As a relatively new graduate, Leah is a counsellor at the Eastern Centre Against Sexual Assault (ECASA), working with victim survivors of sexual assault. Her role involves a mix of intake and trauma counselling.
“I always wanted to work in child protection and had an interest in family violence. After I did my placement at ECASA, I just fell in love with the work,” Leah says.
After completing a Bachelor of Human Services and a Masters of Social Work, Leah’s first job was on the general medicine ward at a local hospital. It wasn’t long before she made her way back to ECASA in her current role.
“We offer 20 counselling sessions for our clients, so I get to work with people long-term, which you don’t generally get to do in other roles,” Leah explains.
“The fact that you can really work with people and advocate for them to create a lasting change in their lives, makes this such a rewarding job. You are advocating for people who are in a place of vulnerability and you get to work with them to give them a voice. It’s a privilege, really.”
“One of the reasons why I love it [at ECASA] so much is there’s always opportunities to develop your skills, and the way I see it, the more trauma-informed you become, the better service you can offer your clients.”
Leah says she makes time to ‘switch off’ between work and home, such as exercising or listening to music.
“It’s very rewarding work, but also intense, so you need to take care of yourself. There are supports available and you’re always strongly encouraged to take them up, especially when you are starting out.”
“I’ve never had the experience of being scared or worried at work, or felt unsafe or at risk. Sure, there’s moments that are confronting, but that’s when you get to make the most impact in someone’s life.”
Reviewed 18 February 2021