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Mum-of-eight finds her niche in disability work

Team member Mel Doherty found workplace flexibility and a career path when she joined InLife.

As a mum of eight children, Mel Doherty is no stranger to the juggling act that is modern motherhood.

But after spending 15 years at home as a stay-at-home mum, it took her a couple of years to find a job that was the right fit when she rejoined the workforce.

“It's a very different change going back to work, but a positive one,” she said.

“I didn't think I’d get a job anywhere, I’d worked in child care and supermarkets and stopped when I was 18.”

When Mel first re-entered the workforce she worked long hours on her feet at a supermarket before dipping her toes in support work for the first time

But it was while she was working in the deli section that she was first introduced to InLife.

“I had a friend who worked for InLife and she’d bring her clients into the supermarket while I was working - that’s where it all started,” she said.

Mel applied and started working with InLife as a support worker about three years ago.

“I made it work and I loved every minute of it - it’s about building relationships with clients,” she said.

“We’re a huge part of their (client’s) lives and it’s very special.”

For the first time in her life, Mel also found a career path open up to her.

After two years she was promoted to Assistant Coordinator and then became a fully fledged Coordinator in March this year.

“This role has meant so much to me and my family, to have the opportunities I have now,” Mel said.

“It’s definitely great to have that path, I never imagined that I’d be here (in this position) now.”

Mel, who loves learning, also went back to study disability when she first got into the industry.

“I chose to do that for myself,” she said.

The workplace flexibility at InLife has been a big win for both Mel and the family.

“For me it has meant the world having that flexibility around what I need to do - I can

manage my time to go and pick up my kids from school, ensure they have a home cooked dinner from mum and then kiss my kids goodnight,” she said.

“All this whilst having such a meaningful career!”

While there are always ups and downs in any job, Mel said having a supportive workplace made all the difference.

“I feel like as much as there are tough days and juggling things is sometimes challenging. I still feel like I have it all,” she said.

“I have beautiful children, a grandchild on the way, a wonderful partner, great friends. and I work within the most supportive, amazing team at work building a career that means so much to me in every way.”

And the best part of the job - inspiring her kids who range in age from 8 to 22.

“For my kids to see what I've achieved makes me so happy and proud,” Mel said.

“My 16-year-old wants to do disability support now. She has made this decision all on her own despite some backlash from peers and she stands by her decision for her future which I could not be more proud of.”

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