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Maren marks new employment chapter at Mater

Volunteer Maren Wiebelskircher had always struggled to find employment until she arrived at Mater Private Hospital Townsville.

Volunteer Maren Wiebelskircher was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome at the age of 35 and had always struggled to find employment until she arrived at Mater Private Hospital Townsville.

For the past five years, Ms Wiebelskircher, 47, has been volunteering in an administration role at the hospital and said she loved putting her skills to good use.

“I like structure and routine,” she said. “I tend to stick to what I do well, and that’s sorting and filing and organising.

“Being able to put together various forms for the many different wards we have might be boring to others but it’s something I really enjoy doing.”

This week, National Volunteers Week (16-22 May), Ms Wiebelskircher is sharing her story to encourage more people with disabilities to consider volunteering in their communities.

According to the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, people aged 15-64 with disability are twice as likely to be unemployed as those without a disability.[1]

Ms Wiebelskircher said her developmental disorder had impacted her ability to effectively socialise and communicate with large groups of people.

I have always had a lot of trouble trying to find a job, so I am thankful to have this opportunity to work and feel appreciated for what I do.
Maren Wiebelskircher - Mater Private Hospital Volunteer 

Ms Wiebelskircher volunteers at the hospital one day a week but hopes to pick up more shifts in the coming months.

Mater Private Hospital Townsville Co-ordinator David De Witt said the hospital was an inclusive work environment and commended Ms Wiebelskircher for her volunteer work.

“There are often misconceptions about the capacity of people with a disability to do a job well, but in Maren’s case, she is a much valued member of the team,” Mr De Witt said.

“At Mater, we value the work of all volunteers equally.”

Find out more about volunteering at:

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[1] Employment for people with disability in Australia - Australian Institute for Health and Welfare

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