Proving that few career trajectories follow a straight line, Piyushkumar Patel realised his dream of being a support worker through first working as a cleaner at Activ Foundation’s head office.
It was a mixture of Piyush’s determination, natural ability to talk to people, and lucky location that helped him land the career he was aiming for, and a well-timed conversation with Activ CEO Michael Heath led to Piyush starting his Certificate III in Support Work, moving from cleaning to support work just one month later.
“I was lucky to be working in the head office already,” Piyush reflects. “From talking to Michael Heath, I was then supported by Darren Cutri in starting my certificate and moving from cleaning to support work.”
Piyush credits brother-in-law Kuntal with introducing him to support work.
“When I first moved here, I was staying with my brother-in-law who has been working for Activ for over ten years,” says Piyush. “Through him, I was able to get an idea of what the job was about. He told me that these are people who need our help, and it’s great for you too as you can work as well as improve their lives. He has really helped me.”
Piyush maintains one of the key elements in his success story is the support received from Activ throughout his journey by providing guidance and skill-building opportunities, as well as connecting him with a supportive community.
Activ CEO Michael Heath says Piyush’s success story is emblematic of Activ’s core values.
“Activ is proud to support and encourage workers like Piyushkumar in reaching their goals. He has been a dedicated employee like so many of our staff here at Activ and nothing gives me greater pleasure than seeing him find his feet in such a rewarding career improving the lives of Western Australians living with disability.”
The Certificate III in Support Work involves a mandatory 120-hour placement, and Piyush was able to chip away at those hours through his support work with Activ. Piyush’s unwavering commitment has been such a driving force that his wife Pragni has since taken on her Certificate III in Support Work – tuition-free, thanks to the WA Government’s “Free in 23” initiative.
“I really appreciate what Activ has done to help me learn,” says Piyush. “They take care of the employees and that’s a pretty good thing.
“I’ve got permanent shifts, and I can add more if I want. It gives me flexibility so I can manage housework and the kids if I need. And what is more, I am enjoying my job at Activ.”