As NAIDOC week began to approach, we spoke to one of our Indigenous candidates who participated in the More Jobs More Care program, to celebrate her achievements. Sharleen Duffy has successfully completed the program and is now running her own business.
Sharleen has big dreams for her business, “Sharleen’s Inspirational Care”, which she started shortly after completing the program when she realised that many companies are looking for disability support workers due to the healthcare workforce shortage. The name comes from her aspirations to inspire other Australians to enter the industry, even if they don’t have any experience.
“There’s a massive shortage in this sector and I hope by starting my own business, I can bridge that gap.” Sharleen currently has two clients and is looking to grow her business in Tamworth.
As a mother of taking care of three kids and a husband who needs a bit of care himself, Sharleen naturally understood the quirks of disability support work. Her youngest child suffers from mental and behavioural disorders, which helped her in her journey as a disability support worker, to understand what her clients go through.
“For as long as I can remember, I have always been someone that anyone can come to and I will help where I can,” she said. That was also one of the reasons why she decided to change her career path, after having worked her way up to become a Deli Manager at a local supermarket.
Knowing that there is a critical shortage in the disability workforce, Sharleen hopes her business will be able to provide quality care to those who need it. As a person of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, Sharleen says cultural beliefs are very important when it comes to helping her community.
“If we have more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in this sector, it will help keep the cultural beliefs strong whilst helping the clients in anything else they require. Not only that, if we have more support workers from our cultural background, it will be easier to reach out to them as they won’t have to explain our culture and the dos and don’ts,” Sharleen said.
At Apprenticeship Careers Australia, we celebrate diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for all employees. We accept applicants from diverse backgrounds and encourage all candidates to apply to our programs.