Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine Issue 11

issue 11 2018/2019

MAGAZINE Rural Lifestyle Options Australia

in this issue

lexie's ndis journey

1:5 All abilities relay

futures planning within the ndis pages 18 - 19

pages 12 - 13

pages 14 - 15

NDIS provider of choice

CEO’S Update

Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine ISSUE 11 BIANNUAL PUBLICATION March 2019 QUEENSLAND PO Box 617, Beaudesert QLD 4285 NEW SOUTH WALES PO Box 238, Murwillumbah NSW 2486

Welcome to the eleventh edition of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia magazine, which reflects on our journey over the past six months. In this edition you will find some interesting and inspiring stories such as Lexie’s story whose dream it was to re-connect with her local community on page 12. 2018 was another busy year for our team, and in particular, the last six months has certainly been a growth phase for our organisation. We have continued to welcome new participants, families and staff to the organisation and focused on giving back to the local communities in which we serve whenever we can through initiatives such as Feel Good February and Fiver for A Farmer. Our Supported Independent Living service has experienced a growth of 175% resulting in lots of permanent employment opportunities for a range of staff. At Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, we are passionate about employing locals and supporting the local communities in which we operate and have been thrilled by the support we have received so far from some of the newer communities we have been operating in. We have several key events planned to occur in both Queensland and New South Wales over the next six months. We will be celebrating the wonderful achievements of women on International Women’s Day on Friday 8th March. Contents

For the second year running, we will be hosting Closing the Gap morning tea on Thursday 21st March, NAIDOC week celebrations in August and our 1:5 All Abilities Relay occurring again this year on Saturday 10th August, to assist our organisation in raising much needed funds to achieve our Unfunded Projects initiatives as proudly published on our website. To keep up with our expanding team and for purpose driven organisation, we recently launched our new website, logo and brand colours to better reflect the communities we now serve. We’re really excited about our new look and we hope you like it too! Lastly, I wanted to let you all know that this will be my last update for a while as I embark on the exciting and ever rewarding journey of motherhood and welcome another beautiful baby boy into the world. I would like to thank you for your continuing support over the past 6 months and remember if you would like to submit an article or would like to hear about a particular topic just phone the office on 1300 032 175 or send us an email to social@rloa.org.au .

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rural-lifestyle-options-australia

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Produced and published twice yearly by the Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Marketing and Communications division with contributions from the Board, Staff, Participants, Partners and Volunteers. DESIGN AND PRODUCTION Nicholas Power, National Marketing Manager nick.power@rloa.org.au ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES Michelle Latailakepa, Chief Executive Officer advertising@rloa.org.au To gain permission to reprint any material that appears in this publication, please contact social@rloa.org.au or write to us at either of the addresses above. The views expressed in the Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine do not necessarily reflect the views of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia. The organisation takes no responsibility for equipment, products or services advertised in this publication.

Michelle Latailakepa Chief Executive Officer

CEO Welcome Introducing Our New Brand Reflect - Our Update on Reconciliation Text To Give 25th Annual General Meeting Spotlight On Ability Our Impact - A Fiver For A Farmer Our Impact - Feel Good February Containers For Change

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 11

Lexie's NDIS Journey 1:5 All Abilities Relay

12 14 16 17 18 20 22 23 24

Your Impact

NDIS Highlight - Terry

Futures Planning In The NDIS People, Engagement and Culture

Learning For Purpose

Meet Fiona

Play For Purpose

2 Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine

introducing

our new brand

You may have noticed from the front cover of this magazine, that we have a new logo... For the past 6 months, we have been busy behind the scenes, designing a complete new look – from our social media pages to our website and soon to all our internal documents and marketing materials. Our new branding is as much about you, as it is about us, which is why we thought we would explain why we made the change. The new Rural Lifestyle Options Australia logo has been designed to assist us in demonstrating our ethos – we are a proud NDIS service provider who deliver services in rural and regional communities. The windmill has become an iconic relic in the communities in which we operate and was chosen as a homage to our humble beginnings in the small regional Queensland town of Beaudesert. The rebrand has been undertaken to account for our growth. With the introduction of the NDIS and our growing number of participants, it was apparent that a refresh was long overdue. Aqua will still remain as our key theme across our new colour scheme due to its symbolism of serenity and stability.

