“I became a support worker and never looked back”

From corporate attire to gorilla suits, Lisa’s career shift from finance officer to a support worker certainly was a life changer. 

A year-and-a-half ago, Morwell local Lisa never would have imagined that playing instruments, baking cakes and hosting fancy-dress parties could be all in a day’s work. But a year-and-a-half ago, she worked in finance.

At the time, Lisa had been the finance officer at the Moe RSL for over seven years. And while she loved the banter with her regulars and had great friendships with her colleagues, she wanted something a little more rewarding. “I just wanted a career change,” says Lisa. “I wanted to give back.”

After chatting to a couple of her friends in the disability sector who assured her “she’d never look back”, she submitted her resume to various disability service providers. And she waited.

Three months later Lisa landed a job with Aruma as a Disability Support Worker, assigned to the Social and Community Participation service in Morwell. “I never did look back!” Lisa says. “I get up in the morning, and I know that I’m going to have a good day.”

Social and Community Participation services support people with a disability to take part in their community and learn new skills. From baking, to fixing cars, to living out rockstar dreams – this service offers it all. “Aruma rents farmland where get go and play music,” says Lisa. “We sing songs and play instruments, it’s fantastic!”

Lisa and her customers at a fancy dress party

Lisa (in the gorilla suit), her colleagues and customers at the fancy dress party.

After COVID-19 hit however, Aruma shifted the program to customers’ homes in nearby Warragul. “I’ve never worked in a house before. It’s a great eye opener to see what goes on behind the scenes,” she says. “And Aruma made the transition so easy.”

Although Lisa’s days look a little different now the farm and other activities are off limits, she tries to ensure her customers still have a great time. “We try and change it up and make it fun because there’s only so much you can do inside,” she says.

Recently, Lisa and her colleagues threw a fancy-dress party for the customers, complete with karaoke, home-made snacks, and of course, crazy costumes. “I came as a gorilla. I even had my banana,” laughs Lisa. “I actually can’t believe we had a fancy-dress party and that was a day at work.”

Fun and games aside, what Lisa loves most about her job is her customers. “They are just so funny and quick-witted,” she says. “And getting to know your customers and being there for them – it’s just really special. I’ve never loved a job so much.”

Having a little FOMO from your office desk right now? Aruma is hiring support workers! Visit www.livehire.com to see the current opportunities in your area.