Celebrating inspirational and brave women at Bupa
After migrating to Australia from Nepal, Sirjana Kc started her working life as cleaner and a farmer. Through sheer grit, determination and a passion for caring she's worked her way up the ladder to become the General Manager of Bupa Aged Care in Bankstown.
For International Women’s Day, Sirjana Kc spoke about great leadership, overcoming gaps, language barriers and inequality.
The General Manager at Bupa Bankstown drew on her experiences of climbing the ladder across a number of industries and giving back globally during times of need.
“I’ve been a cleaner, farmer, carer, nurse and now General Manager. It didn’t matter what I did because my success has always been based on being accountable and reliable,” Mrs Kc said.
“I remember when I came to Australia from Nepal, it was during the recession, so it was difficult to find work. I worked as a cleaner in Rockdale and was being severely underpaid, then worked on a farm in Melbourne’s Swan Hill.
“I was a nurse back home and wanted to get back into caring for people so I started in Aged Care while studying towards my nursing degree at Wollongong University."
For anyone just starting out, it’s humbling to know inspirational leaders like Sirjana weren’t born into a life of privilage.
“I started with Bupa as registered nurse, then went onto be a clinical care manager, and I am now the General Manager at our Bankstown home. When I look back, I’m proud of how far I’ve come.”
She said a combination of drive, determination and work ethic has always been paramount in her day to day ethos.
I was 22 when I arrived in Australia and I'm grateful to call this country home. It is the kind of place where anything is possible if you work hard enough. Bupa has supported my growth and I am extremely appreciative of that and the support I’ve received from my family.
The devastating earthquake that struck Nepal in 2015 hit close to home for Sirjana who raced to her home country alongside other aid workers, medical specialists and engineers from Australia to lend a hand.
“I remember taking a lady's blood pressure and looking at the queue of people waiting to see me and thinking, 'how am I going to help this many people?' But I just kept going with it.
“Everywhere you looked, there were injured people and homes destroyed. It’s hard for people who weren’t there to see the impact in Nepal, but the closest for Aussies to relate to is the Black Saturday bushfires."
The aid efforts were not helped by the battered roads that led many struggling to process support to where it was needed most.
“I remember being there when the aftershock hit, it was 7.3 on the Richter scale and you could see walls of buildings coming down before your eyes. We did what we could with the skills we had. There were people who were already traumatised but we gave as much as possible from our own pockets,” she said.
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