By Mikayla van Loon
A Melba Support Services worker has been recognised with a national award for his incredible contribution to people with a disability.
Ahmad Alhamid was announced as the winner of the 2022 Workmate of the Year Award by the National Disability Practitioners on Tuesday 15 November.
While Mr Alhamid never expected to be working in the disability support sector, having owned a backpackers accommodation overseas and studying tourism in Australia, this job now brings him so much joy that tourism wasn’t.
As an SES volunteer at the time, Mr Alhamid’s unit controller suggested to him that he try working for Melba because of his love for helping people.
“I came to Melba and I loved it and so I wanted to learn more about it…to learn more about disability and I kept digging and digging to learn more things and make good relationships with people,” he said.
“And I loved it. I love when I come in and see the smiles on their faces. It just makes my day.”
For Mr Alhamid, working in the disability sector, it’s not so much about what he can do for the people he helps but ultimately what they do for him.
“It’s just beautiful. Even in the morning, they are still in their bedrooms, but they can hear me, they hear my voice and they start calling my name even though they are still in bed, it just made my day,” he said.
“It’s pure love, it’s clear, they’re not faking it. If they like you, they will show you they like you. You just show them respect and they will love you so much.”
Since 2018 Mr Alhamid has been working at Melba Support Services but has moved from a casual employee to a manager of one of the Supported Independent Living (SIL) houses.
Absolutely struck by shock and overwhelm when he received the call to let him know he had won the award, Mr Alhamid said he even forgot his own address.
“I totally froze. I was really shocked. I’m really, honestly very proud of my team because without them, I wouldn’t be able to have that success.
“My award or medal is the smile on their face. That’s the award for me. That is what I need. So I was surprised to be recognised.
“I’m shocked because I wasn’t thinking about it at all to be honest. I’m not doing it to be winning awards, I’m doing it for love. But it’s good to be recognised.”
While grateful for the personal recognition, Mr Alhamid said all his team give the same amount of love and effort he does because it’s “the Melba way”.