I work at FRANS (Family Resource and Network Support), coordinating Community Access Programs for people with disability aged from about 4 years old to 65 years old. The programs allow participants to experience cultural, sporting, theatrical and scenic opportunities in Sydney with their friends, and with support from FRANS workers. I am also involved in the coordination of a tri-yearly disco, as well as school holiday vacation care.
I started at FRANS as a volunteer. I was looking for a career that would allow me to meet interesting people, with a broad range of life experiences, joy and hardship. I also wanted to do work that was meaningful to the community, as well as practical and challenging. I didn’t want to be sitting at a desk working through routine paperwork.
Volunteering was the best way for me to get a practical insight into the work. It was a great way of building on my knowledge of the industry and proved a valuable stepping stone in my progression through roles at FRANS. Without my volunteer placement, I certainly wouldn’t be in my position today.
I started coordinating the fitness and soccer clubs as a Part Time job and then completed my university studies at the same time. I was then hired as a Support Worker directly supporting FRANS clients out in the community. I became a Coordinator a little while later and now I am Senior Coordinator for the Community Access Programs.
One of the things I love about my work is that I am always on the go, rushing off to activities, planning the next theme for the disco or researching all the great things our participants can enjoy.
I love that there are so many opportunities to develop as a person. My own confidence has grown significantly as I’ve come to understand my work and why I’m here. Professionally, FRANS offers me a wide range of training and networking options. I am able to communicate with other organisations and get involved in the development of disability services.
My favourite part of my role is when I’m with a participant experiencing the ‘quiet after the storm.’ Spending time with someone after having helped them to calm down after a behavioural challenge (eg when they are upset or having a tantrum) is all part of learning about what makes clients tick, what they like and dislike, and who they are.
Senior Coordinator, Community Access Programs
- TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.