VET helps Joanna help the most vulnerable in our community

Joanne Sultana has found her calling.

“I love my job. Helping and caring for others is my passion. Being a support worker allows me to make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. It’s my way of giving back.”

Joanne enrolled in a Certificate III in Individual Support with Train Australia while completing her traineeship with Bridges Alliance

“I support people with a disability to live in their own homes,” says Joanne. “Helping them maintain their independence is extremely rewarding. Sometimes people with a disability are ignored or misunderstood. Being able to assist them to gain access to services, which give them a better quality of life is very satisfying.”

Joanne’s studies gave her a greater understanding of how to promote and support the healthy functioning of the human body. She’s gained considerable knowledge of safety regulations, policies, procedures, and duty of care.

“My Train Australia teachers are amazing,” says Joanne. “The assistance they provide is inspiring. Everything I’ve learned is absolutely relevant to tasks I carry out on a daily basis.”

Joanne discovered the importance of treating her clients as she would like to be treated.

“I understand the value of care plans in ensuring my client’s needs are front and centre,” says Joanne. “I’ve researched support services that can help them reach their goals. I ask new staff to always look to the client for direction and feedback and to ensure they have a voice.”

Joanne is a proud mum of three daughters – one who is hearing impaired. After multiple wrong diagnoses and hospital stays from the age of four, her daughter was diagnosed with the rare condition, Cholesteatoma. Following further surgery and a hearing aid, she is able to live as a healthy, happy 16-year-old.

“Having a daughter with a disability has given me greater understanding of the daily challenges some people face,” says Joanne. “I’ve experienced first hand how caring support for people with disabilities can provide them with a better quality of life. Being proactive and constantly exploring solutions for my daughter, I’ve realised this is crucial when working with my clients.”

Mark Straney, Director of Bridges Alliance believes Joanne has found her niche.

“Joanne’s attitude and work ethic set her apart,” says Mark. “She has a genuine heartfelt concern for her client’s wellbeing and is determined to provide the best professional care possible. Joanne has a unique ability to build rapport with a wide range of clients. If she discovers your favourite meal, you can guarantee it will be cooked or delivered! As a mature-age trainee, Joanne has balanced work and life commitments with dedication and humility. Her focus is always on making a genuine difference in the lives of her clients and colleagues.”

Joanne is now responsible for training new staff on-the-job. She loves helping others succeed and her co-workers know her door is always open. Joanne’s outstanding qualities resulted in an offer of permanent employment with Bridges Alliance.

“I believe that you never stop learning. I want to continue to learn how to help others and make a difference.”

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