About Me the person
Being over 55 years old means that I have had plenty of time to work out who I am and where I fit in the world.
My Roles I've been a parent, an employee, a trainer, a student, a carer, a partner, an adventurer and many other roles.
This means I've learnt to adapt knowledge & skills in these roles as well as value the experiences both good or bad.
My Strengths are: being compassionate, tenacious, empathetic, honest, understanding, playful and open minded.
These are mostly positive, while others have been both a strength and a challenge to me at different times.
My Values are social justice, equality, equity, tolerance and advocacy. Not just for things that are important to me but also for those I have support. We don't always have to agree, just so long as we respect that each person is different.
Cool stuff i've done!
Walked the Camino de Santiago - 800 kilometre pilgrimage across Spain with plenty of blisters.
Skied the Olympic downhill at Saltlake City, USA - only fell twice.
Competed in a Bodybuilding Competition - just because no-one said I couldn't.
about me the worker
I have worked for over 30 years in the disability sector where I acquired extensive knowledge and experience in supporting people living with disabilities, and their carers.
Although I had earned my qualifications through formal tertiary education, I still consider the best learnings came from the people I have supported over the years.
Giving people "A Fair Go" is part of my values base, which has guided my belief in social justice and equality. During my years with Disability Services I have undertaken a number of leadership role. These were not part of my paid role, but were important to me and are two most challenging and rewarding things I did:
Community Recovery deployments in leadership roles providing financial and emotional support to people affected during TC Yasi (2011) in Townsville and then in Bundaberg floods (2013) following TC Oswald.
Workplace Union Delegate - in this role I took an active leadership role on Regional and State Governance Committees during the early launch of the NDIS in North Queensland, which transformed the Disability sector in North Queensland.
(Assessor & Linker)
July 2015 - February 2017
Providing support to people with disabilities to access Queensland Government Disability Services supports.
The role involves responding to enquiries and providing information on service options, conducting interview based eligibility and needs assessments. Provides people with a disabilities, their family, carer or guardian with information to assist access to informal, mainstream and specialist disability services appropriate to achieve their goals.
Assisting people with complex needs to engage with services, develop positive life strategies and to transition into independence. Often these individuals had a history of family breakdown, and involvement with government statutory agencies.
July 2013 to June 2015
Provided case management support to people with disabilities, families and carers, especially with complex needs to facilitate the provision of supports and service to meet identified goals.
Establishing Case Management services in Mount Isa; including community education and networking.
Working with high and complex clients with dual diagnosis and/or exiting the care of the state.
Worked with stakeholders including: Public Guardian, Mental Health, Clinical Services, Housing, Child Safety, and Justice services, as well as many nongovernment Service Provider and agencies.
Assessing risk and manage critical incidence for clients with socially maladaptive behaviours.
Family Support Facilitator
April 2002 - June 2013
The Family Support Program was a challenging role as I worked in partnership with people with a disability, their family and carers to design, as well as manage the discretionary funding allocated to support the person.
The role description read: 'coordinate and monitor the delivery of services to promote personal lifestyle and goals to enhance quality of life. Conduct interviews or incidental counselling with parents to address the complex parenting issues for their child/ren and family dynamics. Determine whether clients should be referred to other specialist services. Developed individualised person centred plans that address the disability specific needs of the person and their family; which included the management of discretionary funds allocated to the person. Provide support to the family to negotiate supports and service with other government and non-government agencies.'
The best part was working directly with people and seeing a change for the better.
Disability Support Worker
March 1988 - June 2001
In this role I provided personal, physical and emotional support to people with disabilities to meet their daily living goals; including showering, dressing and eating, as well as going on outings and other social activities. The level of assistance was always different and dependant on the ability and health of the clients.
I worked in group homes as well as individuals transitioning to independence from institutional care. These were some of the most rewarding times of my career.
During this time I was involved in major changes in Disability Care in Queensland as the service moved from a medical model to developmental, from institutional care to Person Centred planning, and many other changes that lead to today.
1988 - Present
Bachelor of Social Sciences - Human Services
Queensland University of Technology,
Carseldine campus, Brisbane
Certificate III in Workplace Training & Assessment
Carson Australasia, Brisbane
Certificate III in Disability Care
TAFE Queensland, Brisbane
Australian Community Workers Association (ACWA)
Membership Number LIHO12210
National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS)
Provider Number 40550014252
Other Career Highlights
1988 - Present
While working as a Residential Care Officer, with Disability Services I had a hunger for discovering and learning new things. These are some of the opportunities that fed that hunger:
Disability Services Deinstitutionalisation Project - (1997 - 2001) As a 'Key Worker' role I coordinated a team to support people with disabilities moving from Challinor Mental Health Centre into the community. These people had been residing in the Institution since birth, and in many cases had little knowledge or experience of the culture, rules or mores of the general community. As team leader I assisted staff to provide supports which respected the persons institutionalised culture while moulding skills and behaviour to increase Socially Valued place in the community.
Pre-Graduations Placement was a big year, I had access to a lot of practical learning which I still carry with me.
Mental Health Community Research Project - (1998 - 1999) My University placement was to conduct a community needs assessment to identify gaps in services to people with a mental health diagnosis living on the Redcliffe Peninsular. The research findings lead to the first Mental Health Peer Support Group in the region that was overseen by professional and community volunteers, as well as by the recipients themselves. The research was commissioned by the Redcliffe City Council, Redcliffe Bribie Caboolture Division Of General Practice Association, and Anglicare Community Services, and supported by the local Mental Health Services.
Parent Aide Program - (1999 - 2001) Assisting families at risk of Child Safety intervention to improve parenting skills and manage crises. This was a volunteer role linked to the Domestic Violence Recovery team at the Royal Children's Hospital, Brisbane, and provided through the Redcliffe Community Centre. I provided support to parents through a mentoring, training and counselling model, and to children by accessing Play Therapy to address trauma and Grief and Loss issues.
Domestic Violence Offenders Recovery Program - (1998): As the Group Facilitator I offered participants a safe and respectful space to undertake guided discussions to recognise the impact of violent behaviours on their partners, family, and children as well on themselves.
Post Graduation opened more doors that lead to changes of thinking and ever more learning.