Turning a dream into reality – Jessica’s story.

Young Perth job seeker Jessica has overcome a series of life-long health issues to land her dream job as an Individual Support Worker in a residential care facility.

At two and a half years old, Jessica was diagnosed with leukaemia. She completed treatment successfully, but the medications she was prescribed affected her immune system, setting her up for years of health issues. She also suffered from an intellectual disability, which impacted on her literacy.

“I was trying to help others, but I was struggling with looking after my own needs because of my health issues and intellectual disability,” Jessica said.

Desperate to regain her health, Jessica had gastric sleeve surgery. “I started feeling better quickly,” Jessica said. “The surgery made me so much more positive, and it helped me remove all the negativity from my life.”

A focus on others

Keen to pursue her passion to help others, Jessica met with MatchWorks DES Assistant Site Manager, Dayle Moulds.

“Jessica expressed how passionate she was about helping the community and commenced a Certificate III in Aged Care and Disability Support work,” Dayle said. When Jessica was unable to complete her practical assessment because of restrictions, MatchWorks reached out to an employer who were able to take her on without her full qualifications.

Dayle connected Jessica to the MatchWorks Health and Wellbeing team. She also helped her by:

  • Finding her a placement.
  • Coaching and supporting her.
  • Linking her to car loan providers when hers was written off.
  • Providing fuel vouchers and PPE.

“Dayle supported me all the way through,” Jessica said. “She helped me with everything, including clothing and loans. I had never experienced that type of support before. It was completely different to any other job agency who would disregard my intellectual ability, they thought because I looked okay that I was just making it up.”

“Jessica has overcome severe barriers and now comes into the office as bright as the sun, confident, happy and smiling,” Dayle said. “She is a resilient and dedicated young woman who is committed to making her dream of helping others a reality through her work.”

“My job has completely changed my perspective on life,” Jessica said. “I wanted to get into carer work after seeing how my grandparents struggled with their health, suffering from cancer and dementia, and how isolated they were in their care facilities.I know now that I can support my parents if they are ever in that position.”

“Professionally, I’m looking forward to securing permanent employment and personally, I want to pay my car loan off and be able to travel and find someone to share my life with.”

Find out more about our Disability Employment Services for job seekers.