New job, new life

After the death of her partner Maraia Waqangau moved back to Swan Hill –but never imagined her new-found friends would change the course of her life.

“I used to pop in and spend time with my neighbour, who is a client at Uniting AgeWell,” explains Maraia. “And one day her daughter told me ‘You’re so good with older people, you should apply for a job there.’ Then the person across the road, who also works at Uniting AgeWell, told me, ‘You really should come and work with us!”

So, with encouragement from all sides, Maraia started her role as Home Care Domestic Support Worker at Uniting AgeWell Loddon Mallee North Home Care Programs a year ago, and has not looked back.

Better still, with a full time job Maraia was able to secure a mortgage and buy her own cosy three-bedroomed house.

“She also loves her role. “I do cleaning around the home, take them to doctors’ appointments and to the shops, and chat and laugh with them,” says Maraia. “I look forward to each and every day.”

So much so that she’s keen to study further so she can take up a role as a Direct Care Worker with greater responsibilities.

She loves working in a career that has meaning. She used to run accommodation for tourists wanting to dive, fish and do beach activities from her home in Fiji. And over ten years ago, one of those in a tour group that came over was an Australian named Adrian, who worked as a controller in Melbourne’s train network.

She moved to Australia to be with Adrian, and held down a few casual jobs in Swan Hill while spending time with him in Melbourne. Adrian passed away from lung failure last year.

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