Find out what our clients and staff have to say about St Carthage’s Community Care.

Client Testimonials

“Janice rang to check her service times and let us know that Carina always does an excellent job and Janice is so happy to have Carina come and help her. Janice said Carina is always so lovely and helpful.”

“What I like about St Carthage’s the most is when I come in for Respite. I love staying in for sleep overs and getting to see all my friends and hanging out with them, and the staff too. I really like to do cooking and it makes me feel good when I cook meals for my friends.
I enjoy helping out at the Respite house with cleaning.
We go to lots of different places on outings and my favourite is going to different places for lunch.
St Carthage’s pick me up from my work place and I go to the Respite house to hang out and relax in my break times before being dropped back to work.”

“Dear Jess, on behalf of our family I would like to thank St Carthages for their support, care and friendship over the year to me mother Connie Jamieson.
Without St Carthages Mum would not have been able to remain in independent living for as long as she did.
It was a hard choice for our family to decide for Mum to go into Permanent Care, but because of her health and dementia we felt it the best thing to do.
Over the years Mum as had her ups and downs and most recently the downs. Her mind is not where it used to be, she looks out her window and thinks that is in Sydney where she live as a young girl and that the floods she sees on TV are in Sydney and talks mainly about her parent and siblings who have all passed.
Mum hasn’t mentioned her garden or unit where she live in East Lismore.
Thanking you and your staff.”

“Anna called to tell us her father, Walter, will be transferred to permanent care. She said Walter is fading and not mobile and its sad that he has to go into a nursing home but he can’t go home. Anna thanked St Carthage’s for everything we have done for Walter saying ” you have been his life and all so wonderful”. Anna said he was very hesitant at the beginning to have assistance but it ended up being all he talked about and was company for him every morning.
Anna said it has been a pleasure dealing with St Carthage’s. I asked her to pass on our best wishes to Walter, saying we will miss his lovely gentle nature.”

Staff Testimonials

How did you end up in Aged Care?
I did a window tinting traineeship when I left school. I did that for 7 and a half years. I wanted a change and looked into admin roles. I got my first admin role at the Neighbourhood Centre providing support for family and children. I think I have quite a caring nature and this work aligned with that.
I did that for 2 years and then relocated from Mackay to Ballina. I was unable to get into the Aged Care industry at this stage so I ended up doing cars again for Hertz! I was constantly applying for jobs and finally got the call back from St Carthage’s. That was during COVID. I applied for a role as a Community Care Worker and felt really supported throughout the process. I’d make a quick call to HR and get an answer straight back.

What did you like about that role?
Being in the community and supporting people to remain independent in their home. It’s a really good program and the service we provide is really supporting those older community members and empowering independence…I love that …it’s right up my alley…

What else did you love about that role?
I loved hearing the older people’s stories – life stories – amazing stories…mind blowing

What was challenging about the CCW role?
Being out on your own. However, the support given by office and support planners really gave me that sense of a team environment…You do have the backing and support – no decisions need to be made on your own…It was a big change from the team environments I had worked in, in previous roles but there was always support available.

How did you end up studying for your Diploma in Community Services?
I was already interested in studying the Diploma prior to joining St Carthage’s and it all just fell into place. As soon as I got the role, I was able to start the study…. The flexibility in being a CCW was helpful as you can change your availability. Other providers have requirements for nights and weekends but St Carthage’s doesn’t have these requirements.
Now I just feel very supported in my career growth, advancing my personal skills and continuing my studies.

What happened next?
I was approached by the organisation to see if I was interested in doing a stint in Aged Care Support Planning for 2 to 3 months as a part time thing whilst still working as a CCW. I then applied for an internally advertised vacancy and got the job. I was supported throughout that recruitment process. I was so nervous in the interview as it was really important to me and I knew it was an important next step for my career ….and I was offered the role!
I have now had the opportunity to have a hand over with the person I was taking over from, who was retiring…it’s been great having that person sitting in the room to guide me.
I feel I am getting so much support from everyone including Rostering and Finance, all supporting me to be able to complete my role fully…

Where do you see yourself going from here?
My next career step is completing the Diploma and going on to study a Bachelor of Social Work Degree. I would like to gain experience down the track in residential care as well, even if it is just temporarily. For now, I am happy to be in the Support Planner position. I have worked very hard to achieve this and am looking forward to the challenges and experiences that come with the role.

