Vasalia is employed in disability services in Victoria as a disability development support worker.
The worksite is a supported living accommodation in Bundoora for people with disabilities. The role of disability development support workers is to support residents to be more independent at home and in the community. The common health and safety hazards in the industry include occupational violence, manual handling, work-related stress, bullying, harassment, slip, trip and falls.
The OHS challenges of working in the human services industry is balancing the rights of people with disability and providing a safe workplace for employees. Even more so with the introduction of
the NDIA Act in 2013 and Disability Act 2006.
Vasalia Govender has been elected as the health and safety representative every 3 years since 2000 and was recently elected in 2018. She represents 4 group homes, around 32 ongoing staff in addition to casual and agency workers at the Bundoora site. Over the years Vasalia has played and continues to play a key role in workplace health and safety especially with the privatization of services in 2019.