Julie Marie is working at her computer in an office

Julie Marie


Forging an exciting new career path was something 29-year-old Julie Marie Carrasco did not imagine for herself, but with encouragement and support she is beginning to change the course of both her professional and personal life.

Already accessing therapy supports at Rocking Bay in Joondalup, Julie Marie joined Rocky Bay’s Stages Toward Employment Pathways (S.T.E.P.) program in February 2021, with the aim to enhance her capacity building and social skills development.

She approached Rocky Bay as she was looking for Mentorship, rather than partnering with a support worker.  She had also been working independently at a local fast food restaurant for a number of years, receiving support from Disability Employment Services.

The story continues...

The S.T.E.P. team supported Julie Marie to build relationships, and even worked closely with her therapy team in Joondalup when it came to organisation, planning and communicating through the “Discovery Process”. Julie Marie participated in this process with various Mentors and found the learnings enriching.

The discovery process is guided by a framework of various challenges and activities and involves Julie Marie’s Mentors assessing her skills and preferences and helping to build her capacity.

During the Discovery Process, Julie Marie was also instrumental in the development of a S.T.E.P. Social Club, which is a roaring success! She has made great friends with others in the social club, who all enjoy fun weekly catch ups around Perth.

It wasn’t until an opportunity for a customised role came up at global health and workplace services provider, APM, that the team evaluated how far Julie Marie had come, and discussed with her the possibilities of career development.

“Reading through Julie Marie’s Discovery Report it was evident that she had so much more potential and was ready for a new challenge,” said S.T.E.P. Team Leader, Penny Bickford.

“Julie Marie was at first reluctant as she hadn’t thought about getting a new job. It took some discussion with her and her family to encourage trust, as we empowered Julie Marie to see her in herself the potential we could see.”

How we helped

Penny explains the S.T.E.P. team support Julie Marie by helping her to plan her workload and help breakdown tasks, help her to interpret any new tasks and deliver them in way that she is able to follow, implement check lists, reminders and give her the tools needed to stay organised. Julie Marie is also empowered to ask the right people the right questions to help navigate any problem solving.

An MS Teams group has been created to monitor Julie Marie’s performance, and for her Mentors, Lead Mentors and Penny to be available for support when they are not physically on site with her.

After encouragement from the team, Julie Marie applied for the role, and is now Customer Support Officer at APM’s National Enquires Team. She navigates the NDIS Portal with ease, has learnt how to audit KPI registers, accesses multiple complex programs with confidence, and corresponds with agencies far and wide.

Just as importantly, her professional relationships have been nothing but positive.

“Her interactions with her colleagues are light-hearted, inclusive and social – just as it should be”, says Penny.

Since her success, Julie Marie’s supports have been reduced to 20-minute blocks. Her responsibilities at work are growing, as is her productivity. She is still working in her role in hospitality and hopes to eventually increase her hours in her new role.

Julie Marie’s new career path has not only given her much fulfilment and opportunity, she’s now using her new skills in her personal life.

“Julie Marie is transferring her organisation skills and new-found confidence to her home life. Her new role has not only changed her life and offered her a chance to grow into an independent person, but it has also positively impacted her home life and family,” says Penny.

The possibilities are endless for anyone when they keep an open mind and are given the opportunity to explore their career, and the world around them.

A few words


Julie Marie is transferring her organisation skills and new-found confidence to her home life. Her new role has not only changed her life and offered her a chance to grow into an independent person, but it has also positively impacted her home life and family.

- Penny Bickford - S.T.E.P. Team Leader


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