Respite Carer

True Stories: Emily Ninnes – There is no typical day!

Emily NinnesI’ve been working with people with a disability since I was 14. As a lot of adolescent girls do, I was babysitting for extra pocket money, in Armidale, where I grew up. One of the kids I was babysitting turned out to have a disability. When I was 14 and 9 months (thus officially able to work) I got registered as her respite carer.

Now, 13 years later, I am a Case Manager for the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Mary MacKillop Outreach.

True Stories: Casey Goh – Steep learning curves

Casey GohI feel my cultural background has definitely helped me to be able to relate well to my clients at Sunshine, where I am working as a Casual Support Worker.

I was born in Malaysia and came to Australia with my family when I was 5 years old. At times I did experience discrimination when I was growing up, just like many different cultural groups. Even today I do experience it, but I think my openness in dealing with different situations and my constant exploration has allowed me to be able to overcome a lot of that discrimination. I have always pushed myself to be exposed to different things and to mix with all sorts of people. I am curious about everything and I’m able to overcome a lot of challenges.

True Stories: Sarah Jurd – Speech pathology is my dream job

Sarah JurdI have worked in the disability sector for around 13 years as a Respite Carer, Teacher’s Aide, Community Access Support Worker and Residential Worker. I think it was in my time as a Teacher’s Aide that I realised the level of support required for a child with a disability to access a school curriculum, is far outweighed by the actual amount of support that is out there.

I worked 1-to-1 with a child for 4 years, supporting her in the school I worked at. I found that the teachers were always supportive and willing to do what they could to help her, however they were often left at a loss as to where to go with her education, and how they could help her. The training the teachers get doesn’t always cover all the specific needs that each child might have. I felt frustrated, because quite often I also had no idea of what I could do to help the child I was working with.