In light of National Carers Week (October 15-21), it is a timely reminder that some of the most rewarding careers aren’t the ones with fancy titles, but the ones that match our innate passions and desire to make a difference.
Barbara Solace Nyarkoh, 32, served as a civil servant at one of the Government agencies in her home country of Ghana before her husband was accepted to pursue a PhD in Australia.
Once the mother of three arrived in Queensland in March 2022, she struggled to find work until she gained employment as a support worker at Home Care Nurses Australia.
She always had a knack for caring for others, having nursed her ill mother, she said the job unlocked a deep passion, one that gave her a new sense of fulfilment.
“It was heartwarming when a client thanked me after my shift for the work I did for her.”
Mrs Nyarkoh said her job gives her the opportunity to help people relive their lives.
She said, “It is encouraging to know that the aged care industry is one of the most important sectors of the Australian economy, impacting lives in many positive ways.”
Despite aged care acquiring a huge portion of our Federal Budget, Mrs Nyarkoh would like to see changes to temporary visas to give migrant workers more stability while they contribute to the care sector.
The fickle nature of the temporary visa scheme saw the creation of the Aged Care Industry Labour Agreement, which aimed to improve the recruitment of qualified direct care workers from overseas to work in the sector – which includes a two-year pathway to permanent residence through the Employer Nomination Scheme.
“For care workers on temporary visas, it would be good if care workers are given special privileges to apply for permanent residency,” Mrs Nyarkoh explained.
But for anyone considering a career in aged care, Mrs Nyarkoh recommends they get in touch with their human instincts and common sense “in order to provide good care to the clients.”