HELPING HAND: Carers Qld Local Area Coordinator. Steve Marshell, with Justine.
JUSTINE Fox may be a successful business owner, but that hasn’t stopped her from wanting to further develop her skills, learn from her peers and welcome mentoring opportunities through Carers Queensland’s Be Your Own Boss Microbusiness Program.
For 13 years the Summerholm local has worked as a virtual assistant and thinks now is a good time to improve and diversify her business.
Since attending regular Be Your Own Boss workshops in Ipswich, Justine said she has a clearer idea of what she needs to further set up a strong base for her business while learning new skills.
“I had been looking for something like this for a long time but the things I’ve found have either been too expensive and I didn’t really want to just dive in with anybody,” she said.
“I wanted to make sure that it was a safe, secure space.
“Attending the workshops was great because it’s people with disabilities who have the same issues and you sort of bounce ideas off each other, you meet your own peers and people in the same sorts of situations to you.
“I wanted to learn a bit more about entrepreneurship and be mentored by somebody… so that I still build on those skills and get further advanced, so my business doesn’t stall.”
For Justine, who has cerebral palsy, mild intellectual disability and epilepsy, branching out into other areas of business is also on the cards for her in the future.
“My goal is to diversify slightly and have something else alongside the tele sales roles.”
A big goal Justine is also working towards this year is developing her independence and moving out on her own.
“Through the NDIS I had support workers teaching me how to cook once a week; I’ve now progressed to cooking in my own kitchen downstairs every weekend and doing savories or sweets,” she said.
“I can cook, now I need to learn how to iron and wash and do all those sorts of things so I’m more independent.”
A support worker also assists Justine to access the community.
Justine received assistance to apply for and implement her NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Ipswich region.
“I’d be lost without the NDIS. I would not have a way of doing half the things that I do now; I would just have to stay home and be miserable,” she said.
Justine also accesses an occupational therapist and an exercise physiologist through her NDIS funding.
“It’s really given me more control and more freedom.”