A Spotlight on our Support Worker, Areti - Afea Care Services
April 4th 2023

Areti likes gardening, going to the movies “and just enjoying the simple things in life.” She also enjoys supporting others, which she has been doing either professionally or as a volunteer for over a decade, even before joining Afea in 2017.

Her parents were originally from Greece, and she witnessed – and experienced – what community support is like and its importance.

“My parents came both from large families. I witnessed their version of home care. The elderly, sick, disabled and children of any age that needed assistance got help from families, close friends and communities that came together.”

This eye-opening experience led Areti to continue helping the vulnerable, a journey that took her from the Greek island of Kalymnos to Perth and finally to Sydney.

Along the way, she supported residents in nursing homes, troubled teenagers in schools and Aboriginal women who accepted her and taught her about their history.

With a Certificate IV in Disability, Areti now provides support to our NDIS and aged care clients in need of assistance with everyday tasks.

Areti with her fur babies

Keep reading to learn more about Areti!

Can you tell us about yourself?

I was born in Sydney, Australia. My parents came to Australia as teenagers and met in their early 20s.

They originated from two different Greek islands. My father’s island is called Corfu or Kerkyra and my mum’s island is called Kalymnos—both very different islands with different lifestyles. I lived on both islands for years.

My parents came both from large families. I witnessed their version of home care. The elderly, sick, disabled and children of any age that needed assistance got help from families, close friends and communities that came together.

I witnessed this myself growing up and experienced this when I lived on Kalymnos for nine years. It was an eye-opener for me. I found myself bedridden five times in my life to keep the pregnancy going. People would come without being asked and would give my husband help like domestic cleaning, cooking, baby sitting and social company.

I found myself looking after my husband when he got critically sick for many years living in Perth with just my children, no help from a care service provider as I was not aware of their existence.

My husband passed away in 2009 and two years later, I went back into my studies to where I am now as an Afea Carer.

I am also assisting to look after my grandson who has been diagnosed with autism level 2 and has epileptic seizures on medication.

I am still interested to further learn and study to gain more skills if I can.

What led you to Afea?

I joined six years ago but first I did over a decade of volunteering in nursing homes and schools. I served as a mentor for teenagers with behavioural challenges.

In Perth, I volunteered and was in a women’s Aboriginal group who accepted me. I respected their culture and how they communicated in a sensitive way. They came from the Stolen Generation and I learned a lot about their history that my generation wasn’t even taught in school. 

I used to be a florist and I owned a mixed business with my late husband. Customers would open up and talk to me about their life, issues, challenges and dreams. I felt like I was almost in a position of counselling them. Behind the customer buying flowers was a reason they could not put it into words, but the flowers tell their story: celebrations like births and weddings or sad occasions like a death in the family or flowers for a relative they no longer visit.

I used all my life experiences and education when I started working with Afea in 2017.

What do you like best about Afea?

I feel that the Afeans I speak to are friendly and understanding and not judgemental.

I can talk to the Afea people not feeling scared. Believe it or not, I have anxieties. I still don’t know how I’m able to walk into the homes of clients that I’ve never met before. Being in the client’s personal space can make you feel vulnerable but I have the courage to do it for our clients and because the Afea staff are friendly and supportive.

Interested in becoming a support worker in Sydney or Melbourne?

If you’re looking for flexible hours and meaningful work in a supportive environment, we have a place for you at Afea. Apply as a carer now!

Afea Care Services
Afea Care Services

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