Shari's move to community services sector leaves positive impact

Published:03 December 2018

CQUniversity graduate Shari MacKintosh currently works as a Senior Local Area Coordinator for NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Carers Queensland.

Shari MacKintosh’s move to the community services sector has been her most rewarding career decision yet.

The CQUniversity graduate currently works in Rockhampton as a Senior Local Area Coordinator for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Carers Queensland.

According to Shari, she is now able to embrace her passion of helping people.

“Before I moved to Queensland seven years ago, I supported my close friend whose daughter lived with a disability. I witnessed the struggles, the inequity and the joys over many years,” she said.

“I started questioning how I could make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.

“When I moved to Queensland, I started learning AUSLAN – the sign language of the Australian Deaf Community – which led me to complete a Certificate III in Disability (now known as Certificate III in Individual Support).

“Shortly after, I started with Carers Queensland, where I worked while I completed a Certificate IV in Community Service Work (now known as Certificate IV in Community Services), and have never looked back.”

Shari said her role as Senior Local Area Coordinator involved helping guide NDIS participants through their support journey.

“My job requires me to communicate effectively with people using the NDIS and their families, to develop a plan that supports their goals and their everyday needs,” she said.

“These plans help participants work towards their goals and aspirations, and change their lives for the better."

NDIS participant Karen Jones said Shari had not only made her support journey easier, but also given her a renewed enthusiasm to manage her life.

“I met Shari at my initial NDIS planning meeting in late 2017, after living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS) since 2004, and since then, she has always made herself available to answer any questions I have regarding my plan,” Ms Jones said.

“The one thing that stands out about Shari, as my Local Area Coordinator, is that she really understands what living with a disability is all about. She gets it – and that’s rare.

“Many people with disabilities, including myself, can look perfectly healthy, which makes it hard for an outsider to comprehend the severity of the situation. Shari is different; she understood everything when I explained my MS disability. This skill, within her role, is invaluable.

"My life has become more limited due to my deteriorating physical health as a result of MS, however, accessing the NDIS with a Local Area Coordinator’s support has helped ease the burden of not being able to carry out everyday home duties."

Shari said it was feedback like this which made her role so rewarding.

“Hearing the positive impact that this work has on the people I support provides me with so much job satisfaction. This is a career I see myself in for the long-term,” she said.

“Thanks to my training in community service work, I am now able to make a positive impact on the lives of people with disabilities.”