Rod is currently working in the Business Banking Risk team for Banking and Financial Services in the Sydney office and combined this with caring for both his parents over the past five years.
“Dad had heart disease, diabetes and dementia and, after a long illness, he sadly passed away in 2018," says Rod. “Less than a year later Mum was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer and passed away at the beginning of 2020."
Rod says that during his parents' illnesses his primary focus necessarily became his caring duties. Macquarie helped make this possible through a combination of flexible hours and carers leave.
“I genuinely don't know how I would have coped without the flexibility provided by Macquarie," Rod says.
“It gave me a feeling of comfort and safety. It meant I could care for my parents and attend hospital and medical appointments, as well as taking care of practicalities like grocery shopping and chores."
Rod recently joined Macquarie's Families and Carers Employee Network Group (ENG), which aims to support employees who have family or carer responsibilities through social activities, practical training and other initiatives to support carers.
“I feel very fortunate that I experienced such understanding from Macquarie during a challenging time and I'm keen to leverage my experiences to advocate for carers and contribute to the ENG," says Rod.
“My sister and I were able to be beside both parents as they took their last breath," says Rod. “I am incredibly grateful I was there."
His advice to other carers facing a similar journey is not to feel alone.
“It was undoubtedly the most challenging and most emotional time of my life," Rod says. “It's important to talk about it and there are also many resources and support services that can help carers."
“There are still times now where my sadness and grief boil over but the support of family and friends and the genuine understanding of my colleagues really helps."