Our LASA Next Gen Ambassadors are incredibly passionate about the age services industry; from our front-line staff to those in our business teams, and those in hospitality; they love being part of our age services sector and supporting our workplaces through this period of unprecedented growth and change and into the future. Our Ambassadors are helping LASA Next Gen to promote the changing face of aged care and highlight how our industry is dynamic, innovative and life-changing.

 

But, who are they?

 

Jelena Giro, Director of national labour hire agency Altaira, a LASA Next Gen Ambassador and is dedicated to promoting the changing face of aged care.

Read on to learn a bit more about Jelena!

 

Who do you look up to?

My answer is, and always will be, my parents. They have shaped the person I am today. From WWII partisan fighters, town mayor, president of a country, working mum and dad trying to balance it all, my family has given me strength to fight for my dreams. I was born in a small town called Struga in Macedonia, but lived in Belgrade, Serbia until I was nine.

When the infamous war started in Former Yugoslavia, my parents decided to migrate to South Africa in a search of a better life. I then moved around, living in Johannesburg, Somerset West, Adelaide, Macedonia, New Zealand, and Skopje. Just before starting Year 12, my family and I came back to Adelaide and we finally settled down. It was through my family’s hunt for a better life, growing up as migrant and being a child that constantly moved schools, I realised how all these experiences have helped me easily adapt to change.  I use this skill daily in managing operations at Altaira.

 

How did you become involved in age services?

My Mother-in-Law has been an incredible inspiration, as a Carer and a Nurse for many years she wanted to make a difference in the aged care industry. I entered my age services career in 2012, where I saw a potential for growth and the opportunity to do something that would make a difference in the lives of others.

 

What do you love most about working at age services?

My workplace is very family orientated. As a family business, it is very important for us to not forget the past and where we came from, nor how we got here. It is something I hold onto quite dearly.

 

How do you maintain a work-life balance?

Today, as a 37-year-old woman, a mother of two beautiful girls, a business owner, and a dreamer I can honestly say that the balancing act as a female in business is still tricky. However, I want to show my daughters that it is achievable. I want them to grow up feeling empowered to chase their dreams and to know that they can have it all.

I am achieving my dreams, accepting new challenges, and still learning from my peers and anyone that is willing to impart wisdom. As human beings we learn and grow throughout our lifetime. Our legacies are the families we leave behind and the stories we tell. My story is still writing itself but along the way I want to look back and see that I have made a difference and achieved my goals.

 

What do you wish other people knew about age services?

As young people we all have the impression of invincibility and we forget that one day we too will age and need support from our families and communities. Today we have an opportunity to create a better present and future for this sector by providing and improving on our services for our elderly while continuing to celebrate their lives and journey.

Aged care is under a constant microscope and I believe we all have a social and moral responsibility to have a voice for the ones that may struggle to be heard. Whether you are a nurse that is feeling overwhelmed, a resident being overlooked or a manager feeling burnt out, it is important that we come together and support each other. Our young aged care leaders play an integral part in bringing a strong voice to this industry and creating a bridge between our young and old. This is an industry that will challenge you, inspire you, teach you and at times humble you.

 

Jelena is a LASA Next Gen Ambassador in SA and Director at Altaira. See all our Ambassadors here.