Finding purpose in a new-found career pathway through hardships
Kalpesh’s career began in the electrical field. From India, he studied electrical engineering and went on to become a supervisor in the elevators industry. In 2009, Kalpesh and his wife moved to Australia in search of better opportunities, but his journey has not been as easy as he anticipated. “I came to Australia for a better opportunity and working environment.” Kalpesh began, “When I arrived in Perth, I enrolled in an electrical course to gain a working license to look for employment. Even though I have qualifications and previous experiences as a recognised electrician in India, seeking employment in Australia will require local licensing and passing exams. I managed to pass all my exams, received my licence and started working as an electrician in the mining sector.”
Due to the downturn in the mining industry, Kalpesh lost his job as an electrician. It forced Kalpesh to rethink his career pathway and found himself venturing into the security industry. For three years, Kalpesh has been working steadily in the security field until he encountered a tragic experience in his family.
“In 2017, my wife had her first brain stroke and then a kidney failure caused by the stroke. Then, she was continuously on dialysis for two and a half years. As a result of her health issues, she had to stop working as a dental nurse.”
“My circumstances at the time was hard. I was struggling with my wife falling very ill and my daughter still studying.”
Kalpesh was in and out of the hospital to accompany his wife through her journey to recovery. During this time, he realised how much healthcare workers have contributed and supported his wife.
“When I saw the health care workers in the industry like nurses, doctors and carers caring for my wife, my inner feeling started to change. Even though I was earning good money in my employment at the time, I started realising that these workers were giving more than they received. I started feeling less personal about my circumstances and started considering getting into this type of rewarding work.”
“At the time, my friend, Prakash, was studying a Disability course at Centacare. When I was sharing my feelings and what I want to do with my career, he suggested that I should consider the disability industry and introduced Centacare to me. After much consideration, I decided to enrol on the disability course with Centacare in November 2019.”
Kalpesh said that enrolling in the course at Centacare was the turning point in his life. “My life has changed,” Kalpesh said, “Before I started at Centacare, I was in a depression because I was struggling with my circumstances. A few days after my information session with Centacare, I got a call from the hospital, and they told me that they had a new kidney for my wife. So when I was studying with Centacare, my wife started recovering.”
Kalpesh encountered some challenges during his course and made great strides to overcome them. “English is my second language.” Kalpesh explained, “As a security guard, I did not have much experience with talking in English. I had very limited conversations with people but when I came here, I feel myself slowly improve. I got the opportunity to make more conversations with other students. Centacare staff also helped me as well in my written communication and additional language support.”
“I was doing security on Saturdays and Sundays, and I was an Uber driver as well. I would wake up at 4 am to be an Uber driver, and then, I would go to class at 9 am until 3 pm and start Uber again until 9 pm.”
“Now, I am a full-time disability support worker with WA Blue Sky, and I am enjoying every part of the job. Even though my title is permanent part-time support worker, I am working full-time hours because my manager sees me as a master of all and would send me everywhere.”
“Liz Fawcett (Centacare’s trainer) is my guru. She had helped me through everything, even provided mental support as well. When I started to know and trust her, I felt safe to open up and share my story. I felt that I can talk to her and she helped arrange an appointment with Centacare’s student counsellor, Andrea.”
“In one sentence, I would say, Centacare is the place from where my life is now better.”
Kalpesh has been an incredible student during his studies with Centacare. He possesses an excellent work ethic and carries a genuine attitude with him wherever he goes. He aspires to continuously help others and express his gratitude towards the people that had helped him along the way.
Kalpesh’s dedication to his work was also recognised by the team at WA Blue Sky. He has recently been awarded an Employee Acknowledgement certificate by the team at WA Blue Sky in recognition of his contribution to clients and colleagues. His clients acknowledge his work commitment and would introduce him to other clients. “All of these things gave me satisfaction in my work, and why am I satisfied? Because the principle of this disability sector is just to give back.”
“One thing is final, I will be in this field up until my retirement. I will not go back to the electrical field or any other field because I like and enjoy this field.”