Maddison Brown - Bathurst Independent Living Skills

I am 19 Years old and I am currently a trainee in the Aboriginal Jobs Together Program. I have been studying my Certificate IV in Disabilities plus Junior Management whilst working at Bathurst Independent Living Skills. I am a Kamilaroi woman. It has been an interesting journey since I left school in Year 11 and started my first job as a support worker with Lifestyle Solutions in Orange.

Through my work and study I have come to understand the various intricacies associated with disabilities, I have learnt to balance work, study and personal life. As an Aboriginal woman I have gained acceptance in my work place, with the support of Indigenous Concepts and Networking and the Cultural Awareness sessions they have run. There’s an understanding now of what it’s like to be a fair skinned Aboriginal person.

Before I started working in the industry, I didn’t really know much about disability care only what I saw in high school and in community. I always thought it would take a strong person to work with people that have a disability. I am glad that I have been given the opportunity over the past two years to be allowed to be part of these beautiful peoples’ lives and hopefully make a difference.

I lost my younger brother in 2007, from a heart and lung disease, it was an unexpected and came so quickly after we found out he was sick. My family was given a lot of support while we were going through that time in our life, the Westmead Children’s Hospital, the nurses; the Starlight Children’s Foundation and The Children’s Heart Foundation were absolutely amazing. After I lost my brother I lost my way for a little while and came out with a new found desire to help others. I chose a career in disabilities as I feel my passion would enable me to have an impact and assist in improving the quality of life for people living with a disability.

Working in the disability sector has also helped me heal some wounds, create new pathways, further my education and learn new skills.

There are days where it can be draining but the good outweighs the bad. I would encourage friends, family and the wider Aboriginal community to work in the disability sector because I have found it so rewarding; walking into work and having the relationship I have with clients; the daily rituals and just the smiles on their faces are enough to make you realise you are doing something right. I look forward to a long and rewarding career in the disability sector.

Maddyson Brown

Trainee - Bathurst Independent Living Skills