Member stories

Terese's Story

Court Support Worker, Regional QLD

Terese re-entered the workforce in her late 20’s working part-time when her youngest child began preschool. At the same time, she started studying to gain employment in the Social and Community Industry.

After a number of years working in a variety of roles, Terese is now employed as a Court Support Worker in regional Queensland assisting women and families experiencing crisis.

At her workplace she is considered to be one of the longest serving employees having been there for just over five years.

“In my years at the service, I have never seen another staff member access Long Service Leave,” Terese said.

“I have witnessed a high staff turnover and am fully aware of the same trend at other community organisations due to burn out and funding cuts.”

“The longer I stay in the Industry the more I’m realising how important it is to get legislation introduced into Queensland that allows workers to have access to Portable Long Service Leave! “

“Personally, to address burn out, I try and attend a retreat once every few years to recharge. This is very helpful but it’s always a trade-off between doing that for my own mental health and spending valuable time with family.”

“My experience also has been that organisations generally close between the Christmas and the New Year period, forcing staff to take annual leave on the non-public holidays to maintain income over the period.”

“Those of us with children then use up other days of annual leave in bits and pieces with child related activities; therefore it’s difficult to get a solid two weeks of annual leave to rest and rejuvenate, let alone a longer period.”

“It’s heartbreaking to see people leaving the Industry, due to burn out, and then lose the years of Long Service Leave entitlements they have worked hard for,” Terese said.

While Long Service Leave always seems to be on the distant horizon and certainly not close enough to make concrete plans, Terese says she would have a long list of things she would love to do if she could access this entitlement.

“I would divide my time between much needed rest just to recharge my batteries, focus on study to complete my Masters Degree and I would work on fixing up my home,” Terese explained.

“Being able to have Long Service Leave made portable will give SACS workers the stability and options other professionals have and that is why I am a union member!”

“It will also give our Industry the stability it desperately needs so those who need to access frontline services, get the consistent care they deserve!”

“All of these reasons are why being a union member is essential in winning Portable Long Service Leave.”

Does Terese’s story about working in the Social and Community Industry ring true?

Register today to have your voice heard in this very important Social and Community Industry campaign!

Let’s make Long Service Leave Portable.

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