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26 Oct 2022


Support from SSI’s DES program marks turning point for participant

Jana Mourad has been a case worker for SSI but never thought she’d be a client.

Photo of Jana Mourad
Jana Mourad is back to work helping others.

While doing her community services training, she completed her practice hours at SSI. As a migrant from Lebanon, she related to the refugee clients she was assisting.

However, following a serious operation, she found herself in pain, depressed, and unable to work.

Centrelink eventually referred Jana to a jobs provider, however she felt they did not understand her or her circumstances. She asked to be referred elsewhere and then became an SSI client of the Disability Employment Services (DES) program.

Jana said the empathy and understanding of her case worker Sandra, struck her immediately.

“I felt something magic from her straight away, just from her tone,” said Jana. “She is a lovely lady who didn’t put pressure on me.

“It was hard for me, because I’m used to helping others and then I had to rely on other people.”

Sandra advised Jana to firstly focus on her health so she could get well enough to work. She encouraged Jana to see a range of allied health specialists who worked with her for months to help manage her pain and health concerns.

“Once Jana was feeling better, we sat down and planned her employment goals, and how we were going to achieve them,” said Sandra.

“Jana expressed an interest in working for the NDIS as a support worker and she certainly had the right attitude and caring nature for this type of work.”

SSI assisted Jana with a cover letter and resume and demonstrated how to actively search for employment utilising online platforms. After months in the making, Jana received her first interview.

The offer came through Jana’s own connections gained while volunteering at a charity shop.

She got the job.

SSI was then able to help Jana obtain the necessary child protection and police checks needed for the role while providing financial assistance to help purchase suitable workplace attire.

“I love SSI,” Jana said. “They understood that I had the skills to be able to find a job, it was the support and encouragement that I really needed.”

SSI is a provider of Disability Employment Services (DES), the Australian Government’s job service that helps people with a disabilty, injury or health condition find work and keep a job.

SSI staff can speak 98 languages and have a proven track record working closely with culturally and linguistically diverse jobseekers.

For more information about the DES, visit SSI’s DES webpage. 



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