I began work in the disability and community care sector when I was 19. I started out by accident when a friend raised the idea. I was quite apprehensive at first, but what I loved about it straight away was the people. Back then, I could not have imagined the career opportunities that have come my way in the last few years.
Today I am an Accommodation Manager, running the Community Justice Program (CJP) for Sylvanvale, based in Kirrawee. The CJP is aimed at preventing people with disabilities who have broken the law from reoffending, and also assists people with disabilities who are homeless or living on streets.
CJP intervenes by helping them access activities, employment and housing; the program opens up their options. Each day is different, busy, and always challenging.
When I first started out I was working in crisis accommodation – helping people who had come from boarding houses and were adjusting to group homes. I loved getting them back in to the community and helping them experience life including sport, barbeques, holidays, doctor’s appointments.
I then went to London and worked as a live-in paid care worker, before returning to Sydney and taking up my current role.
A couple of years ago I could never have imagined that I’d be in charge of two group houses. The challenge gives me a purpose to keep going and I find it exciting.
If you have the instinct to want to help people and you care for them, then you should consider a career in disability or community care. There’s so much training available from TAFE and university, but the main attributes you need are an ability to be caring, considerate, willing and have lots of energy.
It really is a rewarding job – and that’s what keeps me going, even when it gets stressful.
- TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.