Support Worker

True Stories: Rio Kuharski – On my days off I miss my clients

Rio Kuharski

On my days off I miss my clients

The aphorism, ‘It is better to give than receive’ epitomises my interest in community services. I have aspired to help people since childhood when I was brought up in the hospitality industry through the family business, however I did not have the opportunity.

After playing tennis professionally I chose to enter the tennis coaching industry based on my experience and knowledge. Unfortunately a void had ensued through tennis coaching as I personally felt like I was satisfying predominantly a leisure service. In other words, I had an underlying passion to give more to society.

True Stories: Ann Gaudion – The many hats of support workers

Ann-Gaudion_edited The many hats of support workers

I moved to Wagga Wagga around 3 years ago to support my partner in a career progression opportunity and to be closer to family. For me, this meant starting again with finding new employment.

My previous employment history had been varied and I had worked in numerous different industries. I grew up on a fruit orchard and worked on the family farm packing fruit, and then later on I ran the family owned produce store. I worked in customer service for Zoos Victoria and then operated my own dog grooming business, and I also worked Part Time at Woolworths for 5 years.

For a large part of my working life I also worked as a professional horse riding coach and I trained and competed with horses to a high competition level.

When I came to Wagga I got a transfer to Woolworths and then tried telemarketing, which was not for me. I picked up our local newspaper one day and read a job advertisement for support workers. The thing that caught my eye was the heading ‘Do you have life experiences?’

I rang the contact number, discussed the position and applied for the job. As I had no idea what the role was going to be I researched community support worker on the web and thought, hey I can do this!

True Story: Maria & Gerard update – Part 1

Maria: Continuing to inspire

It’s been four years Gerard and I were part of a carecareers campaign. Every now and then someone comes up to me and says they recognise me from somewhere – the commercial! It’s even happened when I’ve been holidaying aboard a cruise ship. One of the best things about being in the commercial was inspiring others to consider a career in the care sector. Plus, of course it was wonderful to see Gerard shine and be recognised for the brilliant and talented person he is.

I worked with Gerard for 18 months prior to the commercial. My most memorable moments with him, besides doing the ad, was seeing him win an award at Tropfest, when he got his first job, and then his second at the Riverside Theatre. Gerard is such a character and definitely one in a million. I can’t imagine life without Gerard, which is excellent, as we’re still working on a number of projects together.

One of the things we’ve been working on is the Pathways to Leadership program. Together we have become facilitators of the program which means we get to host training groups and sessions on person-centred-practice (PCP), especially in preparation for the NDIS. We’ve been to loads of talks and conferences, presenting to different organisations, social workers, disability sector staff and families to discuss the importance of PCP. I think one of the reasons we work so well together is that we both simply want to get the message out there that we’re all people – no matter what differences we have – and by working together we truly demonstrate that.