As a teenager, Stacey Anderson knew she wanted to help people. Social work seemed like a dream to her, a way to make a real difference in people’s lives.
But growing up in Brisbane suburb Logan Central, one of the lowest socio-economic areas for indigenous Australians, her chances of completing enough education to do this were low.
As one of 10 children being raised by a single mother, Ms Anderson had to drop out of school before finishing year 12 to get a job and help take care of her family.
She worked as a forklift driver at a factory in Brisbane for more than 16 years before deciding to move to Canberra in 2000. She said the change was mainly so she could have a career for herself.
“If I had stayed in Brisbane, I wouldn’t have had as many opportunities as I do now,” Ms Anderson said. “I moved [to Canberra] because I had a goal. I didn’t want to just work in a factory; I wanted to really achieve something in my life.”
Ms Anderson got a job in the public service and then, in 2010, was offered an opportunity to further her education through Relationships Australia’s Indigenous Pathways program.
From forklift driver to social worker (Catholic Voice)