Zahri knows about new beginnings. A Kaytetye-Luritja woman from Central Australia, she decided to leave the comfort of home and create a new life in the Top End.

There were many challenges but she rose to each one. Then, when her life direction seemed mapped out, working hard in the hospitality industry, life threw her a curveball.

“I grew up in Alice Springs and out bush, and moved north with my daughter when I was 21,” Zahri says.

“Alice is a small town compared to Darwin. I moved up for new opportunities.“I had a career path, but then unexpectedly became pregnant again.

“After my second child was born I was determined to get back to work and do other things. I didn’t see that this had to be a barrier.

“When I first came into contact with Bamara I liked the people and what they were doing. I started volunteering at the Palmerston office. They were really supportive.

“In the past, I had worked in hospitality and one of my passions is doing Aboriginal art, but when we were doing a resumé, they noticed that a few years ago I had completed an Introduction to Disability course. They talked about the possibility of working in aged care.”

As a ParentsNext provider, Bamara supported Zahri in a range of ways.

“They were great,” she says. “We got a police check clearance, an Ochre (Working With Children) Card, First Aid. They were very supportive of my aims. We would put down goals then tick them off.

“I loved how understanding they were of what it’s like to be a single mother. If there was ever an appointment I couldn’t make they would reschedule without any worries.”

Other support provided via the ParentsNext Program included a smartphone, laptop and training, and work and interview clothing. Zahri was referred to the employment service at Saltbush Social Enterprises, which led to her current role in aged care.

“I am training as well as working. I am employed at a lovely place, it’s a great environment to be in, and I like being here to support the old people, emotionally and physically.”

As a young person living in the Centre, Zahri never imagined that her future would lie in aged care in the Top End. However, she is carving out a great life for herself and her children while bringing joy into the lives of the older members of our community – things well worth doing.