Madeleine lands her dream job

Madeleine lands her dream job

Madeleine Thompson dreamed of becoming a nurse when she was still in primary school. Now she’s living the dream, having recently secured a permanent role as an Assistant in Nursing at St Joseph’s Nursing Home in the northern NSW town of Lismore.

“I’m really enjoying it,” Madeleine says. “I’m on nights three or four shifts a week which has taken a bit of adjustment, eight hours each shift and finishing at 7.30am.”

To get to where she is now hasn’t been an easy road for Madeleine, now 20. She was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and autism/Aspergers while in primary school, and struggled with understanding social cues and maintaining friendships throughout her school years.

“I had to move schools due to bullying,” Madeleine says. “My diagnosis is a lot less common in females than males and it just marked me out as different to anyone else in my peer group.

“My autism is very mild but the ADHD did affect my ability to focus on schoolwork, plus the classroom environment could be a bit difficult due to my heightened sensitivity to noises and other distractions – things like tapping pens, clicking heels or certain smells.”

Madeleine joined the National Disability Insurance Scheme when it rolled out across the Northern Rivers region in 2017 and has been supported by NDIS Local Area Coordinator partner in the community Social Futures since then.

“I spent most of my high school years at a school where they gave me a lot of educational support but the therapeutic supports I receive through my NDIS plan have been really good for my social skills,” she says.

“Since leaving school at the end of 2018 I’ve put a plan manager in place and now make my own decisions about the supports I receive, with support from my Local Area Coordinator, Trudy, as required.”

After finishing school she enrolled in a six-month TAFE course to gain her Health Services Assistant in Aged and Acute Care Certificate while working part-time. Her course included a week’s work placement at St Vincent’s Hospital in Lismore and another week at St Joseph’s, before graduating in December 2019.

“The aged care manager at St Joseph’s asked me at the end of my work placement whether I would consider applying for a job there,” she says. “At the time I was more interested in pursuing the clinical side but I decided to apply anyway.

“I missed the application deadline but they said they’d look at all the resumés again in January this year. In mid-February I got a call to attend an interview, which I passed, provided my references, attended the induction day – and now here I am!

“All the residents in my wing have dementia and they’re mostly asleep during the night. There’s 45 residents in total with me and another person on hand if they need any assistance with personal care, settling them or helping them with anything.”

Madeleine says social relationships remain her biggest struggle.

“I’ve got a social worker, a psychologist and a psychiatrist funded under my plan and the psychologist in particular has been really good at helping me with strategies to get through the social stuff,” she says. “If I need a bit of extra help, she’s there for me.

“Having said that I’ve had no issues at all in my workplace, they’re all really supportive and lovely people and I one hundred per cent enjoy working there. They’re all very caring.”

Outside work, Madeleine has now found her own place to live and enjoys listening to music and riding her horse – “those two things are really good for self-therapy”.

“I adopted a horse about a year ago, he’s called Clancy,” she says, adding that one day she wants to own more horses on her own farm, “but you have to be rich for that!”

In the meantime she’s focused on her nursing career.

“I’ve loved the journey so far and it will set me up for what I want to do later on,” she says. “I’m aiming to work in my current role for a year, then study registered nursing at Southern Cross Uni in Lismore while continuing to work part time.

“I’ve always loved little kids but never wanted to be a primary school teacher or a childcare worker – midwifery was always the big aim, so I could work with babies.”

“Working in remote areas would be pretty cool too.”

The NDIS provides Australians who have a permanent and significant disability with the supports they need to live more independently and to increase their social and economic participation.

The NDIS is providing support to almost 120,000 people across NSW. There are almost 365,000 people benefiting from the NDIS nationally, including more than 154,000 people who are receiving support for the first time.

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

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TAFE Teacher of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts

TAFE NSW is looking for individuals with current industry experience and knowledge in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts to join its team of teachers on a part-time casual basis at Lismore.

Applicants for this position must be of Aboriginal descent by parentage, identify as being Aboriginal and be accepted in the community as such. An applicant’s race is a genuine occupational qualification and is authorised under Section 14(d) of the NSW Anti-Discrimination Act 1977.

The position is currently advertised on [email protected] and IworkforNSW with a closing date of 21 November 2018.

Teacher of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Cultural Arts

Post expires at 2:34pm on Wednesday November 21st, 2018

Border Force Officer Recruit Traineeships

The Department of Home Affairs and the Australian Border Force have announced that applications for Border Force Officer Recruit Traineeships (BFORT) are now open, closing on Sunday 18 November 2018.

The ABF invitex applications from people with different cultural backgrounds, race, ethnicity, disability, age, gender identity or sexual orientation.

In support of the Indigenous Employment Strategy, an Affirmative Measures (Indigenous) recruitment pathway will run alongside the standard vacancy and is open to community members who identify as Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. For more information about diversity in the ABF visit our website.

All candidates must meet the following requirements:

  • an Australian citizen
  • 18 years of age or older
  • able to attain and maintain an Australian Government security clearance and Employment Suitability Clearance
  • able to attain and maintain relevant medical and fitness standards
  • have completed a Year 12 education, or Year 10 with a trade certificate or Year 10 with a Cert IV and/or equivalent
  • willing to meet the requirements of a Border Force Officer (including the completion of Operational Safety Training and be willing to carry and use personal defence equipment, including a firearm, if required).
  • Able to provide proof of heritage if applying for the Affirmative Measures (Indigenous) vacancies

The link to the advertised positions can be found in the recruitment portal.

For any queries in relation to applying or the BFORT program please email HOBAN Recruitment on [email protected] or call them on 1300 109 166.


Post expires at 7:15pm on Sunday November 18th, 2018

Red Cross save-a-mate project officer

Red Cross is looking for an energetic, experienced person to deliver the save-a-mate (SAM) Drug and Alcohol harm minimisation workshop to schools and community groups. Applications close: 19 November 2018.

The position also involves training community-based staff to deliver SAM to their program participants. The Project Officer will be responsible for facilitating workshops, developing and maintaining relationships and partnerships in line with Red Cross strategic direction. Additionally, the Project Officer will also be responsible for supporting and mentoring participants undertaking the SAM Train-the-Trainer (TTT) initiative.

For more information, please visit:


Post expires at 6:21pm on Monday November 19th, 2018

Volunteer fundraising coordinator and assistants

Do you have enthusiasm and passion to creatively make a difference in your community? The Family Centre is seeking an enthusiastic Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator to drive and lead other volunteers in fundraising initiatives and assist with creative ideas contributing to a comprehensive fundraising plan for the organisation.
They are also seeking volunteers to join their vibrant fundraising team. Assist with generating fundraising ideas through to planning and organising projects and activities.

Volunteer fundraising contributes to raising funds for unique community projects and support local families experiencing disadvantage.
For more information contact Lotte Boer, Volunteer Coordinator (07) 5524 89711 or [email protected]

Volunteer Fundraising Coordinator Position Description

Post expires at 5:07pm on Friday November 30th, 2018

Trainee Administration Support Officer

OTCP/3SA has a vacancy for a Trainee Administration Support Officer in Ballina. This role will involve completing on the job training for the certificate III in Business Administration. Applications close: 9am Monday 6 August 2018.

If you are looking for a rewarding career in a community service environment supporting Case Workers in Homelessness Service and Mental Health Service then this is the ideal position for you.

Working with 3SA means you’ll be part an organisation which creates positive and lasting change in people’s lives.

See the OTCP website for full details.

Post expires at 2:14pm on Monday August 6th, 2018

Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.