Sunshine

True Stories: Gerry Foo – A family affair!

I’ve had experiences working in disability services on and off for a number of years and I keep coming back to it. I’m very drawn to the sector as I feel it is important to recognise individuals and give them a voice. It’s also a family affair as my husband also works in the sector and my children have had direct contact with it through volunteering. One of my daughters is also considering the sector as a career path.

For me, it all started when I graduated from high school and worked as a Teacher’s Aide at a special needs school in Singapore, where my aunty was the principal. After that experience I studied law and pracGerry-Foo_editedtised for a year. I then ran a series of businesses and migrated to Australia in 2004.

I got into the disability sector in Australia through volunteering at Sunshine 5 years ago, where I now work as the Fundraising and Community Engagement Manager. My initial volunteering role involved helping out with Sunshine’s annual art exhibition and then a position came up in their Community Access Program, working with clients who had high support needs.

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: Tracey Sherwin – Every day is different and extremely rewarding

Tracey SherwinJust a few hours after arriving in Australia with my family as an immigrant from the United Kingdom, I spotted a job ad in the newspaper for a role at Sunshine. I had worked with people with intellectual and physical disabilities in the UK so I was ready and willing.

I remember thinking when I walked into Sunshine for the interview, “I need to be here. I want this job.” Within a week of landing in Australia I had got the job and I am still here 5 years later.

I was a Direct Support Worker for 1.5 years and then I became a Team Leader, but that only lasted 6 weeks because I was then promoted to my current role as the Coordinator of Community Access Programs (Frenchs Forest ). Then in mid 2009, Sunshine won a tender for our Community Access Program (St Ives) and I was offered the role of coordinating that service also. I was happy to accept the great opportunity.