‘There is no job like it’ Teen’s unusual passion
NO job is more fulfilling for Rockhampton 23-year-old Ira Donohue than looking after the region’s most vulnerable- the elderly and those with disabilities.
For the past five years he’s worked for CentacareCQ as a support worker caring for some of the 2,000 Central Queensland clients in need of assistance.
As a young boy Ira was inspired to become a support worker after seeing the way support workers cared for his grandfather.
“I always looked at the people who cared for him and they did the best job they could,” Ira said.
“I thought if I could do what they did I’d be doing something worthwhile.”
“I always wanted to do a job that wasn’t just a number. I always wanted to make a difference.”
Completing work placement in his final year at school sparked his passion for the sector and it’s been growing ever since – he couldn’t imagine doing anything else.
“There is no job like it,” he said.
“I love my job. I feel like I’m the right sort of person to do it – it’s not a job that you go to for the money.”
When he first started as a 17-year-old Ira spent his days visiting clients to help them live independent lives by assisting with bathing, respite care and any other form of support.
“When I started at Centacare I just found it wasn’t really work,” he said.
“I really enjoyed looking after the oldies and listening to their stories.”
Watching some of his clients wait for government funding and home care packages is a challenge but he is determined to give the best care possible.
“Some of that stuff is pretty confronting but I look at it like I’m giving them dignity, choice and respect,” he said.
“A support worker directly assists clients in their own home to help them maintain independence and help them with anything they need.”
He was recently promoted to senior support worker and became more involved in business management.
While the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety highlights issues in the industry, CentacareCQ chief executive Robert Sims said it was important to recognise the passionate people in the sector.
“People go above and beyond everyday to make the lives of their patients better,” Mr Sims said.
And while Ira provides support daily, the benefits aren’t just one way, he said he’s had some of the best conversations and collected his favourite recipes from clients.