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My career: Fatherhood and support work

We asked two Dads what it’s like to be a support worker for Inlife in the lead up to Father’s Day.

Bart's story

Looking after one baby can be exhausting, add twins to the mix and the degree of difficulty doubles.

But having a career that is family-friendly can make all the difference.

And for support worker Bart de Wind working for InLife has been a great way to manage the juggle.

This was particularly true when he and his partner were navigating the first few sleepless months as parents of twins, Ophelia and Aneja.

“I work with two clients, which gives me 6-8 hours in the afternoon which meant if we had a rough night, we could sleep in,” Bart said.

“The flexibility of choosing my own roster is amazing and, of course, InLife was very understanding.”

Originally from the Netherlands, Bart first started working in the health and disability sector almost 15 years ago.

He started off working in elderly care, before shifting to an organisation that focused on disability and also supported him to study at the same time.

Bart said he enjoyed being able to relate to people from all walks of life.

“When I was young, I easily levelled with any kind of person,” he said.

Self awareness and always wanting to improve, were other skills Bart said were important as a support worker.

“I think you really need that in support work because it’s not about you, it’s about them,” he said.

Bart arrived in Australia in 2020 and continued working in the sector throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns in Melbourne.

Chuck's story

Chuck first began support work as a student while studying building and construction at Deakin University after moving to Australia from Canada.

It provided him with the flexibility to work around his studies and growing family.

He and his wife recently welcomed baby Eric to the world - his 6th child.

After graduating from university Chuck became a site engineer, but was laid off during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chuck returned to support work with zero regrets, especially with the flexibility around shifts.

He recently returned from an overseas trip to Greece to see his 21-year-old daughter, a professional basketballer, play for the Canadian national team.

“We have time to spend with the family and also have time to be at work, it’s wonderful,” he said.

Chuck said one of the best things about working at Inlife was the organisation’s team-based approach to support work.

“I have a beautiful team,” he said.

“It’s so rewarding that you can see the smiles and the relationships – you go home happy that your clients are happy.”

“I love the difference we’re making in each client’s life.”

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