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Suzanne’s Journey: Focus, Training, Dedication and Transformation and now loving life again.

Suzanne found meaningful employment with the collaboration of Wesley Mission and TURSA

Interview with Suzanne – TURSA Participant

“Loving life”

Suzanne, it’s great to have you here today. How did TURSA support you in gaining confidence and securing a job you love?

Absolutely. When I returned from Bundaberg with my individual support in disability, I faced challenges getting into aged care. But thankfully, Kim at TURSA suggested that CHS Training offered personal support and aged care courses, so I enrolled.

That sounds like a pivotal moment. So, Suzanne, you enrolled into the course. How did that go?

Yes, I did the course about 18 months ago and finished it successfully. CHS were amazing and treated me like family.

Fantastic. Please tell us more about Kim’s support during this time.

Kim’s support was instrumental in my journey. She helped me get into training and assisted in finding job opportunities. I used to work for Daugherty, and now I’m with Wesley. Kim helped secure both those positions.

What other services or supports did Kim connect you with?

Kim helped boost my self-confidence a lot. It wasn’t just about finding jobs but about believing in myself and my abilities.

That’s wonderful to hear. Suzanne, how has your life changed since completing the course?

My job satisfaction has increased significantly. I love working in out-of-home care; it’s much more fulfilling. And thanks to Kim’s support, I feel more confident and capable in my role.

Suzanne, could you tell us about your journey with TURSA from the first time you joined?

I was with TURSA for about 6-7 months initially, and while I didn’t find work then, I continued my education. Then, I spent nine months in a nursing home, but it wasn’t the right fit for me. That’s when Kim suggested Wesley Mission, and the rest is history.

 Suzanne, how quickly did things progress once Kim suggested Wesley?

It was amazing. Kim submitted my resume, and the next day, I got a call for an interview at Wesley. It felt like everything fell into place perfectly.

That’s incredible. It’s clear that TURSA and Kim, CHS Training and Wesley Mission  have been invaluable in your journey, Suzanne. Thank you for sharing your story with us today.

Berrick Hardwick – Fresh and Frozen: A Journey into Work

Berrick Freshnfrozen Tursa

 Meet Berrick Hardwick

Berrick Hardwick, a ‘driving force’ at Fresh and Frozen, has a remarkable story of resilience and determination. After surviving a severe heart attack, Berrick found himself longing to return to work. His journey led him to TURSA, an approachable employment agency that would change his life.

The Turning Point

What brought you to TURSA?

Berrick explains, “I had been on Disability Employment Services (DES) for five years after my near-death experience. I was tired of sitting idle and wanted to get back to work. That’s when I was referred to TURSA at Coomera, and later, I moved to Beenleigh.”

Navigating the TURSA Process

Berrick found TURSA’s support invaluable. They helped him with paperwork and phone usage and provided expert guidance. “TURSA is probably the best agency I’ve ever worked with,” he says. “Their communication is excellent, and they genuinely care about their participants.”

From Business Owner to Courier Driver

Having owned his own business previously, Berrick was no stranger to hard work. However, due to health concerns, he needed to explore new avenues. “I considered driving buses,” he recalls. “But my heart condition made it challenging. Instead, I looked for courier or driver jobs.”

Unfortunately, a bus job near Hyperdome didn’t meet his expectations. “They wanted us to clean buses after hours without pay,” Berrick shares. “It wasn’t feasible. That’s when I turned to Frishta, my Disability Employment Advocate.”

A New Beginning

Frishta introduced Berrick to FreshnFrozen, where he found purpose and stability. “I work Monday to Friday, 9 to 12 hours a day,” he says. “The salary setup allows flexibility; some days, I finish earlier.”

Overcoming Challenges

Being out of work for an extended period took a toll on Berrick. “I struggled with anxiety and lost confidence,” he admits. “But thanks to TURSA’s support, I’ve improved. Dealing with clients is easier now.”

Words of Wisdom

When asked what advice he’d give a friend, Berrick doesn’t hesitate. “Just go and see TURSA,” he emphasises. “They understand, listen, and genuinely help. Unlike other agencies, TURSA doesn’t push you aside. They’re here for you.”

Berrick’s journey with TURSA and Fresh and Frozen exemplifies the power of resilience and community support. If you’re seeking employment assistance, take a page from Berrick’s book—visit TURSA and discover a path to meaningful work.

Berrick, His Wife, and the Journey of Resilience

A Car Accident and a Helping Hand

Berrick and his wife faced a life-altering car accident. In the aftermath, TURSA stepped in to provide support. His wife, who was also registered with TURSA, needed assistance. Frishta,  ensured they had access to transportation—whether Uber rides or other means—to help them navigate their challenges and maintain access to employment.

Bob’s Generosity

But the story doesn’t end there. Bob, Owner at Fresh and Frozen, went above and beyond. He lent Berrick one of his personal cars, ensuring that Berrick could continue his journey of employment. Bob’s generosity made a significant impact, allowing Berrick to regain independence and mobility.

