When Priya moved to Australia from India in 2015, little did she know she’d be living and working in Western Australia’s picturesque Kimberley region two years later.

While it was her first aged care role, Priya drew from her experience in caring for elderly family members back in her home country and applied it to her role as a multiskilled carer at Juniper Guwardi Ngadu Residential Aged Cared Home in Fitzroy Crossing.

“In India, it’s a cultural belief that we look after older people in our family,” she said.

“I cared for family when I was living in India and it’s something I really enjoyed.”

Undertaking her Certificate III in Aged Care, Priya spent a year in Fitzroy Crossing before transferring to Juniper Gerdewoonem Residential Aged Care Home in Kununurra with her young son and husband Rahul, who is currently the Home’s Residential Manager.

But when Priya hit a hurdle with her health last year, she was forced to take time off from the job she loved.

“I was on leave for three to four months, and then I started coming back to work slowly. But I found, as a carer, it is quite a physical job, so the work was quite difficult for me.”

Due to the physical demands of the role, Priya was unable to continue her role as a carer.

“I was thinking of changing jobs for lighter duties, then a position came up for a Client Care Advisor at Juniper Kununurra Day Centre,” she said.

“I thought it was a job that was meant for nurses, but I was told that Juniper can provide me with training to do that role, so I applied.”

After undergoing further training, Priya transitioned into the Client Care Advisor role in October where she now provides support to Juniper’s Home Care clients in Kununurra to help them live life well in their community.

“It is busy but I’m really enjoying it,” she said. “I’ve learnt a lot in this role and every day is different.

“I oversee the Home Care Packages for our clients, and I help to communicate our clients’ needs to the providers.

“The best thing that we can do to support our elderly people here in Kununurra is to keep them in their community. It is where they are happy, being surrounded by their family.”

Priya has built a good rapport with the Kununurra community over the years, so much so that many clients fondly refer to her as ‘Ja Ja’.

“They call me ‘Ja Ja’ which means ‘grandaughter’ in their language,” Priya laughed.

“Even though I am in this role, I still get to know my clients really well and I have a really good relationship with locals in the community.”

Priya credits her successful transition into the Client Care Advisor role to Juniper’s team of supportive colleagues and managers.

“For me personally, Juniper has really helped me and my family,” she said.

“They helped with us with our immigration process when we first came to Australia from India, they have been flexible and understanding when I had to take time off, and even though working remotely has had its challenges, the staff and management team have really supported us.”

Juniper Home Care are looking for kind and caring people to support older people in Wyndham and Kununurra.

To learn more, give Team Leader Kirsti Brandis a call on 08 9169 4602. 

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