StGiles, Migrant Resource Centre increase disability workers numbers

One Launceston migrant has swapped her duties as a housekeeper to working with people with disabilities. 

Rosemarie Gealon was just one of about 60 students who graduated from the Jobs in Disability program developed by the Migrant Resource Centre and StGiles.

For the last 18 months, three pilot programs have run with the graduates celebrating on Tuesday. 

StGiles’ client services director Mark Deverell said the idea for the program came during changes to the National Disability Insurance Scheme. 

“StGiles identified they didn’t have the workforce to meet the demand that was going to be created through the National Disability Insurance Scheme,” Mr Deverell said. 

“So we looked at where the potential workforce could be coming from and that’s when we approached the Migrant Resource Centre.”

The pilot program has had a 73 per cent employment success rate. 

“It’s not just about employment for StGiles, it’s about employment for the disability sector,” Mr Deverell said.  

Ms Gealon said she found the work really rewarding, saying she would go to work everyday if she could. 

“Even though they can’t talk and cannot walkcannot walk, you can tell they are happy you are there for them from their facial reaction,” she said.  

“That feeling is priceless.”

The Migrant Resource Centre’s chief executive Ella Dixon said it was a delight to watch friendships develop during each group and for people to be able to learn about cultural differences in a positive way.