March 09, 2021
Published on Thursday 4 February, 2021
When Susana Vergara first moved to Australia from Chile she was searching for a change from the classroom but it wasn’t long before her passion for helping people drew her back to working with children.
A former high school English teacher in Chile, Susana landed in Darwin and started working in the hospitality industry. It wasn’t long before she was introduced to a Coordinator at Lifestyle Solutions who learnt of her background in teaching and encouraged her to apply for a Support Worker role with the Child and Family team.
“I started off working with Lifestyle Solutions in Tennant Creek of an evening and at a local childcare centre during the day.”
“I really enjoyed the opportunity to work with the Aboriginal community and this experience helped me learn a lot about residential care.”
“I then decided to go full-time with Lifestyle Solutions working with young children and babies as I absolutely loved it!” said Susana.
Susana, who is now sponsored by Lifestyle Solutions, has been working in the Child and Family team for almost four years in Support Worker and Live-in Carer roles.
After several years in Tennant Creek, Susana was motivated to further her career and pursue a master’s degree in special education.
“I found it very hard to leave the children I was working with in Tennant Creek but I knew I needed a change so I decided to pack up my belongings and make the road trip from Northern Territory to Albany,” said Susana.
Susana’s epic journey took five days. Starting in Tennant Creek she drove 4,735 kms stopping in Kununurra, Broome, Karratha and Geraldton before arriving in Albany.
“The drive was challenging at times with flash flooding on the roads and dodging kangaroos and trucks on the highway, but I loved the trip especially the giant boab trees in the Kimberley Region.”
“I was also surprised to meet some other Chileans on the way”, said Susana.
Welcomed with open arms by the Lifestyle Solutions team in Western Australian, Susana now works with teenagers in her new Live-in Carer role in Albany.
“The Western Australian team is just amazing! I feel welcomed, 100% supported, appreciated, heard and respected. I couldn't ask for anything more.”
“I’m really enjoying being able to use my transferable skills as a high school teacher and I find it so rewarding to be able to help these young people to build skills that they will use forever.”
“I go to bed tired at night but knowing I’m making a huge difference to someone’s life just makes my day.”
Susana is now enjoying her new beach lifestyle in Albany and is in the enrolment process for a master’s degree in special education.