From homelessness to career happiness


Multicap Disability Support Worker (DSW) based in Rockhampton, Patrick, is on a well-deserved roll of good fortune having completed the Skilling Queenslanders for Work (SQW) training program, followed by securing his first role as a DSW, and most recently, being nominated for the Queensland Training Awards.

Prior to enrolling in the SQW course, Patrick was residing in a men’s homeless hostel following a series of adverse events, which started with the loss of his wife for whom he had been the primary carer for over eight years.

Patrick is known for his helpful nature and while at the hostel a JobActive provider prompted him to join the SQW program to obtain a Certificate III in Individual Support (Disability). The course led to employment at Multicap and according to Patrick he hasn’t looked back since.

“Being able to work has changed my life. I enjoy working with the customers and I can now buy the things I want, not just scrape by, getting the things I need.”

“I always like to help people as much as I can, and I enjoy seeing the difference it can make – even when caring for my late wife, it brought happiness every day to see small improvements,” Patrick said. “Now I work in Supported Independent Living (SIL) units, and I really enjoy getting to know the customers and seeing the impact I can have on the quality of their lives each day,” he said.

Patrick’s determination and dedication throughout the SQW course stood out which triggered the nomination for the Queensland Training Awards.

Multicap’s Skilling Queensland for Work Coordinator, Barbara said that completing the course while living at a homeless hostel presented its own challenges which Patrick was able to overcome while still helping others.

“He had very little privacy and it sometimes made study hard. Patrick’s only transport was his bicycle, and he regularly walked with another student, showing her a shortcut and for personal safety,” Barbara said. “The hostel had a curfew of 10:00 pm, so Patrick negotiated special permission to arrive home after the curfew, enabling him to complete the aged care placement.

“Still coping with the loss of his late wife, Patrick initially struggled with his work placement in aged care settings but with assistance from the project coordinator and support from fellow participants, he persevered and completed the hours required for placement in aged care which is a proud accomplishment,” she said.

Patrick is thankful for the opportunities the course has provided. 

“The course gave me skills to work in either disability or aged care, but my passion is for disability. I like doing something that I feel is not just a job, but a career,” Patrick said. “I want to eventually gain more qualifications in disability to take on more responsibility.”

“Working at Multicap is a lot of fun and really rewarding – I’m looking forward to a long career here,” he said. 

The Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative aims to deliver community-based training and job opportunities to unemployed Queenslanders. 

For more information about SQW courses, visit Multicap’s website.  

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