Sophie Hammond • Aged Care Support Planner

How did you end up working in Aged Care?
I did a Computer Science degree in Sweden, then did an intership and worked for Volvo. I did coding and computer analysis. I did that for 8 months, moved to Denmark for new job and then decided to go to Australia because it was on my bucket list!
I travelled around Australia back packing for 8 months and also went to New Zealand and at the same time I was volunteering in Sydney with vulnerable people and I started to understand the support that is offered in Australia for people living with a disability.
I got to Lismore and thought it was a beautiful part of the world and I ended up getting a job with St Carthage’s.
I have always wanted to work with vulnerable people. My cousin was vulnerable so this has been a big part of my life. Working with vulnerable people has taught me a lot of things. My purpose for joining St Carthage’s was to work for the people, do something for them to change the world!

What do you like about working for St Carthages?
The staff are always helpful. I feel like I am independent. Sometimes it’s tricky but it’s worth it. I love working one to one with a participant, which I do mostly and we do lots of activities together – shopping, different day to day tasks. No one day is the same ever! There are different challenges. I am super happy to have different days with different challenges – it brings happiness to my life.
St Carthage’s helps people in so many ways. I am inspired by the concept of respite: carers need a break and we teach participants how to cook, do lots of activities – day trips…this helps them to develop new skills and helps take pressure off their parents and carers. There are some beautiful parts to the job, getting to spend over nights with participants so that they get to make their own breakfast – cooking together … so they achieve something that’s in their goals. It’s just a good feeling.

What’s tricky about this work?
It is sometimes hard to know what participants want. You want them to be able to have fun and support them to make their own decisions but everyone is different, so it’s sometimes hard to get that right and it takes time to get that “chemistry.”

What do you see yourself doing next?
I can see myself continuing doing this kind of work and educating myself. St Carthage’s has helped me to complete a Medication Course and I’m grateful for that – this will help me to improve the way I do things.

Farid Shaikh – Disability Care Worker

How did you end up in Aged Care?

I left school in year 10 and I had to do something because I didn’t have a job. So I volunteered at St Joseph’s Nursing Home and worked in the Dementia ward as it was known at the time, helping with activities, feeding, exercises, painting nails. Then I did my Cert III in Aged Care at age of 17/18 and went straight from my Cert III to working at Caroona Nursing Home in Goonellabah.

I worked in residential care for about 3 years. I loved it because of all the different people, the residents. You would go in and shower someone, pick out their outfit, put some make up on them and make them feel good about themselves. That’s one thing I really liked about it.

Then I met my husband, moved to Brisbane and didn’t work in Aged Care for year and half. I had a break, had a baby. After my daughter was born we moved back to Lismore and when she was 6 months old I went back to Caroona as a casual and then moved into a different facility. I then did night duty for about 3 years. This fitted in well with the kids…as I’d had another baby by this time.
I decided that I would move into Community Care and applied for a job at St Carthages in 2014. I joined as a Community Care Worker.

What did you like about it?
I think the biggest impact on me was I was never made to feel guilty if I couldn’t work or if I had to go home sick or had to look after myself. I was struck by the kindness of the people here: genuine, kind people who care about the clients, care about what they are doing.

Then what happened?
In 2015, I was asked if I would like to do a 2 week stint in the office back-filling a Support Planner. This involved lots of data entry, phone calls to clients, supporting the team. Toward the end of that 2 weeks, I was asked if I would like to stay on in the office to back-fill in Rostering while they advertised for a new rostering person. I applied for the job and got it, started as part time, moved to full time. I worked in Rostering for 4 years from 2015 to 2019.

What did you like about Rostering?
It was a great team, I got to know and talk to a lot of clients in that position. I enjoyed the thrill of making something fit in terms of rosters and being able to meet the client’s needs, the accomplishment of being able to do that and to fill all the services when you had 6 people phone in sick. Very satisfying!

What happened next?
It was a mentally exhausting job. A position came up for an office based Support Planner and I decided to apply for it and started down that path. This role was all about taking phone calls. I did that for 6 months then went into a Home Care Package Support Planner role. It finally felt like I was where I needed to be. I had accomplished my goal of doing what I wanted to do when I initially did that course back when I was 17.
As a Support Planner you are able to support the clients in a different way to being a CCW. It’s very different to supporting them out in the field but just as rewarding and fulfilling.
I am an organiser and being a Support Planner played to those strengths. You need to be very organised and being able to help clients access the services and support they needed, organising Allied Health referrals, Occupational Therapists etc was very satisfying.

