Your Stories is giving you the opportunity to reflect on and share your experiences about what it’s been like to work for the NSW Government in the disability sector.

You might have a funny anecdote, an uplifting experience with a colleague or a moving encounter that you would like to share. Take a look below at some of the stories already received. We’d love to hear from you too. Share your story.

Recently submitted stories - Page 3

Ricky Chan

Ricky Chan

A/Manager Access

I have been working in disability sectors for over 30 years and my last 10 years has been with ADHC. I am so grateful that ADHC has provided us with so many opportunities and I have learned so much.

I can recall helping a teenager who suffered from an acquired brain injury to improve his mobility so he is functionally more independent. With the support of our occupational therapist, we were able to assist the family to identify a much more appropriate school for him and we supported him to have a smooth transition.

Our team is going to be transferred to an NGO. Although there are still some uncertainty, but with the job guarantee, most of us we can still be servicing people with disability but in a new system that allows them to exercise their choices. I hope people with disability will be able to achieve their goals through the NDIS and lead a much happier life.

 Maxine Mackay

Maxine Mackay

Casework Consultant

I have learnt so much over the approximately 12 years with ADHC. In my journey I started as a Local Support Coordinator (LSC) and am now a Casework Consultant.

Initially I worked with a majority of young children doing person centred planning/approach. The 2 key words for my role back then was ADVOCACY & EMPOWERMENT. Some people might say they are overrated but to see the transformation of individuals/families was just awesome.

Two of us Aboriginal LSC’s lived in rural and remote communities and we would listen, enviously to the other colleagues in our team speak about the numerous services available in their larger communities. We had to be creative and innovative with our thinking and planning.

Families were reluctant to raise any concerns they had with services etc. and how things were done. They were concerned about the service/s they received being affected/withdrawn; they were also used to being told what they could have and how it would be delivered.

In our work we had to facilitate a whole mind-set change so families were informed and empowered to make decisions about their life, what support they needed to access and how to access. Through this the families had rights and control over what happened with their family member!

Jayne Penfold

Katerina Nesporek

Team Leader - Support Services

My greatest client outcome was working with a woman who had several housing placement breakdowns and charges for property destruction. Despite numerous attempts to introduce behavioural, psychological and medical interventions, her family strongly opposed these as they didn’t believe in them. After her final placement broke down, I advocated for high-level negotiations between Health, the Public Guardian and Corrective Services to get a medium-term admission into an acute care setting; the aim was to get her to be therapeutically accessible before we started skills building.

After she was admitted, she slowly became stable and then the real fun could begin! Using a coordinated approach with the hospital staff, we built her understanding of her treatment needs and educated her on her diagnosis. As she responded to these we phased-down the restrictions in her living environment. She was eventually discharged to the community living in a cluster model which provided her with the perfect balance of structure, independence and the sense of community belonging she always needed. Seeing the progress she made also brought her family in line and supporting the therapeutic services she is now receiving.

I no longer work with her however seeing the progress she made over the years I worked with her was immensely satisfying!

Craig Maynard

Behaviour Support Practitioner

Shortly after moving to a regional area to start a new role, I was required to attend training which meant driving from Inverell to Coffs Harbour. My colleagues were wonderful in providing me with directions and making travel arrangements.

A few weeks later I asked my manager why we had to go to Coffs Harbour when Armidale is more central. I explained I left Inverell at 1pm and didn’t arrive in Coffs Harbour till 9pm. Perplexed, he apologised and we discussed the route I took and agreed I went the quickest way. Still perplexed, he asked if I stopped along the way; I said no.

I then realised each time I saw dead kangaroo I pulled over, moved them off the road with a tissue, cried, said a prayer then continued my journey. I repeated this a few times. By this time my manager had a shocked look on his face so I explained I didn’t want to get into trouble with the law as it states I must move animal and obviously others couldn’t be bothered. He said actually you only have to move animal if you hit it.

I now crank the music way up so everything in the car vibrates, wind down my windows, wear thick jackets to keep warm; I haven’t hit any wildlife since. Every time I see a dead animal I make the sign of the cross so don’t have to pull over to drag them off the road.

Country driving brings some interesting challenges, I once pulled over and attempted to use a toilet what was just a hole. That stopped after I saw something move on the bottom when sunlight hit the bottom. Since then I've decided to hold till I get to civilisation and use the appropriate toilet with the flush mechanism. These are now all marked on my maps. These days I drive for hours till I get to the next office just so I can use their clean, flushing toilets.

Jayne Penfold

Jayne Penfold

Residential Unit Nurse Manager

Whilst at Metro Residences, seeing the growth of the ‘Moment to Shine’ project over the 8 years of its life was fabulous. Seeing us all on stage for a short time in our 1st performance to the professional performances in later years at the Hills Centre was inspirational. The performers all developed skills and talents never before seen as well as many of the staff.

