Meet Marilyn, our 2022 Support Worker of the Year - Afea Care Services
December 9th 2022

“I didn’t expect this honour. We have so many hard-working carers. I was thinking, surely it can’t be me?”

Marilyn Stafford, who has been a carer for Afea since 2019, was recently named our 2022 Support Worker of the Year!

She received the award at our inaugural Family Fun Day, where she was recognised for going above and beyond in providing care for our clients with very complex needs.

We had a chat with her about her experience as a support worker and how she gravitated towards Afea’s “big heart” – literally (at TAFE during a provider showcase) and metaphorically.

Thanks for your time, Marilyn!

Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

I’m originally from the Philippines. I came to Australia when I was only 22. In the Philippines, I worked at a salon, doing hair and makeup. But when I came here, I didn’t work. I became a mother to five children, which as you can imagine took up all of my time.

I’m very active, and that’s because of my children, too. We play a lot of sports: soccer, badminton, tennis. I love singing and dancing. Whenever my husband and I have time, we go dancing! I also love going to the beach.

When my youngest started school, I wanted to do something for myself and learn something new. So, I enrolled in TAFE and took up Certificate III in Individual Support and Cert IV in Ageing Support.

Like I said, I never held any job aside from my time at the salon. But I really wanted to help others. I do volunteer work in my religious community. I help the elderly, take them shopping. That’s something I wanted to do.

What led you to Afea?

After I finished my certificate courses, there was a big provider showcase or expo at TAFE. There were so many providers there, but what struck me about Afea was the big heart.

On our branding?

One of our young Family Fun Day attendees holding up an Afea heart

Yes! That big heart. And I love red. Then I looked down below the logo and there were these words, “caring for people you love”. I thought, This is it. This is the one for me.

I didn’t even look at the other providers. I put my name down for Afea. After a week, they called me for an interview. Then I got the job!

For you, what’s the best thing about the company?

Everyone is very understanding and very supportive. Having a big family like mine, you juggle a lot of things, but Afea is flexible and I appreciate that.

What is your proudest moment at Afea as a carer? Is it winning the award?

(Laughs) That is a highlight! But even if I were not an awardee, I find my work very rewarding. The people I assist are always thankful. You can see the happiness on their faces.

I’m proud because I feel I am doing something right. I’m really always happy. Helping others makes my heart swell.

Interested in joining the Afea family? Become a carer and make a difference in people’s lives.

Afea Care Services
Afea Care Services

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