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How disability support workers can empower others

Bree Payet let her ambition guide her to the CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability and a job in Holmesglen’s award-winning partnership with The Royal Children’s Hospital.

Starting as a Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning student, Bree drew inspiration from those around her, setting her on the path to a new career as a disability support worker.

“I pursued my vocational education because I wanted to empower, uplift and improve the quality of life of those living with disability,” Bree says.

Jobs site Seek predicts the number of disability support worker roles will increase by 25 per cent over the next five years. Bree’s experience shows how you can go from being a student to a professional who uses their qualification and career to benefit others.

What does a disability support worker do?

Disability support workers ensure people with disability are supported in the way that each person with disability chooses to be supported. 

These professionals undertake important tasks that include supporting a person with disability to: 

  • live independently in their own home in the way they choose to live
  • engage in, and maintain meaningful employment
  • develop friendships and networks
  • participate in social and recreational life.

What are the qualities of a good disability support worker?

Disability support workers perform essential and invaluable work daily. To help people with disability, you need to provide a range of physical, emotional and social support.

Bree believes disability support workers need:

  • compassion
  • understanding
  • empathy
  • patience
  • reliability.

“The Certificate IV in Disability impacted me in such a positive way. It taught me about inclusion, wellbeing and social integrity. I gained a true sense of purpose from my course,” says Bree.

Why is a disability support worker a rewarding career?

Bree used her education to support her community and grow her career options. In her case, becoming a disability support worker was rewarding in three ways.

Firstly, she gained personal fulfilment when working as a volunteer at the Edmund Rice Foundation, where she received The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award for helping disadvantaged families, refugees and the homeless.

“I learned a lot and became extremely passionate about wanting to help people,” Bree says.

Secondly, she has seen how her work directly improves the lives of others. Bree moved into disability support after working at a café next to a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) building. Many of her customers were people living with disability.

“I loved seeing these people, who might’ve struggled when I first met them, then start reaching their goals, and achieving and doing things they never thought were possible because of having the right support workers in their life,” she says.

Thirdly, as a Holmesglen Disability Support Worker, Bree now gives back by helping integrated practical placement students at The Royal Children’s Hospital. This partnership gives Holmesglen work education students living with a disability the chance to complete practical placements at the hospital, which has led to employment opportunities.

“Through this program, I interact with a variety of people, including educators, job coaches, The Royal Children’s Hospital staff as well as the students. I work independently with the students and identify any barriers or issues they face and try to find a solution.”

How can I become a disability support worker?

The CHC43115 Certificate IV in Disability is a qualification that will allow you to work as a disability support worker across healthcare settings or with employment services.

Our course is run at our Chadstone campus and can be completed as full-time study over one year.

We also run the 22469VIC Course in Introduction to the National Disability Insurance Scheme, which provides a snapshot of the NDIS and how disability support workers can work with people who access the scheme.

Find out what you can achieve at our disability courses page.


All information is correct at the time of printing but subject to change.

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