For some time now, the pair have enjoyed long conversations on all things fish related.
And, recently, they decided to take it one step further.
A long-time angler, Taz always keeps his fishing equipment in the car and, together, the pair decided to go down to West Lakes Shore to see what was biting.
Like so many of our Support Workers, Taz is keen to ensure our clients are given the time to explore the things that they love.
“I always try to make sure that they have some quality experiences and remember some really good times,” says Taz.
“It was a great pleasure to take Mark as I can see just how much he enjoys,” he says.
“He caught a fish on his own and was just so happy!”
“Unfortunately, the bream was too small, though, so we had to release it back,” he says.
“It was very disappointing!” Mark agrees.
Mark has since invested in his own fishing gear (with Taz’s expert assistance) and the pair now regularly go fishing together around the West Lakes area.
Mark has said that it brings back memories of his father taking him fishing when he was a boy.
“I had my own boat when I lived in Bundaberg (Queensland) and I would go fishing regularly with my Dad,” he says.
Mark’s is highly personable and independent with his disability (autism) mainly affecting his working memory, but he has developed systems and supports around him to assist.
Generally, Taz (and Assured Support Worker Sam) work with Mark on a weekly basis to prepare meals, take him to appointments and support recreation and activities in the community – now including, of course, regular fishing!
Alongside fishing, Mark enjoys gaming and is a keen Dr Who fan (“Tom Baker is my favourite Doctor”) who keeps a very large and growing DVD collection, which takes pride of place next to a feature cabinet of dragon figurines and an aquarium with some prized neon tetras.
He also likes to pull apart and configure computers and has, until recently, worked in the Electronics division at Minda. With relocation of the facility, however, Mark will soon be shifting to Bedford, and Assured recently attended his induction.
“I’m looking forward to meeting the new people,” he says.
Otherworldly experiences (outside of fishing!)
Mark is particularly open to supernatural experiences and has a fascination for the eerie and otherworldly.
“When I was young and living in a house in Valley View, my sisters had a Ouija board,” says Mark.
“I’d be getting up in the night and there would be a chap with a beard and you would hear footsteps down the hallway and the fridge opening,” he says.
“It scared me at first, but it was a friendly ghost,” he laughs.
Mark is hoping that he can find a Support Worker soon who will be brave enough to take him on a ghost tour of the Adelaide Gaol (something we are working on!)
Our talented team of Support Workers
Taz is a relatively recent addition to the Assured team.
His background was in aquaculture, where he worked for 10 years as an Agricultural Fisheries Adviser in Bangladesh, training and assisting people in rural areas to develop greater capacity and skill in commercial fisheries management under a national Government Funding program.
Taz found that it was the human connection that he had with the local people – interacting with many different types of people, assisting those in poverty and understanding their issues – that was one of the best parts of the job and something he felt passionate about.
It’s these fundamental elements that he has also found in working as a Support Worker in Australia.
“I really like to share stories with people and to learn new things,” he says.
“I’ve found that it’s really important not to stereotype people as every individual is different,” he says.
“As a Support Worker, you need to get to know their background and what interests them, for you to be able to support them well.”
In his spare time, Taz is heavily involved in the local Bangladeshi Community Association (currently serving as Secretary), which is part of the Ethnic Schools Association of South Australia. He is a keen writer and poet in his native Bengali and a regular contributor (and former editor) of the Association’s magazine..
He is also a talented amateur photographer whose work was chosen last year to display at the National Art Gallery in Bangladesh.
And the future of fishing for Taz and Mark?
Mark has nearly completed requirements for his Learner driver license and will soon be going for his P’s.
With the chance of increased mobility, he will be looking to go fishing farther afield but, according to Mark, “only around parts of South Australia at this stage”.
Let’s hope the (oversized) bream are waiting!