Emma goes back to work

Emma at Marrickville brightened.jpgAbove: Emma was reunited with workmates she had known for years when she returned to Marrickville.

After a five year break, Emma – who lives in Flourish Australia’s residential service at Malleny St in Ashbury – has made a successful return to supported employment at our packing business, Prestige Packaging Co, in Marrickvile.

“Emma recently moved from the lower support Burwood Road Belfield house to the 24 hour Malleny St residence, and the move has really allowed her to take great strides in her recovery journey,” says Alex Avenarius, the Manager of Malleny Street. “Since moving, Emma has been noticeably happier and settled, and I think it’s a great example of just how important the right level of support can be to a person’s wellbeing.”

Alex congratulated Emma and the support staff for working so hard on the recovery journey. Now let’s hear Emma tell her story…

My Story

Emma: “I was born in Sri Lanka and studied at the Holy Family Convent before obtaining a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Jafna. I briefly taught Social Studies and Religious Studies in Middle School before coming to Australia when I was twenty-eight.”

“There are so many relatives and people from my village who are now living in London and Paris, as well as Canberra and Sydney here in Australia. This includes my mother Barbara and many other people.”

“I was previously married, and one of my dreams was to have two or three children. I actually have one daughter, Christina, who was born at St George Hospital. She is now 18 years old and going to University. My brothers and sister are looking after her. Another dream which came true was to come to live in Australia.”


“I have lived and worked in so many places, including Hurstville, Belfield, Allawah, Kingsgrove, Malleny Street and I can name so many people who have supported me in my recovery journey.”

“Now I am working two days per week at Marrickville. I start at 8am. Previously, I worked at PRA Redfern, which is where many of the other employees originally came from. So when I came to work here I was reunited with a lot of people I already knew from years back! The sort of work I have been doing includes packing, cleaning, and table hand work. I have also done cleaning and gardening at Flourish Australia Warwick Farm. I like to come to work because it gets me out of the house and gives me something to do.”

“I also have a community college English Certificate and I have taken part in many groups at Buckingham House and so forth. I did an AMES (Adult Migrant Education Service) course for six months, and also an office skills course.”

Some tips

“I get along with all types of people: Catholic, Anglican, Christian, Buddhist and Muslim. Sometimes I get angry and might get into an argument. When I am angry I do these things: I pray, I meditate, I read the Bible, and then I go to sleep! I also call my relatives.”

“Something I like to do on weekends is go shopping. I also go to McDonalds on Saturdays, plus I like to go to the park and swing on the swings. When I was in hospital, I played Tennis and French Cricket. Exercise is good for you.”

Thanks to Dan Hayden.

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