Marwa puts ability in disability

People with a disability can spend much of their life overcoming barriers, but Marwa's job with Bupa is helping to shift perceptions of what can be achieved.

Marwa enjoys watching soccer, whether it’s a local game or an international tournament, is learning to drive and works in laundry services at Bupa Aged Care in Greenacre.

These may look like humble life ambitions, but what makes them so remarkable is that Marwa lives with a moderate intellectual disability.

She has been working at the home for five months and was employed through JobSupport which specialises in helping young people with an intellectual disability to find employment.

“Working in aged care is greater than I thought it would be. I really enjoy saying hello and good morning to people and seeing them smile,” Marwa said.

“I think this is way better than school and I like caring for people. Everyone here has been so nice to me,” she said.

One in five Australians are living with a disability but only 53 percent of them are employed.

“The team at Bupa and JobSupport have been so supportive. When I first started here, I didn’t know how to unload the washing machine but the girl I work with (Teresa) told me to take my time with things,” Marwa said.

The home’s Acting General Manager, Barbara Chipere said Marwa has been a great addition to the team.

The most important attribute for someone to work at a Bupa is that they’re caring. Marwa has this quality in spades.
Barbara Chipere, Acting General Manager at Bupa Aged Care Greenacre

“We have worked with Marwa’s case manager to develop a training program which highlights what works well and what challenges we need to overcome so we can ensure Marwa has a long career with us.

“I know for a fact that the staff, residents and their relatives who have met Marwa have really taken a liking to her. She handles tasks with grace and fits like a glove into our tight knit team,” she said.

JobSupport Manager, Melissa Clark said people with disability spend much of their lives overcoming barriers and one that’s often out of their hands is finding a job.

“We aim to remove the visible and invisible barriers that prevent people with disability from finding work. We are grateful that companies like Bupa have welcomed Marwa into a job with open arms and provided the necessary support for her to thrive at work,” Ms Clark said.

“We support employers like Bupa in helping employees fit into their role and in the process are helping to change perceptions of what people with a disability can achieve in the workplace.”

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