My varied education

Written by Naomi McCorkell

I was asked on carecareers: What qualification do you have and how long did it take for you to finish your study?

When I finished school I wasn’t sure where I wanted to focus my career. My parents encouraged me to attend University until I made up my mind. As a compromise I studied externally and worked in retail so I still had some money to socialise with my friends. In this time I completed an Associate Degree in Law.

Not really having much interest or even confidence to work in a law firm, I enrolled in a Bachelor of Social Science. This time I studied internally and only worked part time. I was working as a Support Worker in a local childcare centre supporting a few children with disability attending the centre to actively participate in the program.


How can staff support each other in the workplace?

Written by Debra Howard

We’re all working together to support our clients to achieve their aims and complete the activities on their roster so it’s really important to support each other.

At Skills Options, we have a staff meeting every morning. We talk about what every staff member is doing and any changes to rosters for the day. This meeting is very important as changes to routine often happen. It’s a casual meeting and it’s often the case that discussions arise from issues or problems that happened the previous day. Some days are more difficult than others, so having this meeting enables staff to talk about our experiences and gather information that can be helpful in the future. One new suggestion can benefit the client and also the staff who work with that particular person.

An example occurred last week when a staff member had changed a client’s plate to a flatter one as she had noted the client had previously refused on a number of occasions to eat lunch from a large bowl.
At the end of the meeting, we usually have a few minutes (before the clients arrive) to catch up on conversation about family, friends or what’s the best movie to see this weekend.


So…what do you do?

Written by Naomi McCorkell

The age-old question “What do you do?” gets thrown around a lot in most social settings, especially when people are meeting for the first time. As with the other bloggers, I get asked this question regularly. After using my really brief “in a nut shell” statement – working for a not-for-profit organisation that supports people – many responses I get tend to make reference to how rewarding the work must be and how special I am for working with people who require support to live their life.  

Some people of course ask the question without really having an interest in my response, so my replies are varied. However, when someone shows a genuine interest, I will spend more time explaining what my role is really about.

There are so many different jobs within the human services sector, which range from providing direct support to people to specialist support services like speech therapy or occupational therapy. Then there are management and administration roles and everything in between. When I share my work roles and experiences with people I like to be able to break down some of the misconceptions or stereotypes they may hold.