Byron and Jess’ Journey to a career in disability support

Three years ago, Byron and Jess would never have dreamt that going out for a meal, visiting the Melbourne Museum, or bike riding on the O’Keefe Rail Trail would form part of their daily ‘work’.

At the time, Byron worked in a different industry, and Jess explored possible career paths through volunteering.

Since then, Byron and Jess completed their Certificate IV in Disability and have become valued members of team Lifely, helping make the everyday better for people living with a disability.

Here are some of the highlights on their journey to becoming a Community Facilitator and OSHC Educator with Lifely.

Introducing Jess, Lifely OSHC Educator

Jess loves interacting with people and knew that she wanted to support people from a young age. So, it made sense for Jess to partner with Lifely as a volunteer and explore the possibility of a career in the disability sector.

As a volunteer, Jess learnt how to identify and respond to individual needs, support participants to access their community and help them to build their life skills.

When volunteering, Jess was supported in a team environment. Lifely Community Facilitators encouraged and ensured Jess felt comfortable.

“The training opportunities with Lifely were amazing; I was able to complete various training modules to feel confident in what I was doing,” said Jess.

“Volunteering with Lifely was a huge stepping stone in being able to build relationships with the people I work with, complete a Certificate IV in Disability and fulfil a dream that I wanted to achieve – supporting people”.

Now working as an OSHC Educator, Jess supports children to attend Lifey’s Outside School Hours Care programs.

“Some of my favourite memories I’ve made were the big excursions such as the Melbourne Museum and Imax theatre, where we explored the history exhibits and animals with the children. It was really rewarding.”

Jess strongly believes compassion, building trust and forming friendships are the most critical traits for people hoping to work with people with disabilities as a career.

Meet Byron, Lifely Community Facilitator

While completing his Certificate IV in Disability, Byron undertook one of his community placements at Lifely.

Bryon quickly stood out for his natural ability to build rapport and connect with participants. These attributes, combined with his training, meant he quickly transitioned to working as a Community Facilitator.

“Although skills and experience help, Lifely is truly looking for the people that have the drive and heart to support the participants achieve their goals,” Bryon explained.

“By doing this, Lifely has a powerful and supportive team. There is a real camaraderie that makes you feel like a valuable team member.”

In his role as an up and coming Community Facilitator, Byron supported participants in a one-on-one capacity and group settings.

“Joining Our Choice on their daily programs allowed me to meet a diverse group of participants, staff and volunteers working towards community access, skill building and social interaction.”

“I’ve experienced some amazing adventures with this group – yachting on Lake Weeroona, bike riding as a group and taking trips to other towns around Bendigo.”

“The group works as a team. Participants and workers support and encourage each other. In turn, I’ve seen participants achieve goals and experience activities in a friendly, welcoming environment.”

“At the Adult Social Group, we get to have fun every second Friday night. We head out for a meal at some of the great venues Bendigo has to offer. The events are full of fun, laughter and dancing, and I enjoy seeing the group interact together. A bit of fun competition on the pool table is also a great way to encourage socialisation.”

With some experience under his belt, Byron leads some of our most popular groups, including the fortnightly Youth Social Group.

“Community access and socialisation are the focus. We involve participants in the process of picking group activities. The Zone and Jumpz are always favourite choices, along with bowling and the movies.”

Byron also enjoys supporting participants on a one-to-one basis; he explains,

“Here I can focus on the participant’s goals. We work together to build long term plans and the best way to achieve the goals they aim for.”

“You get to know the participants and become invested in supporting them to experience the independence that everyone deserves.”

“There is nothing like seeing the person you are supporting succeed at doing something important to them. To see them going to a concert, they otherwise may have had to miss out on, or to watch them pull the most amazing looking quiche out of the oven after making it themselves is priceless. So is their smile when they achieve what was once seen as impossible. It’s what makes the job so rewarding.”

It’s never too late to start

Whether you have just finished school and you’re exploring career paths, or you have had a successful career and need a change, a career in the disability sector may be just what you’re looking for.

With a range of roles to choose from, working in disability provides flexibility, opportunities for growth and rewarding experiences.

Want to know more about Lifely careers?

We’re building a culture at Lifely where amazing people like you can do their best work. If you’re ready to grow your career and make the everyday better for thousands of Australians living with a disability, you’ve come to the right place.

We value our team members at Lifely and believe it is essential to reward and compensate our team for contributing to our success.

We can offer:

  • Work/Life Balance
  • Career opportunities
  • Salary Packaging
  • Employee Assistance Program
  • Ongoing Learning
  • Remote Work
  • Fun Stuff!

Find an opportunity

Whether you’re looking to work directly with people to help them achieve their goals or join our team of coordinators, administrators and managers, we would love to hear from you.

Browse our open positions, find a job you love and apply. Or if you would like to speak to our friendly HR team, call Lifely on 03 5441 1599.