When the Australian clothing industry moved jobs overseas, Katarina went from having a great job in the underwear manufacturing sector to an uncertain future.
A friend advised her that retraining in the health sector would give her greater job security. She says it has given her that and a lot more.
What is your current role and what does it involve?
I am a residential disability support worker at VMCH children’s respite. My role includes supporting children’s wellbeing, including support with daily household activities, meal preparation, assistance with meals, personal care, manual handling, social and recreational experiences.
What were you doing before you joined VMCH?
I was a quality assurance inspector for an underwear company. Once my position in the clothing industry was made redundant I had to re-qualify, so I studied health care.
I recall that when my position was made redundant one of my friends advised me to go into the health care sector because there will always be jobs in the health care sector.
It was the best advice I have ever been given. I am really enjoying working with people and helping them to achieve their goals – it’s a very rewarding career.
What’s a typical workday like for you?
There’s a lot of variety. Acting as a positive role model, assisting the needs of each client, providing personal, physical and emotional support to our clients, creating a safe and happy environment. Performing household tasks such as preparing meals school lunches, laundry, shopping, cleaning.
What do you enjoy about working in respite services with kids?
It is a very personally rewarding career to support others to achieve their aspirations, to make a real difference in the lives of those we care for and their families. I like to interact with the kids. I like to talk to the kids.
What is a stereotype about people with disability that you dislike and why?
That the lives of people with disability are totally different from the lives of people without disabilities. In fact, people with disabilities go to school, get married, work, have families, do laundry, grocery shopping, laugh, cry, love, get angry, vote, plan and dream like everyone else.
What do you enjoy doing when you’re not at work?
I like spending time with my family, cooking, relaxing, bike riding. I like googling recipes or looking at cookbooks for recipes. I find cooking very relaxing and rewarding, especially when my children enjoy one of my meals.
Could a career in disability services be for you?
We are currently recruiting great people to work with us in Disability Services – if you would like to join our terrific team click here.