Our new website is scheduled to go live on Monday, 18 March 2019 and has been developed to evolve with the story of our organisation. We knew with the introduction of the NDIS, that the disability services world was changing and we realised that we needed to separate ourselves from the pack. It has been designed to be visually modern, clear regarding content and simple in terms of navigation. We have adopted video content at the forefront of our website redesign and anticipate to include more video and rich media content as the year continues. Over the next few months, you will see the rebrand unfold to all aspects of the organisation - from our office signage to our staff lanyards. As an organisation, we love continuous improvement, so we arn't going to stop there. Watch this space as you see the Rural Lifestyle Options Australia brand evolve as we continue to grow as a leader in the NDIS space.

Author: Mr Nicholas Power, National Marketing Manager

Visit our website at: www.rloa.org.au

www.rloa.org.au 3

REFLECT our update on reconciliation

NAIDOC Week celebrations are held across Australia each July to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. On Thursday 12 July 2018, Rural Lifestyle Options Australia held a morning tea in recognition of this important and significant event. Members from Jymbilung House, a local Indigenous community organisation, attended the morning tea with Elder Lorraine Iselin opening the event by giving a Welcome to Country. Elder Denise Lewis also gave a small speech explaining the significance of NAIDOC Week. "It's about education as well as celebration of our culture, there is so much going on in our lives that people are unaware of and we get to share that during NAIDOC." We are proud of our relationship with Jymbilung House and will continue, as a service provider to develop and grow our cultural knowledge and realise our vision for reconciliation. With special thanks to the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet for providing $1000 in grant funding to host this event.

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to donate $5 or more to support people with a disability living in rural and regional communities.

Text ‘RURAL’ to 0437 371 371 to make a donation to Rural Lifestyle Options Australia’s Unfunded Projects .

www.rloa.org.au 3

25th annual general meeting 2018

On Saturday 24 November 2018, Rural Lifestyle Options Australia held its 25thAnnual General Meeting at the Beaudesert Golf Club. Attendees included company members, staff and participants with formal proceedings commencing at 10am. National Marketing Manager, Mr Nicholas Power was Master of Ceremonies for the morning which commenced with an Acknowledgement of Country and a video chronicling the journey of theorganisation, ledby Carole Caswell, Chairperson of the Board of Directors. During the proceedings the new consititution was passed to ensure the position of the organisation is strengthened into the future. Following the proceedings, Mr Gavin Mcleod was invited to read a poem he had written named 'An Angel' before being asked to cut the 25th Anniversary Cake. The meeting ended on a light hearted note with the launch of the organisation's 2018 Christmas Appeal video, a rendition of Jingle Bells, sung by participants and staff. Following the proceedings, attendees were invited to enjoy cake and have morning tea. 6 Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine

spotlight on ability International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is held on the 3rd of December each year. It aims to increase public awareness, understanding and acceptance of people with disability and celebrate their achievements and contributions. In the 5 weeks leading up to International Day of People with Disability 2018, Rural Lifestyle Options Australia counted down to this commemorative day by recognising and celebrating the achievements of a person with a disability in the wider community as part of a video series, named 'Spotlight On Ability'.

Week 1: Stephen Hawking Stephen Hawking had a rare early-onset slow-progressing form of motor neurone disease that gradually paralysed him. He is best known for his groundbreaking work in physics and cosmology.

Week 2: Michael J Fox Michael J Fox was diagnosed with young-onset Parkinson's disease in 1991. Upon disclosing his condition, he committed himself to the campaign for increased Parkinson's research.

