Helping keep people safe in their communities and on country
- 9 November 2020 1:44PM
Meet Andrew. He’s a proud Mandubarra man and an Occupational Therapist (OT) working with remote communities in the Cape York Peninsula for the Department of Housing and Public Works.
Andrew’s been with the department for two years now and says the best thing about his job is making a real difference in someone’s life.
“I can go in, help people that aren’t safe at home, or who can’t do things for themselves. I can make modifications to someone’s home, to help them do the things that they need to do and get on with their lives and live as independently as possible.”
Andrew says that he can help with a range of things to keep people safe in their homes, whether they are older Queenslanders or have a disability.
“We can help in many different ways. We can put grabrails in over steps or install ramps to help with access in and out of the house, we can redesign bathrooms to make it more accessible and we can even look at redesigning someone’s kitchen if they’re in a wheelchair and can’t access the sink or use the stove.”
Andrew states that by helping people to maintain their independence, it also helps to keep people in their communities.
“Independence is a big thing, because as people age, they may feel like their independence is being taken away from them. They’re getting a bit older, it’s a bit harder to walk, the steps are becoming more difficult to manage. So, it’s great that I can come in and I can make simple changes to someone’s home that can restore that independence and bring back that quality of life.”
“I can help people remain in their communities and in their homes for as long as possible. It’s very rewarding keeping people on country with the areas that I work in up in the Cape, so they can remain in their community with their loved ones,” says Andrew.
After finishing high school Andrew says he was unsure of what he wanted to do and decided to do occupational therapy because it could offer opportunities.
“I thought, since I don’t know what I want to do, it opens up many different avenues after graduating, I gave occupational therapy a go and throughout my study, I began to learn how it could positively affect people’s lives. I did my placement, and enjoyed it, and now I’m here working for the Department of Housing and Public Works in a job that I love.”
If you are a public housing tenant and need home modifications, speak with your nearest Housing Service Centre.