Caring for mob is a life changing job
“We need our mob to sign up!” says Carly Wallace who is speaking up on the importance of mob caring for mob, as part of a national campaign to encourage people to join the care and support workforce.
Carly Wallace is a proud Dulguburra Yidinjii woman from the Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, passionate about mob helping mob.
Carly is supporting the ‘A Life Changing Life’ campaign to encourage more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mob to consider joining the care and support sector after seeing firsthand the need and benefits of having mob caring for mob.
Carly’s journey into the care and support workforce was an unexpected one and started long before she applied for a formal role in the care and support sector.
“When I think about my role in the care and support workforce I’ve actually been in this role for a long time,”
“My journey with care and support started with my kinship role with looking after my little brother who was born with foetal alcohol syndrome, had ADHD and ADD,” said Carly.
Taking on caring responsibilities was a sudden and unplanned adjustment for Carly, who was in her mid-twenties and working in the media industry as a community broadcaster at the time when her mother passed away.
Reflecting on her journey she recognised that being an unpaid carer gave her some lived experience that could be developed into a career pathway that was able to give her more stability and flexibility.
“I fell into the care and support sector… and it was a different change of life, as my brothers’ guardian. I realised that becoming a paid carer was then a great way to earn money and create a career… and it was very much more flexible.”
Carly has taken great strides in the care and support workforce since starting out as an unpaid carer, and she is now a Senior Advocate at the First Peoples Disability Network.
Carly drew on her experience looking after her brother when it came to interviews and showcasing her experience when applying for her first support role looking after youth in the community.
She wants more mob to know that these kinds of lived experiences and cultural knowledge provide the strong foundation for a rewarding job in the care and support sector, and are strong examples that could be communicated in resumes and interviews when applying for paid roles.
“When I was doing my youth work, I definitely drew on my experiences with my brother but also the wider community and having a passion for working with our mob. I think that transferable skill is something that a lot of our people don’t realise they have.”
“We just naturally are carers for each other, we have that kinship system of looking after each other but then we don’t then think about ‘oh we could do that in a job’ or ‘we could make a career out of that’, which you definitely can,” says Carly.
Having more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people in care and support roles supports cultural safety in the care setting and can be a great way to connect.
“Traditional language and family kinship ways can be a huge barrier from the get-go for someone who needs care and support,” says Carly.
Knowing language or broken English, kinship ways and cultural ways is an important skill and can be vital for mob who need care and support. It helps to ensure a better quality of care and support.
“The more of our mob that aren’t doing these jobs, means it may be harder for us to be cared for how we need to be cared for… and that’s why we need our mob to sign up!”
Find an opportunity for a life changing life.