A sense of belonging

March 3, 2023 BY

PICTURED: Sarita with resident Bruce Howard

When you find an organisation that ticks all the boxes, you stay.

And Sarita Chaudhary, senior care manager at Uniting AgeWell Kalkee Community, Nangatta in Belmont says she’s in it for the long-haul with the organisation that feels like a second family to her.

“They let me be me, and I feel like I belong,” says the registered nurse who hails from Nepal.

“And a sense of belonging is very important, especially for an immigrant.”

Sarita, who has nursed in hospitals and other aged care organisations, applied to work at Uniting AgeWell not only because of its reputation for excellence and care, but because its values mirror her own.

“There’s this kindness factor that’s across the organisation that’s hard to express in words,” she said.

Sarita says she also gets a great deal of joy from her role.

“I have a huge respect for older people and what they have gone through during their lives.

It is wonderful to be able to provide holistic care and to get to know them well.

I enjoy that they become part of my life, and that I become part of theirs.”

During the past 18 months Sarita has been in the role, the devout Hindu has choreographed a Bollywood dance where she and other staff members donned saris to celebrate Diwali with residents, made dumplings with the residents for Chinese New Year and has felt supported enough to breast-pump for her baby at work.

There’s another huge reason why she’s intent on staying; Sarita is ambitious.

She and her husband moved to Australia for a better life and career opportunities, and for Sarita, that included studying to become a Registered Nurse in Australia and becoming fluent in English.

“I would like to become a Residential Services Manager at Uniting AgeWell one day, and the organisation is already committed to growing my leadership skills,” she says.

Sarita has been selected for Uniting AgeWell’s BEST Strategic Leadership Talent Development Program this year.

There are a number of caring roles available within Uniting AgeWell, not only in residential care but in home care to support the rapidly growing number of clients receiving home care packages in the Barwon region.

Roles across the organisation are diverse, from nursing and personal care, to food services, domestic assistance, allied health, social support and more.

With 78 per cent of the workforce identifying as female, Uniting AgeWell offers flexible work arrangements to enable staff to work around their family commitments.

Uniting AgeWell General Manager People and Culture, Gen Toop, says there are a significant number of women in senior and leadership positions with a suite of opportunities for further growth and education available.

There are subsidies for further education, leadership programs and scholarships for professional development.

Uniting AgeWell is also a partner with WomenCan, a vocational organisation that empowers women.

“Our commitment to our work force and our clients is in our blueprint,” Gen said.

“We’re proudly an inclusive organisation championing diversity in all its forms.

But we’re different in one sense.

One of our prerequisites in hiring people is that they share our values of kindness, respect, integrity, innovation and inclusion.”

For career opportunities, head to unitingagewell.org/careers or phone 1300 783 435.

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