During my Bachelor degree I studied sociology and researched many of the inequalities that our society faces. It left me with an urge to further advance my studies in that area and to also do more to support those who find it difficult to find resources and services.
After I completed my degree I ended up joining a very corporate, fast paced world working in management and sales at KFC and then Coca-Cola Amatil. These positions were certainly fulfilling in their financial and career aspects, but did not leave me feeling like I was giving back to my community.
When I saw my position being advertised by FRANS (Family Resource and Network Support), I knew it was my chance to kick-start a new career path. In my role I coordinate respite for families caring for children (between the ages of 0 and 18 years) with high support needs. I arrange for 1 to 1 care, or sometimes 2 to 1, that takes place in the home or community.
I also organise for clients to attend group activities with support from a Direct Care Worker and I often fill shifts as a Support Worker myself, as it helps me to get to know my clients so that I can better coordinate appropriate support options for them.
My most memorable experiences at FRANS have always been from our Vacation Care Programs which are designed as a school holiday alternative for children with disability, particularly those with high support needs. I remember in our first program that there was much excitement and anticipation, as we had very few resources and were not quite sure what to expect.
The faces of children from all over the Inner West filled the grounds of our local high school where we hold the program. Faces filled with curiosity, and some with anxiety, soon turned into gigantic smiles as we commenced the morning’s sport, music and craft activities. We also experienced overwhelming gratitude from the parents as they were finally able to have a school holiday period where they could accommodate all of their children’s needs, and still have time for themselves!
I am currently in the third year of my Bachelor of Social Work and my goal is to move into a policy oriented role with one of our government departments, where I can use my experiences, together with my desire to create change, in order to better people’s lives.
- TRUE STORIES: Joseph Majambere – Supporting people from all backgrounds to become who they wish to be.