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Supporting others, defying odds: the triumph of Hang

3 minute read

At the sight of her elderly parents receiving exceptional care from support workers, Thi Minh Hang Duong, a 64-year-old Vietnamese woman, felt a deep desire to become a support worker herself, to care for others, and give back to society. 

Being someone who does not have English as their first language, Hang sought assistance with her job search and found leading employment services provider, Asuria. Here, she was connected with Kenny Ha, who spoke Vietnamese. Not only was Kenny able to understand Hang’s language and culture, but he also had a sound knowledge of her barriers to employment.

Kenny began by first assisting with getting her medical condition formally diagnosed. Hang was diagnosed with arthritis in her wrists, knees, and ankles, allowing her to access Asuria’s Disability Employment Services.

Kenny then worked closely with Hang, providing her with the necessary assistance for employment, including career counselling and preparing her for her job capacity assessment. Through their conversations, it became evident that she required formal qualifications to enhance her job prospects, leading Hang to enrol in Certificate III in Individual Support at Skill Up College, which she successfully completed.

As a result of the work she put in with Kenny, Hang secured a job as a support worker at The Co-Group Limited. Her role involved supporting elderly clients in home care activities, cleaning the house and meal preparations. Throughout the challenges she faced due to her medical condition, Kenny continued to be her unwavering source of motivation and support.

Kenny went on to apply for funding through the Employment Assistance Fund. Thanks to this funding, Hang received a lightweight vacuum cleaner to assist with her work. Additionally, realising how she struggles with the chronic pain in her knees, wrists, and ankles, Kenny helped her with pain management equipment, such as knee braces and wrist and ankle protection, and provided her with petrol vouchers for work-related travel. Asuria also assisted Hang with work-related clothing and footwear. These accommodations enabled Hang to increase her work hours, meet Centrelink's requirements, and manage her workload effectively despite her medical limitations.

Now, having been in her role for over a year, Hang finds fulfilment and joy in her job. Recalling her journey with Asuria and how much she was supported and provided with the tools to thrive, Hang says, “I’m thankful to Asuria. I hope others who share the same struggles as me will receive the same support as I did with Asuria to be able to contribute back to society.”

Even after successfully exiting the employment services program, she continues to receive post-placement support from Kenny, who remains a steady presence in her life. Speaking fondly of Hang, Kenny shares, “Hang is a star, given her firm spirit to be able to achieve what she wants to do, despite all the challenges that she has had to face.”

If you have a disability, injury, or health condition and would like assistance in preparing, finding and keeping a job, please check out our Disability Employment Services hereto find out more! 

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