Planting the seeds for growth: Indy’s disability support story

By Our Reporter
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Mitchell (L) & Indy. Pic supplied

Moving from India and becoming a disability support worker wasn’t where Indy expected he’d end up. But after jobs in horticulture and then in the police force, he realised it was exactly where he was supposed to be.

While it might seem an unexpected career path, Indy says his previous work experience has led him to where he is now.

“In horticulture, I was working in disability residential accommodation and recovery places, which is when I realised how important it is for people to have greenery around them. I regularly met people with disability there,” he says.

“Then, the police force. It was a big change but something I always wanted to try. I worked there for five years, and again had many interactions with people with disability. I wanted to try and understand and help them as much as I could, but it was hard to provide support in that role.”

It was then that Indy decided disability support was what he wanted to do. He started studying community services through TAFE.

“I was studying full time while working part time in the police force. I really enjoyed the course and started working in the care and support sector so I could get a feel for what it involved,” saysIndy.

While he was studying, Indy found work supporting a person with disability who lived nearby. He jumped at the opportunity to gain experience while studying.

“This person had had a stroke and needed support to look after their health. It was a really eye-opening time for me—that you could be supporting anyone, from any walk of life,” says Indy.

That work took Indy somewhere he didn’t imagine a role in support would—overseas. “My client told me he was going on a trip with his family and he wanted to bring me along. We went to the Pacific Islands in Tonga—I would never have gone there on my own, it was amazing,” he says.

Mitchell & Indy. Pic supplied

“When I was getting into the care and support sector, I saw job ads talking about how you could travel but I didn’t really think it would happen. I couldn’t believe it!”

Indy has now been working in the care and support sector for a couple of years. He’s just started in a coordinator role, which means he looks after the rostering of disability support workers to people with disability.

“Some people with disability require two support staff, some from morning to night, while others need sleepover staff—so there are lots of things you need to consider,” says Indy.

“Then if there aren’t support staff available, or if someone can’t get to a shift for whatever reason, I jump in and do the shifts so I’m still getting that face-to-face time with people with disability,” he says.

It’s a varied, dynamic role. One that offers Indy a clear path forward.

“I see myself moving up to become a client services manager, then a senior client services manager. At one point I thought it might be a good idea to start my own business in the care and support sector, but who knows?” he says.

“I’m planning on going on to do a Diploma of Community Services after my certificate to keep on learning. The organisation I’m working with really values growth and helps you with further study if you want it.”

Australians are being encouraged to consider a fulfilling, secure and diverse career in the care and support sector, as part of a national advertising campaign, A Life Changing Life. Now one of the fastest growing sectors in Australia, the Federal Government is aiming to attract around 140,000 people to jobs in aged care, disability and veterans’ support by 2024.

Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme Senator the Hon Linda Reynolds CSC said that with thousands of jobs available around the country, now was a perfect time to apply.

“If you are a people person looking for a meaningful and fulfilling job, or career, this is the perfect opportunity—especially in regional and remote locations where I have seen firsthand, the need for more care and support workers,” Reynolds said.

“Real people are at the heart of this campaign. Everyone featured is an actual worker making a difference to people’s lives, as well as their own, through working in the care and support sector,” she added.

Mohammad Al-Khafaji, CEO of the Federation of Ethnic Communities’ Council of Australia, has also extended his support of the campaign, acknowledging the opportunities and many benefits for multicultural Australians. These include flexible work, on-the-job training and mentoring, peer support, and career options to suit different lifestyles, such as management opportunities, business ownership and working as an independent service provider.

(CultureVerse)

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