A Remarkable Transformation

And then came an unexpected twist. Berrick’s wife, who had been legally blind, also found employment through TURSA. Today, she works full-time, defying the odds. Her vision has improved, and she can now see the world around her.

A Tale of Resilience

Berrick, his wife, and the entire support network—Frishta, Bob, and TURSA—have woven a tale of resilience, compassion, and determination. Their journey reminds us that sometimes, it takes a village to transform lives.

If you’re facing challenges, remember that allies are ready to walk alongside you. Visit TURSA, and let your journey begin.

 

Lionel’s Journey: From Casual Musician to Warehouse Worker

Lionel Tursa Employment & Training

Meet Lionel

Lionel, a talented keyboard player, has faced his share of challenges. His journey to meaningful employment took him through twists and turns, but it ultimately led him to TURSA, where he found a supportive community and a chance to make a difference.

The Prelude

Before joining TURSA, Lionel’s work history was unconventional. “I’ve played music,” he says, “and some might consider that a ‘real’ job. But I hadn’t held down consistent employment for a long time—maybe 15 to 20 years.”

 

The Turning Point

Enter TURSA. Lionel’s Disability Employment Advocate encouraged him to explore job opportunities. Initially hesitant, Lionel decided to give it a shot. “I didn’t think I’d succeed,” he admits. But when he landed a job, everything changed.

A Positive Impact

Working at Fresh and Frozen—both in the warehouse and as a delivery driver—proved transformative. “It’s been great for my mental health,” Lionel shares. “And it’s helped me feel more connected to the world.”

TURSA provided essential support, from petrol assistance to resume building. “They genuinely care,” Lionel emphasises. “They understand the challenges and provide practical solutions.”

Looking Back

Reflecting on his 12 months at Fresh and Frozen, Lionel wishes he’d started this journey 20 years ago. “I feel better,” he says. “More a part of the planet.”

Overcoming Obstacles

Lionel battled depression and anxiety before finding stability through work. “Keeping busy is essential,” he notes. “And there are plenty of resources out there.”

A Beacon of Understanding

TURSA’s approach resonated with Lionel. “They listen,” he explains. “They connect you with the right contacts. It’s about understanding and support.”

Lionel’s story underscores the power of perseverance and community. If you’re navigating your own path, take inspiration from Lionel—visit TURSA and discover how they can help you find your place in the world.

Frishta: Guiding the Journey

Meet Frishta

As a Disability Employment Advocate at TURSA, Frishta plays a pivotal role in the success stories of participants like Berrick and Lionel. Her dedication and understanding have made a lasting impact.

A Pleasure to Serve

Frishta reflects, “Working with Berrick and Lionel has been a pleasure. Each client brings a unique backstory, motivations, and expectations. Many have tried other service providers, and they arrive at TURSA with a mix of hope and scepticism.”

 

Frishta Disability Employment Advocate TURSA

Listening and Empowering

Frishta’s approach is simple yet powerful. “I listen,” she says. “I empower them to recognise their potential. There’s often resistance, but that’s part of the journey.”

Trial and Error

Navigating employment opportunities involves trial and error. “We send clients to job interviews, refer them to positions,” Frishta explains. “Sometimes it works seamlessly; other times, we adjust. With Berrick and Lionel, we’ve been by their side throughout.”

The Right Fit

Berrick faced medical clearance challenges for specific jobs. “We backed out,” Frishta recalls. “But we persisted. We won’t settle until we find the right fit.”

Beyond Placement

Frishta’s commitment extends beyond job placement. “We stay connected,” she emphasises. “Life gets busy, but we’re here—supporting, encouraging, and ensuring they thrive.”

A great employer makes all the difference

Understanding employers like Bob at FreshNFrozen play a pivotal role in fostering a positive work environment.

Bob’s commitment to his staff goes beyond the conventional employer-employee relationship. By providing his own personal vehicle to an employee in need, he demonstrates empathy and genuine concern. Such actions not only retain valuable team members but also create a sense of loyalty and trust.

Bob’s philosophy—that success hinges on understanding individual needs and aligning them with business goals—holds true. It’s not merely about the job service provider; it’s about the person behind it, someone who comprehends the intricacies of the business and ensures the right people are in place. Bob’s approach exemplifies effective leadership and underscores the importance of human connections in the workplace. 

Berrick, Frishta and Lionel at FreshnFrozen talking about employment goals and success

Words of Wisdom

For those seeking employment, Frishta offers advice: “Reach out. We understand. We’re here to help. TURSA isn’t just an agency; it’s a community.”

Beric, Lionel, and countless others owe their progress to advocates like Frishta and dedicated Disability Employment Advocates who work tirelessly to help them achieve their goals. If you’re on your own journey, remember: TURSA is ready to walk alongside you.