And now you are the Aged Care Team Leader?
Yes – last year, I was offered the opportunity to be Acting Team Leader. I then applied for and was offered the permanent role – I now head up a team of 10 staff.
This role involves supporting all the Aged Care Support Planners with their clients. It’s a bit nerdy but I love structure and I like being able to follow structure, work within the guidelines, make sure that we get the best outcome for all our clients.
We have just recruited a Registered Nurse and the arrival of this person brings with it a whole range of exciting opportunities. I am so committed to this organisation and looking forward to growing with St Carthages.
Without St Carthages, I would not be where I am right now. The opportunity to be able to work my way up and be supported to do that is pretty special.
Jacqui Casey – Aged Care Manager

How did you end up working in Aged Care?
I worked in a mine in Kalgoorlie for nearly 7 years as a heavy machinery operator/trainer and assessor. I loved it. One of the most rewarding experiences of my entire life. I met people from all walks of life. It was the mining boom so everybody was there: I met doctors, lawyers, police officers, beauticians who all wanted to fulfil every little boy’s dream of driving big trucks!
…and then… we had a family and when you have a family they require a lot and I was doing 14/15 hour shifts and so I decided that I had to take a step back to become a Dad rather than a mine worker. I’ve now got 4 boys aged 16, 13, 11 and 7.
So we made the decision to come back East to where of our family was for the support. I was a supervisor at Australian Concrete Posts for 2 years after coming back. This was hard physical work with early starts and late finishes so I still wasn’t able to be the Dad I needed to be….
So I decided to do my Cert III in Disability/Aged Care to give me a more flexible work life so that I could be with my family.

So what happened next?
The transition to Aged Care was what I expected. I did get that family/work life balance after doing the course and getting a job in a facility at the Adventist Nursing Home at Alstonville and I worked there for nearly 5 years before applying to St Carthages.

Why did you apply?
I was on constant night shift at the Nursing Home which means you need to sleep during the day. Even though it allowed me some flexibility I was still losing family time due to the need to sleep.
So I decided to apply for St Carthages as it allowed me the opportunity for day time work, flexible hours and St CCC is really accomodating with my availability. I had worked with a staff member at St CCC before and she gave me a run down on the types of job available.

What do you like about it?
The flexibility is awesome. The management is some of the best quality management I have seen: always more than willing to help, easy to talk to…The work life balance that you get out of it is pretty phenomenal. I do get time now to spend with my kids whilst still doing the hours that I need to, to be able to afford life. I honestly can’t speak highly enough of it.
I also like the clients that I see. The clients in a home care situation rather than a residential situation are so happy because they are in their own surroundings and they can still be themselves, because we provide the services that they need to maintain their independence.

Nathin Payne – Community Care Worker

How did you end up working in Aged Care?
I had two sisters that were working in Aged Care who had been harassing me for years to do it and I said that it wasn’t my thing. I worked in an office; I worked for the Cookie Company; I did the “graveyard shift” and in the end, I had enough of that. So I thought: “I will bite the bullet and give it a go.”

So what happened next?
So I joined St Carthage’s. I got my First Aid Certificate and joined as a Community Care Cleaner. It was what I expected it to be but in the end I just didn’t want to do 8 hours of cleaning every day.

How did you make the move into a Community Care Worker role?
So I spoke to Karla, the HR Manager and she put me in touch with ACE Community College and I did the Aged Care Cert III. I continued working at the Cookie Company and at St Carthage’s so I could complete that certificate.

How long did it take you?
I started it in November 2021 and finished in February 2022, just before the flood. Once I put my mind to something, I get stuck into it and get it done!

Once I obtained my Cert III, St Carthage’s transferred me from a cleaning role to a Community Care Worker role.

What do you like about being a CCW?
I like the people. It’s nice meeting different people. I like listening to their stories. I like not being stuck in an office all day. It’s good that St Carthages allows you to move up and do something different.

I am now also doing some NDIS work which I thoroughly enjoy.

You get to travel around. The days are never boring. As long as you are happy to do the kilometres – you get to see the country side!

Some people don’t like driving but it doesn’t bother me. It’s my ‘down time’

Sharon Fish – Lead Community Care Worker