True Stories: Elaine Carr – The career of choice

Elaine Carr

I always knew that I wanted to work with people and do something selfless. I never realised where it would take me though.

I started off working for a few health and disability services in the United Kingdom while I was studying at uni. A year into my studies I realised that uni wasn’t for me. So I took off and backpacked around Asia and Australia. I had a working visa for Australia and while working in a small mining town in Western Australia, I met Mick – my future husband. That wasn’t part of the plan, but I ran with it and settled in Australia. Once my visas were sorted out, I turned to finding a career. I narrowed it down to two choices where I could help others; aged care or disability. I chose disability because I thought it would be more interesting and challenging. It was the best decision I ever made.

Despite having absolutely no experience in the sector, Nulsen employed me as a support worker in a home for people with high care needs. Within my first year, Nulsen enrolled me in a Certificate 3, then 4 in Disability. Doing the training offered such an insight to the world of disability care. It was fabulous.

After a year and a half in that home, I was transferred to a home where the clients had challenging behaviours. Today, it’s a few years down the track and I’m still there. However, I’m no longer a support worker, although that is a part of my role as the Residential Services Manager.

I love to learn, so while working at Nulsen I’ve put my hand up for every training avenue possible. I participated in a mentorship program which allows me to be a mentor to other staff members. I’ve become a trainer and assessor of manual handling which means I can teach others correct lifting and manual handling techniques. I’ve also completed my Diploma of Community Services Coordination which was brilliant and helped pave the way for me to become a Residential Services Manager.

Training isn’t just good for yourself and your own development; it’s good for the people with disabilities that you support too. Training has made me more confident in my abilities and has opened up my eyes to other possibilities and ways of doing things. It also helps keep you up to date with new ways of doing things, policies and procedures. It’s almost as if training completes the picture of working in the care industry. It marries theory with working with people with a disability and your peers.

I never thought that when I started at Nulsen that I’d be a manager only four years later. But my motto is “If you don’t ask, you don’t receive”. So I asked my managers about new courses and training opportunities, I asked about new roles and job availabilities and by doing so I’ve completed numerous courses and climbed the career ladder. The possibilities in the disability sector are endless. There are no boundaries on what you can achieve.

Elaine Carr
Residential Services Manager
Nulsen, Western Australia

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