Kim finds her ‘happy place’ working with Barwon Health
Only a few years ago, finding suitable and stable work seemed beyond reach for Kim. Fast forward to today and you might see Kim zipping happily through the streets of Norlane on her electric bike, on her way to work at Barwon Health North and looking forward to seeing her teammates.
After a long period in a family caring role, Kim had experienced a series of crushing bereavements and her own health problems including battling breast cancer.
When Kim joined MatchWorks Disability Employment Services in 2018 she was experiencing heightened symptoms of anxiety and depression. This had been further exacerbated by her negative experiences trying to navigate the employment landscape.
Kim accessed MatchWorks Health and Wellbeing support from allied health professionals to build her resilience, self-esteem and skills. She encourages others to access the free resource.
“I think everyone should use it regardless of [their situation],” said Kim.
“There is always someone ready to listen to you, and for me personally I think that it has boosted my self-confidence in life.”
“I always used to be a real Mrs Doubtfire and used to be a bit shy. Now I walk in like I own the place,” she said smiling.
Kim was also concerned that after her break in paid employment her skills were not in line with work opportunities.
“With caring for my mum for so many years I was out of touch with the world,” she said. “When they asked what did I want to do I said I don’t know…I don’t know!”
With one-on-one support from MatchWorks, Kim began to investigate different types of employment options and undertook training and work experience to build her skill base.
A major turning point occurred when Kim attended a MatchWorks job fair in Belmont, where she seized an opportunity to interview with Barwon Health Environment Services the next day.
Barwon Health Talent Acquisition Officer Jackie Mathews interviewed Kim and said her enthusiasm made her stand out.
“She was so confident and funny and grateful to be given the opportunity. She was a real gem and it was a pleasure to interview her,” Jackie said.
Kim secured a cleaning position, and successfully completed training to start work at the large healthcare organisation. Delivered by genU Training, this bespoke course has enabled almost 20 people living with disability to successfully start new roles at Barwon Health.
Although a cleaning role wasn’t originally part of Kim’s plan, she has found the stable role in a positive and supportive team enjoyable and rewarding.
“Hey, I’ve got a talent out there and I’ve found it. And hopefully this job will last me forever now. They showed me how and gave me a demonstration and encouraged me to go for it.”
“You wouldn’t want to go to go to hospital to see your mum or dad and it [not be up to scratch]. You know you’ve done the best you can,” she said.
Kim continues to benefit from finding work that suits her and her life.
“I’ve really opened up in the last few months. I know it’s a happy time and that’s my happy place.”