Qquick links services for Disability

Australia provides various support services for individuals with disabilities, encompassing physical, financial, and mental health support. These services aim to enhance the quality of life, independence, and inclusion of people with disabilities. Here are some essential support services available in Australia:

Capital Supports Budget
Capital Supports include higher-cost pieces of assistive technology, equipment and home or vehicle modifications, and funding for one-off purchases you may need (including Specialist Disability Accommodation).
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National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS):

  • The NDIS is a significant initiative in Australia that provides financial support and assistance to individuals with disabilities. It covers various services such as assistive technology, personal care, therapy, and community participation.

Disability Support Pension (DSP):

  • The DSP is a financial assistance program administered by Centrelink. It provides income support to individuals with a severe disability who cannot work or participate in substantial employment.

Assistive Technology and Equipment Programs:

  • Various programs and organisations offer assistance in acquiring assistive technology and equipment to improve the independence and mobility of individuals with physical disabilities. Find our more about Assistive Technology with the NDIS here or, google your local providers e.g. Assistive technology suppliers Tweed Heads

Personal Care and Support Services:

  • Personal care services, including in-home care and support workers, are available to help individuals with daily tasks such as dressing, bathing, and meal preparation. More information here.
There are various personal care and support services available google in your local area.

Carer Support Programs:

  • Carers play a crucial role in supporting individuals with disabilities. Various programs support carers, including respite care, counselling, and educational resources. Information on Carer Support Here.

Accessible Housing Programs:

  • Government and community organisations work to improve access to suitable housing for people with disabilities, ensuring that homes are adapted to accommodate various physical needs. More information here.
Transport Disability Support Services

Transportation Assistance:

  • Specialised transportation services are available to assist individuals with disabilities in travelling to medical appointments, work, or social activities.
Advocacy and Information Services TURSA

Advocacy and Information Services:

  • Advocacy groups and information services guide and support individuals with disabilities and their families, helping them understand their rights, access services, and navigate the system.
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Employment Support Programs:

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Education and Training Programs:

  • Various educational institutions and organisations offer programs tailored to individuals with disabilities, promoting skill development, inclusive education, and lifelong learning opportunities. TURSA is a Registered Training Organisation that focuses on providing the upskilling needed to meet specific job requirements.
occupational therapy TURSA

Therapeutic Services:

  • Physical and occupational therapy and speech therapy are available to individuals with disabilities to enhance their physical and communication abilities.  Google the nearest provider in your area for support.

It’s important to note that the availability and structure of support services may vary between states and territories. Additionally, eligibility criteria and application processes may differ for different programs. Individuals and their families are encouraged to contact relevant government agencies and disability service providers for detailed information and guidance tailored to their needs and circumstances.

Understanding Invisible Disabilities and Breaking Barriers: TURSA’s Supportive Approach

Invisible disabilities significantly impact an individual’s daily life but may not be immediately apparent to others. These conditions among others include chronic pain, mental health disorders, and cognitive impairments. While these disabilities may not have visible physical manifestations, their effects are real and can create significant challenges for individuals in various aspects of their lives.

Invisible barriers - disability employment services - TURSA

Barriers Presented by Invisible Disabilities

Living with invisible disabilities can present unique barriers that society does not always understand or accommodate. Some of these barriers include:

Misunderstanding and Stigma: Due to the lack of visible signs, individuals with invisible disabilities often face scepticism or disbelief from others, leading to misconceptions and social stigmatisation.

Limited Accessibility: Many public spaces and services may not be adequately equipped/trained to accommodate the needs of individuals with invisible disabilities, making it challenging to fully participate in various activities.

Workplace Challenges: Invisible disabilities can affect an individual’s ability to perform tasks, concentrate, or interact with colleagues, potentially leading to workplace discrimination or difficulties securing and maintaining employment.

Isolation: The hidden nature of these disabilities can lead to isolation and loneliness as individuals may struggle to connect with others who don’t understand their experiences.

TURSA’s Supportive Approach

At TURSA, we understand the unique challenges of invisible disabilities, and we are committed to providing tailored support to help individuals overcome these barriers and thrive. Our range of services includes:

Personalised Employment Assistance: Our team works closely with individuals to identify their strengths, skills, and goals, offering job placement, skills training, and workplace accommodation support to ensure meaningful and fulfilling employment.

Mental Health and Well-being Programs: We offer access to counseling services and mental health resources to help individuals manage the emotional and psychological aspects of living with invisible disabilities.

Skills Enhancement Workshops: TURSA provides workshops and training sessions to enhance skills and abilities, empowering individuals to gain confidence and pursue personal and professional growth.

Advocacy and Awareness: We actively work to raise awareness about invisible disabilities and advocate for a more inclusive society that recognises and supports the needs of all individuals.

Join Us in Breaking Barriers

At TURSA, everyone deserves an opportunity to succeed, regardless of their visible or invisible challenges. Our dedicated team is here to offer guidance, resources, and support to help you navigate the unique obstacles you may face. We break down barriers and create a more inclusive and compassionate community where you can dream, set goals, and work towards your future.

Contact us today to learn more about how TURSA can assist you toward a brighter future.

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