News • 30 Aug 2019

Supporting the Indigenous community

Supporting the Indigenous community
Shaquillah (right) with Open Minds client, Renee. Photography by KZ Photography

Meet Shaquillah, an Open Minds Support Worker based in Townsville, who is passionate about helping clients to achieve their goals and especially enjoys connecting with Indigenous clients.

Shaquillah is still relatively new to Open Minds, having joined in April 2019 after her late uncle encouraged her to apply for the role of Support Worker.

Shaquillah may be new to the team but has already built positive relationships and is a popular face when she arrives to support her clients.

A typical day in Shaquillah’s role might involve supporting her clients to get ready for the day, helping them with daily activities such as preparing meals, activities out in the community, and completing progress notes when the shift has ended.

Shaquillah always familiarises herself with each client’s NDIS (National Disability Insurance Scheme) funding plan so that she understands their life goals.

This is in line with her key responsibilities in her role: to support clients to achieve their goals and to help them become more independent.

Often Shaquillah will support clients to prepare for a BBQ with their friends, this might mean helping them get organised with the right utensils and food, and being on hand should they need any help with cooking.

Shaquillah said: “The best part of my job is arriving at their house and seeing the smiles on their faces. Knowing that they look forward to seeing me is really special. Working with people who live with disabilities or mental illnesses is just the best.”

Shaquillah grew up looking after her grandfather who had a disability, which sparked a passion to want to support others with mental illness and disabilities.

“Being raised by my uncle and grandfather taught me to stand on my own two feet. I enjoy my work and I thank my uncle for this job at Open Minds, as he pushed me to apply before he passed away.” Shaquillah said.

Shaquillah completed a Certificate III in Children Services and is now studying for a Certificate III in Individual Support to further her learning.

Being Indigenous helps Shaquillah to connect with other Indigenous clients, and helps her on a personal level to connect with the community. 

Shaquillah said: “When I’m working with Indigenous clients, I feel that we understand each other. We all know each other somehow, whether it’s through family, friends or sport.”

Outside of work, Shaquillah enjoys spending time with her two daughters and has every Friday night locked in as family time.

She also enjoys travelling and is aiming to study at University one day.

Want to find out more about working at Open Minds? Visit our careers page and submit an expression of interest today.

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Photography by KZ Photography.