Daniel’s passion to improve people’s lives has developed into a career

Thursday, 27 May 2021

When Daniel first approached EPIC Assist (EPIC) for help finding paid work, he had a clear goal: to one day become a Disability Support Worker. Having had the opportunity to access support himself, Daniel felt that with the right opportunity and the right employer, he could work with others to help them achieve their goals.

Daniel had completed his Certificate III in Individual Support and a couple of work placements but had not been able to secure ongoing paid work in his chosen field.

“I have mild autism, so I came to EPIC because I struggled in the regular job system and needed a bit of extra support and understanding. I needed assistance to find the job that was right for me,” said Daniel.

Having had previous positive experiences with Coastal Residential Service (CRS), EPIC Assist Tasmanian Regional Coordinator, Michael Kelly, arranged a meeting with their CEO, Dee Kapene. Michael discussed Daniel’s achievements and goals with Dee who enthusiastically agreed to meet with Daniel to potentially offer him a work trial.

Michael was initially a little worried about Daniel’s interview because he has struggled with them previously.

“My advice to Daniel was to take this opportunity to show Dee and the other staff from CRS just how passionate he was about becoming a Disability Support Worker. To be open and honest about himself, and that hopefully would be enough to get him through the door,” said Michael.

However, Michael did not need to worry as Daniel nailed in his interview.

“He spoke passionately about his goal to work with people to improve the quality of their lives and achieve their goals. He clearly showed that this was not ‘just a job’ to him, but a goal that he was very passionate and enthusiastic about. They could not say no!”

After completing a short work trial, mentored by CRS staff, Daniel was offered a permanent position as a Disability Support Work – his dream job.

Daniel’s day-to-day is very different, as it depends on the needs and wants of his clients. Common duties include cleaning, cooking, supporting clients with personal care, and other domestic duties.

“My favourite duties include making the grocery list and driving the van. However, my favourite part of the job is ultimately knowing that I am making an impact with the clients through positive feedback. Seeing the clients develop helps my self-esteem and growth as well,” said Daniel.

Since starting his role over six months ago, Daniel has noticed huge improvements in himself both professionally and personally.

“I have definitely gained more confidence. I remember when I first started, I was fairly nervous and unsure about how to interact with clients. I was hesitant about my first shift alone and thought it would be too much. Now, I find communication is not as challenging. I am more talkative with the clients and can adapt with each client to communicate in a way that suits their needs,” said Daniel.

Dee and the entire team at CRS have also witnessed Daniel’s enthusiasm and development in this short time.

“Dee believes it is Daniel’s passion for making a difference to people with disability and his attention to process and detail that make him such a valued and respected member of their team,” said Michael.

Daniel and a man stand together on stage both holding a framed certificate.
Daniel was presented an award at the Tasmanian Young Achievers Awards

CRS recognised Daniel’s continuous hard work and dedication by nominating him for the Tasmanian Young Achievers Award. Daniel was a semi-finalist in the Services to Disability Sector category and was presented with an award at the Gala Dinner in Hobart.

If like Daniel you are looking for extra support to find not just any job but a job you love, contact EPIC today.

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