'Aged care can give you some wonderful opportunities'

Junee Shah moved from Sydney in 2020 to take up a postition as an RN at Jemalong Residential Village. Photo supplied.

Junee Shah moved from Sydney in 2020 to take up a postition as an RN at Jemalong Residential Village. Photo supplied.

Junee Shah jumped at the chance to move away from Sydney's hectic traffic to Forbes when she was offered the position of registered nurse (RN) at the Jemalong Residential Village in 2020.

"I realised pretty quickly that moving to Forbes was a good change for me. I love the work, and I love the peacefulness of the town. I was glad to be in a quiet environment, and not have to deal with Sydney's traffic," Junee said.

Her husband, Dhurba Chettri, came to Forbes with her and is a big supporter of her, Junee said.

Junee came to Australia from Nepal in 2014. Formerly a primary school teacher, she was encouraged by her sister to look for work as a care worker in aged care because there were 'plenty of jobs'.

What Junee didn't know then, those early days working in aged care were to set up her career path and her now senior nursing roles at Jemalong Residential Village.

In 2015, she began her Bachelor of Nursing studies at Sydney University of Technology, supporting herself working as a care worker for Catholic Healthcare including Brigidine House, Randwick, and The Sister Anne Court Aged Care home in Surry Hills.

I really want to tell people arriving in Australia that aged care can give you some wonderful opportunities in living and working in a community, and in a career.

Junee Shah

She graduated from UTS in 2018, and moved to a new role as a Registered Nurse at Brigidine House where in 2019 she embarked on a one-year graduate program at Gertrude Abbott in Surry Hills.

During that year, she moved to Sister Anne as a registered nurse, and late in 2020 accepted a similar position at Jemalong Residential Village.

"I was a bit anxious at first, moving to a regional town and starting in a new residential Home. I was confident with my nursing skills, but was concerned about my communication skills," Junee said.

"But everyone at Jemalong were really helpful. I feel really supported by all my team and managers."

Junee considers many of the residents as her family and speaks about a 94-year-old resident who has taken her under his wing and gives her advice.

Junee said she feels a kinship with another nonagenarian who reminds her of her grandmother and that it's rare to find people of this age back in her country of Nepal.

"Most of the doctors adore her because she knows the residents and families," Mary Bromley, Residential Manager, Jemalong Residential Village, said.

"She also gets lots of compliments from the ARs [authorised representatives]. She is supportive of the new RNs, and she is supportive of Jemalong." Mary said,

Junee's career is progressing at Jemalong, which caters for 130 residents and provides 24 hour, seven days a week registered nursing care.

She currently is a senior RN, but soon will be promoted to the hybrid role of ACFI Coordinator during the week, and nurse in charge on the weekends.

"For me this is not just a job. I've been able to give back to my community and adopted country," Junee said.

"I really want to tell people arriving in Australia that aged care can give you some wonderful opportunities in living and working in a community, and in a career."

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