A career in aged care, an opportunity to share culture and connections
Wiradjuri and Wongkumara woman, Alynta, considers herself fortunate to have landed her dream job as an aged care worker, caring for older Australians in their homes.
Working with clients, Alynta treasures the relationships she gets to build, learning from them, hearing their stories and experiences.
“I’ve always wanted to look after Elders, that’s just what you do in an Aboriginal community. Being able to give back to those who’ve cared for others, provide for them, it’s just something I’ve always felt obligated to do,” Alynta said.
With an ingrained drive to care for others it is little wonder Alynta found herself working in aged care.
With family from Bourke, far west New South Wales, Alynta grew up in Condobolin and was raised in a large family of twelve by her Aunty, who she calls Mum.
At aged sixteen, Alynta became a young mum herself to a beautiful baby girl. Finishing high school with a newborn was no easy feat, but Alynta was determined to do so. Support from family played a large part in her successfully completing high school and commencing university studies in nursing.
However, Alynta decided that, with a young family, it wasn’t the right time to juggle university and family life. She moved back home to Condobolin where family support and some inspirational Aunties encouraged her to study a Certificate III in Individual Support, starting her career in aged care.
Alynta appreciates the friendships you find working in aged care.
“The people I care for are sweet, they’re kind, they’re caring…at this point, it’s not a client and a worker, it’s a friendship that you build on trust,” Alynta said.
“Working in aged care has taught me patience, to be kind and open minded. I feel it has made me a better person in general, but definitely makes me a better mum.”
Alynta observes that working in aged care is a two-way exchange where each person learns from the other. For the client it’s through care, communication and connection. And for the aged care worker, it’s through knowledge and insight into generations and their experiences before.
It’s an education that goes both ways.
“Our older people, they impart a lot of knowledge, and because I live so far away from my family, they teach me the things I need to know to approach certain things in life,” Alynta said, reflecting on her role.
Alynta is encouraging others to consider a role in the care and support sector, acknowledging that there is a lot of experience gained on the job working with others, and flexibility to gain extra skills and qualifications.
“For many, working in care and support roles, it comes naturally. It comes with being caring and honest and just having that work ethic that you want to be there, and you want to look after people.
“It’s putting their needs before yours. You need to be understanding, patient and open-minded and willing to learn constantly,” Alynta said.
For Alynta, the most rewarding part of her job comes from breaking down stereotypes, and the sharing of cultures.
“People are just so interested in where I am from and my culture. I can teach others about why we do things the way we do, and it educates them. I think that is an important thing,” says Alynta, with pride.
“Having more Indigenous people working in the care and support sector motivates the younger generations too. It would be great to have a higher percentage of Indigenous people working in the sector, caring for mob”.
One thing is certain, working in aged care has provided Alynta with many opportunities for growth and insight into others and herself. In every way it reflects – A Life Changing Life.