After spending nearly 20 years caring for her children, including her son who lives with Autism and ADHD, Gawler local Tracey Scrimshaw has recently journeyed back into the workforce and into a role with InComPro, an organisation supporting Indigenous people.
Her journey in employment wasn’t without its challenges and the 56-year-old who lives with depression was put to the test many times.
While she grieved and took care of paperwork and other matters related to her dad’s passing, Tracey started the course.
Tracey’s brother tragically took his own life in January 2020.
The events took a heavy toll on Tracey’s mental health and when COVID hit in March she decided to take a break.
With Tracey’s son reaching adulthood, she was transferred from a carer’s allowance to the JobSeeker payment and came into MAX in Gawler.
Tracey connected with her namesake MAX consultant, Tracey Smart.
To help Tracey manage her mental health, a MAX Health Coach connected her with a care plan and a psychologist.
As her mental health improved, the team provided practical supports that enabled Tracey to complete First Aid and Manual Handling Certificates along with a medicine administration qualification to increase her employability.
With her mental health in check, her confidence growing and a qualification within reach, things really changed for Tracey.
Before she’d even finished her Certificate III in Social Services, Tracey was offered three different jobs.
Tracey chose to take a personal carer role at InComPro Aboriginal Association Incorporated, an organisation providing cultural disability, mental health and youth services for Indigenous Australians.
For Tracey, the choice of employer was a meaningful one, having learned later in life that she herself has Indigenous heritage.
Her grandmother was Indigenous and chose not to share this part of her identity with her family and it wasn’t until she was an adult that Tracey’s suspicions were confirmed.
She now knows her ancestors are from the Broken Hill area, likely of the Wilyakali people.
In her role, she currently cares for a young man in a one-on-one capacity, helping him to do the things he enjoys each day, cooking meals for him and administering his medications.
While Tracey continues to explore what it means to be Indigenous, she’s sharing her heritage with her grandson, Ollie and using her skills to support other Indigenous locals.