacking shelves. As his confidence built, he started talking to and assisting shoppers and now his confidence has grown so much he works on the check out. Knowing that I supported him to overcome his barriers is incredibly rewarding.

Mariam Hussein
Employment Consultant DES, ES6
Afford Employment

NSW