NNHIW: Carer of the Year Award

Thank you so much again for notifying me yesterday about my award. I woke up this morning feeling great. I am very happy to be recognised for the work I do.

I am 28 years of aged now and began working casually in home-care when I began studying at university at the age of 18. My duties were a combination of personal care work and assistance in helping elderly clients keep their independence and supported them in all daily activities including shopping and medical appointments.

I went on to complete fitness certificates and took a keen interest in fitness for older adults. I went on to work part time in the health and fitness industry and assist elderly clients in understanding the importance of exercise and health. Back in 2000, on Saturdays I'd work in a facility as an 'activities' person. Not knowing anything about the role I took on, as well as, the lack of support and care in that particular facility, it pushed me into promoting quality of life within aged-care facilities.

I completed relevant certificates in aged care and grew more determined to create awareness in promoting active living for elderly. I began permanent work as a Diversional Therapist a few years ago. I have been successful in previous experiences, developing programs that enhanced residents physical and psychological needs. The only problem was my employers at the time, didn't have a clue what a Diversional Therapist was.

I have been fortunate to now be employed with the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, working in one of their facilities, Sumner House.

The difference between working in a facility that has no understanding of person centred care, to working with a manager in an organisation that has understanding, knowledge and most of all experience, is great.

Through my early experiences and dedication I will continue to learn more and help educate others in understanding what a Diversional Therapist actually does. The label of 'activities' itself, does not allow others to see the role for what it really is. I hope with this award, others will be inspired and willing to learn more about the diverse role a Diversional Therapist has.

As any job, one can complete numerous certificates and degrees but that does not mean the person is right for the job. I believe to be successful in something, it should come from the heart first. I have always been a believer in "think positive and you'll attract positive". I enjoy going to work every day and urge other Diversional Therapists, to believe in themselves because this award proves their role is fundamental to Aged Care and Community Services.

I would like to give special mention to the following, from the Brotherhood of St. Laurence: Sandra Hills, Alan Gruner and Robin Fuller for her continuous support. I look forward to accepting my award at the Daniel's Shield Fundraising Dinner and meeting new people.

Georgia Holton - Diversional Therapist
Sumner House - Brotherhood of St Laurence.

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