Abdi is like a lot of young men – he loves sport and the beach.

But Abdi’s journey to being a disability support worker at Rise is a little bit different to most.

Abdi comes to Australia

Abdi was born and raised in Ethiopia, north eastern Africa. Two years ago, Abdi came to Australia through government sponsorship. He traveled to Perth by himself. No friends, no family. And no English language skills.

Can you imagine landing in a new country by yourself where you don’t speak a word of their language?

Abdi isn’t the sort to let that little challenge get in the way.

He learnt the language, to the point where he found a job advert in the paper for trainee support workers.

Abdi was taken on by Health Training Australia, who provides trainees to Rise. After he completed his traineeship, he was hired by Rise as a permanent staff member.

He now works in Jiemba House, which caters for people with a disability with challenging behaviours. He was one of a Rise staff nominated for 2017 WA Disability Support Award. The tennis and beach lover is also studying Biomedical Science at Edith Cowan University and he has purchased a house. Wow!

It was a bit of a shock and there’s a big cultural difference. But if you work hard nothing is impossible.

I like working with people who have special needs. Many people tend to think that it must take a great range of skills and super-human effort to be able to work with people with special needs.

The truth is that as long as you have a desire and commitment to assist and positive personal qualities such as compassion, determination, patience and understanding, this type of work does not necessarily require extraordinary communication skills.

When my clients are happy, it makes me instantly so happy. No matter what, their happiness puts a huge smile on my face.

Abdi impresses at Rise

Rise Team Leader Rebecca started working at Jiemba House in October, after Abdi did.

I had no idea that Abdi came to Australia so recently and didn’t even speak English. He has adapted so well. Abdi has a very calm nature and a positive, can do attitude.

His life experience has taught him to help others but to promote  independence where possible.

He has built a great rapport with clients and peers. Abdi is always looking to expand his knowledge and learn new skills to become the best possible support worker he can be.

Rise celebrating people

Rise is so happy to have Abdi working with us. He has overcome a lot of challenges in the past two years, and this is something a lot of clients can relate to. All the best with your future study goals!

Rise supports people with a disability, with individual care, accommodation and more. To find out more click here.