A disability support worker is someone who provides independent care and support to participants with physical and mental disabilities. This is a great career option for someone looking to give back to the community and create a difference in someone’s life. Essentially, a support worker’s role is to help participants achieve their NDIS goals and encourage them to be more independent in their everyday lives. The supports can vary according to the type and severity of the disability. Roles range from grooming to assisting with household tasks such as cooking and encouraging community participation.

Growing demand for support work:

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW, 2021), more than 4 million Australians have disability. Due to more people seeking individualised support, the demand for support workers have increased, there is an estimated shortage of about 120,000 workers across Australia.

How to become a support worker:

To work as a Disability Support Worker you need to have a:

  • Certificate IV in Disability CHC43115 and Certificate III in Individual Support CHC33015- Check out the courses offered by TAFE. 
  • NDIS Worker Screening Check 
  • Working with Children Check
  • Police Criminal Record Check

  • Drivers license or passport


Joy Randles is a Coordinator of Supports at Providence Healthcare. Her role at Providence involves identifying and coordinating supports and  connecting  participants with different community services. Prior to starting work with Providence, she worked as a Disability Support Worker whilst completing her Diploma in Community Services at TAFE. She shares with us her experience studying at TAFE and what’s it like to work as a Support worker. 

Your advice to someone commencing work as a support worker

I would tell them that it is very rewarding to work with someone who has a disability. I would recommend they start with a course, such as a Certificate III in Individual Support or Certificate IV in Disability to gain solid foundation knowledge in the sector.

How did the TAFE course help you find a job?

I completed a Diploma of Community Services 2019-2020 at Chisholm Institute of TAFE.  The training was really good. It gave me a lot of important information relating to the Community Services sector and welfare sector. During the course, I secured placement which then led onto a job within the organisation I did my placement for which was Providence Health. Prior to this, I had completed a Certificate III in Aged Care and Home and Community Care. This had given me a good understanding of how to work with people in the community. It also gave me the opportunity to do placement which I did at a residential aged care facility.  This gave me a great understanding of applying the practical class work with hands on learning.  I have to say that I loved placement. I learned so much from it.  I then went on and did a Certificate IV in Disability as I found that I was working with people with disabilities more than working with the elderly, which added to my knowledge.

Why study at TAFE?

The teachers are excellent and are already working in the industry; they impart a lot of knowledge to their students.

I want to make a difference in someone’s life and give back to the community.  This is the type of role that is very rewarding for me and it makes me feel like I am making a difference in the life of someone who is living with a disability. 

What is a typical day as a support worker?

Each day is different but often involves:

  • Assisting with household tasks.
  • Personal care.
  • Administering medications.
  • Motivate clients to learn new skills.
  • Preparing meals.
  • Working alongside doctors and therapists.
  • Motivating clients to develop new hobbies.
  • Transporting clients to appointments.

Qualities and traits that make a great Disability Support Worker.  

The qualities and traits that make a good disability support worker is someone who cares and wants to give back to the community. If you’re passionate about supporting others in their journey through life, this can be a very rewarding career option.

    Come join our team!

    Providence Healthcare is always on the look out for talented and passionate individuals to join our awesome team. If you’re someone looking to get your start in this industry, we encourage you to email your resumes to ndisawareness@providencehealth.com.au