Two of Novita's passionate Social Workers, Bonnie & Hellen, chat about why they love supporting people living with disability to reach their goals.
Empowering kids, young people and adults living with a disability to achieve their life goals and be a voice for them, especially during times of hardship or vulnerability, is the key objective of Novita’s social workers.
Helping to provide safety and stability through a variety of support methods, such as client advocating, supporting families and providing on-going emotional support is the focus of two of Novita’s experienced social workers – Hellen Kinyua and Bonnie Hand.
Both Hellen and Bonnie came to Novita after completing their university degrees and at eight months and six years in their roles respectively, it’s safe to say that they aren’t looking back.
With a passion for helping others, their careers in social work began outside of Australia for both Bonnie and Hellen, whose career paths started through an interest in community development.
“I took 12 months off after school and lived in Bolivia in South America, so my eyes were really opened to community and how important it is to support people,” says Bonnie.
“I think that’s something that Australia does really well and when I came back home it was something I wanted to continue to be part of, I was really interested in community development and social policy.”
Hellen was born and raised in Kenya and says that caring for others has always been in her DNA. “It started when I was a little girl, I didn’t know then that it was social work, but looking back I think that is where my passion developed.”
“When I was little I used to save my pocket money and during Christmas, I used to visit different homes and buy food and clothes with my pocket money.
“I did Community Development because in Kenya we don’t have Social Work as a profession- and then I went back to Uni and did my Masters. I’m not a business person, I’m more into people and the community and that’s when I moved to Australia and focused on social work.”
According to Bonnie, “there is a lot to love about Novita”.
From multi-disciplinary opportunities for clients and staff to benefit from, through to client-centered approaches and welcoming, accepting and supportive colleagues – it’s all about finding the best staff to give clients the best support.
“Everyone I work with, all the other therapies – they are so welcoming,” says Hellen of her first eight months working at Novita.
Understanding the needs of clients and their families is central to being an effective social worker, as Bonnie highlights, “a lot of what we do is centred on the client and what we recognise really well at Novita is the family-centred practice.”
Although Hellen and Bonnie have had their share of challenges and hard times, it’s their clients who they fundamentally acknowledge as being the reason they truly love their profession and in particular, Bonnie draws personal inspiration from her clients.
“I really appreciate all my clients and their families, I think their resilience in the face of adversity is wonderful and inspirational and I love their willingness to share their lives with me.”
“I think one thing they do really well, is even though there’s struggles and hard times, they share with us their bad times and their wins. I really love being a part of their team.”