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A Day in the Life of… A Regional Manager in Community Services: Making a Career out of Making a Difference

Dana has dedicated her life to helping children and young people. After studying at Charles Sturt University in Wagga where she grew up, she started working in Child Protection in Orange. From there she took on roles in Disability Services, Criminal Justice, Juvenile Justice and Out of Home Care – before returning to Child Protection with a public service career spanning 29 years. 

At 55 Dana began to think about what she wanted to achieve in the final stage of her career. Her brother-in-law, who she was close to, died from cancer at 56 and her father passed away not long after. A poignant reminder that life is short. 

Dana had always been impressed with non-affiliated, not-for-profit organisations and the valuable role they play in delivering innovative front-line services to support young people. 

CareSouth was one of the organisations that had made an impact on Dana, particularly as they’d worked together on several cases and she’d witnessed firsthand the passionate way they advocate for people: 

“Changing career directions at this stage of my life was a bit scary but I knew I wanted to make a difference.” 

“Working in Government can mean taking a broad-brush approach at times but I’ve always respected the way NGO’s like CareSouth work with individuals to meet their needs in a creative way.” 

Around 9 months ago, Dana took on the role of Regional Manager for CareSouth’s Murrumbidgee region. 

Throughout her career Dana has seen a range of programs and is looking forward to introducing new services to her hometown that will meet the needs of local young people: 

“It’s an exciting time to be involved because we are working on bringing services here that people have typically had to travel long distances for.” 

While no two days look the same for Dana, she is often found mentoring staff, running group supervision with the team to unpack complex cases and look for creative solutions, meeting with other agencies and reporting back to Government Department’s on progress as well as any blockages. 

When asked about any career highlights Dana is quick to point out that it comes down to seeing young people achieve even small things after facing big challenges:  

“The kids we work with are amazing, they are survivors and champions.” 

“Some who are in their thirties now still seek me out and I love seeing how far they’ve come.” 

“We have a great team here and the community are very supportive of the work we do.” 

“A local high school presented some gifts for us at Christmas time to pass on to families in need and it gave me chills, it was such a touching moment,” she added.  

CareSouth is a South Coast success story starting out in the Shoalhaven over 30 years ago and expanding to 9 regional locations with the footprint set to expand even further over the next 18 months. To learn more about career opportunities across CareSouth and what makes them unique, visit: https://thinkregional.com.au/local-employers/care-south/ 

 

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