My sewing machine also ran hot sewing costumes on weekends getting ready for performances. Many of the residents of NSW Rivers and several staff participated in A Moment to Shine, hard but rewarding work.

Ricky Chan

Thomas James

Team Leader

My favourite memory working in disability services was whilst working as a Team Leader for ADHC. I was working with an elderly disabled gentleman who has been a devoted Parramatta Eels fan for his entire life.

I was directly involved in organising & supporting him to a Parramatta Eels training session where he got to meet all the players & have photographs taken with them.

To this day he still mentions it with great pride & has the biggest smile when showing his friends/family all of the photos.

It was such an enjoyable day for all involved, so rewarding to see true happiness.

Chadi Abdul-Wahab

Chadi Abdul-Wahab

Behaviour Support Specialist

I started working with ADHC in August of 2011. Throughout my time I have been lucky enough to be part of many wonderful teams across different streams of Behaviour Support. I have been part of Community Support Teams, Regional Behaviour Intervention Teams and now the Behaviour Support Team which is part of the Quality and Reform Unit.

Working across multiple teams meant that I also worked across many Districts; these include Northern Sydney, Western Sydney, Nepean Blue Mountains, South Eastern Sydney, South Western Sydney, and Sydney Districts. This provided me with the valuable exposure to different client complexities which I believe has been essential for the my own professional development growth within each behaviour support role.

I have made and value the friendships I have developed over the years. I know I can call on them for advice, reassurance and a laugh! This brings some comfort given the uncertain future in the devolution of ADHC services.

Marg Lingard

Marg Lingard

Intake Officer and Case Manager

I commenced working as the Central Coast Intake Officer in January 2005. In 2006, I moved to the Community Support Team and have loved working in the community with Adults with Disability. I have gained so much personal satisfaction from my work and would happily stay in ADHC until I retire.

My fondest memory is the first time I borrowed the digital camera, to take a photo of a client for her Person centred Profile. I positioned her, with a big bush as the backdrop, lined up the camera and asked her to smile...... as I peered into the view window, she interrupted me to say "Margaret, you forgot to take the lens cap off".

She taught me a very valuable lesson, that I should never underestimate a person with a disability.

Graham Daly

Graham Daly

Administrative Assistant Office Services

What I like about working in Office Services is that you can fix things and see the actual results. From air conditioning to lights, equipment issues to security cards and petty cash, these are pretty fundamental to the running of the office and we are relied upon to help find solutions, even if I can be a bit strict sometimes!

One time I had to be very quick thinking (and a little bit lucky!). We had a big IT server room in Clarence St and just by chance, I went in and noticed the air conditioner was out and the temperature gauge had risen to over 30 degrees. I chocked the door open and put in fans to avoid the system crashing, and the air conditioner guys came in soon after, just in time.

People really appreciate and acknowledge Office Services as we can help them in all these different ways with what they need. When a meeting runs smoothly, when work stations are comfortable, when stationery is provided, and so on, this increases the quality of the work environment.

I’ve tended to work in non-frontline roles. ADHC and FACS are very focused on helping disadvantaged people – if I can’t directly do that, at least I can help the helpers. I suppose I have developed a good capacity for leadership, from years of training and mentoring new staff and transferring corporate knowledge, and I am glad to have made this contribution in ADHC and FACS.

When we finished up in our Sussex Street and Clarence Street buildings, I was the last person to “turn the lights out”. I really thought I’d be the last one to turn the lights out at Bligh Street too – but I’m glad I won’t be, unless they ask me to return. ADHC seems to have a magnetic pull – “you try to leave but it keeps dragging you back in!”.

I am excited about the new work and people, but am not looking forward to leaving. Having worked in other government departments previously, I know there are some remarkable things about ADHC. The staff tend to stay for a very long time, albeit in varying roles and they are friendly and easy to deal with. I really appreciate all the people I’ve been able to work alongside in all my years in ADHC.

Monisha D'Souza

Monisha D'Souza

Senior Project Officer

I’ve really enjoyed the various professional development opportunities that working in ADHC has allowed me. Through the various roles I’ve had at ADHC I’ve had countless opportunities to work closely with highly skilled , wonderful and compassionate co workers , and many have become friends; this has let me grow and develop both my capabilities and professional networks. I’ve been lucky to have a number of secondment opportunities which has allowed me to bring a new and unique perspective to each of the roles I have worked in.

Being able to have such a diversity of work is something that I will miss but hope that it is something I can continue to do along my career.


Page last modified by on February 22, 2018 at 1:06 pm