Branka has more than 20 years’ international experience in the field as a manager and practitioner, providing support services to refugees, children, seniors and families, on behalf of government and non-government agencies. She’s a qualified nurse and social worker who studied social work in both Europe and Australia and holds qualifications in family counselling, management, and social policy and planning. Her experience as a migrant cemented her commitment to being a community sector worker and helping others develop and reach their potential.
“From the day I first settled in Australia, I found I was accepted and given opportunities … and I want to extend to others what was extended to me.”
As SCS Community Connections Manager, Branka is responsible for a range of social support programs that enable clients and their carers to fully participate within their community.
In 2007 Branka started with Sydney Community Services – then Hunters Hill Ryde Community Services – as Social Support Coordinator. Since then, Branka has taken on another project or new job every other year.
“I feel as if I’ve done a lot of things here at SCS, and have never been bored,” says Branka who admits to always thinking about the next project – whether it’s helping a volunteer blossom into a job with SCS or creating new and exciting opportunities for our organisation and clients.
Branka is a committed, active member of grassroots community organisations to which she has contributed in various capacities such as committee president and most recently as secretary of Hunters Hill Food and Wine Festival. Her drive comes from seeing and appreciating results of SCS’ services.
“Working in this sector gives me a strong sense of belonging and making a positive contribution to the wellbeing of my local community,” says the Hunters Hill local.
Branka is married to Dalibor who shares her passion for local community and has many a time volunteered his time and skills to SCS. In her free time, Branka likes to create: her latest project is baking a perfect loaf of sourdough bread. It is yet to happen, says Branka with a smile.