Week 3: Kurt Fearnley Kurt Fearnley has a congenital disorder called sacral agenesis which prevented fetal development of certain parts of his lower spine and all of his sacrum. He is a multiple Paralympic medallist who has achieved a number of accolades over the course of his career, including this year being named NSW’s Australian of the Year.

Week 4: Marlee Matlin Marlee Matlin lost all hearing in her right ear and 80% of the hearing in her left ear at the age of 18 months. She has received a number of awards and nominations for her acting work, including two additional Golden Globe nominations and four Emmy Award nominations for her television appearances.

Week 5: Stevie Wonder To finish off our 5-part series, we celebrated the achievements of Stevie Wonder, who was born with a condition called retinopathy of prematurity, which made him blind. Today, Stevie Wonder is recognised by many to be a pioneer and innovator in the music industry.

www.rloa.org.au 7

our impact A fiver for a farmer

In Autumn 2018, parts of Australia had record drought, leaving farmers across the country in dire straits. As costs and weather conditions for Farmers and their families continued to spiral, as an organisation we knew that it was important to play our part, regardless of how small to assist these people where we could. We registered through Hit105 Brisbane for a campaign they were supporting called 'A Fiver For A Farmer', a campaign started by a ten year old boy named Jack Berne from Freshwater, New South Wales. The campaign encouraged school students and staff from organisations around the country to dress up as farmers on Friday 17 August 2018 and donate $5 to raise awareness and funds for the cause. The 'A Fiver For A Farmer' campaign ended up raising $64,196.95 for Rural Aid. As an organisation whose focus is on supporting rural communities, we are proud to have played our part in supporting this campaign which in turn provided dire support for our drought stricken Australian farmers.

To support our Australian farmers, make a donation at: www.ruralaid.org.au/donate

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our impact feel good february 2019

For the fourth year running, we are proud to say that we participated in Feel Good February. Feel Good Feb is a community initiative which started in 2015 by Sydney founder Mrs Linda Pang, to encourage people to perform random acts of kindness for people in the community. According to Linda, there has been extensive research to show that giving out good not only benefits the receiver but also increases the happiness of the person giving it. Doing a Random Act of Kindness (RAK) is a concept that a lot of people already do. Feel Good Feb brings RAK into the spotlight and wants to inspire people to focus on being proactive, because in our busy lives, sometimes we need to slow down. A RAK can be something as simple as helping an elderly person carry their groceries to their car, leaving a favourite book on the seat of a train or a bus for someone else to enjoy, or drawing smiley faces on the pavement with chalk near a playground to bring smiles to people's faces.

Other ideas include popping some veggie or herb seedling packets into your neighbourhood's letterboxes or buying some book vouchers and leaving them on car windscreens. Our first Feel Good Feb event for the year was on Thursday, 14 February 2019 where staff and participants handed out free t-shirts and sunglasses to passersby outside of our South East Queensland Office. Our second event took place in Murwillumbah, New South Wales which saw staff visiting different areas of the town to hand out free iced water and softdrinks to community members and local businesses.

To learn more about what we are up to in the community visit: www.rloa.org.au/news

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2016

2017

2018

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LEXIE'S ndis JOURNEY

Thanks to the NDIS, the future is looking bright for Lexie! Lexie’s journey in the lead up to successfully being funded for the NDIS is unfortunately not an uncommon one, approaching Rural Lifestyle Options Australia following an initial rejection of her original application. General Manager Disability Services, Mr Shane Ferguson assisted Lexie with her application. "We started out by reviewing the NDIS decision and then collating further evidence to support the application. The challenge appears to be with the information local General Practicitions are providing on the NDIS applications. Without being critical of this, the medical model discussed participants in terms of priority from a medical basis rather than discussing disabilities and impacts of this on daily life." Rural Lifestyle Options Australia provided some guidance to the local general practicitions and attended with Lexie to ensure that the questions the NDIS had were being addressed. An updated functional assessment was required to assess post rehab skills for development and deterioration. According to Mr Shane Ferguson, this was a long process

for everyone involved but ended with the correct decision being made once all the information was sourced. On her fifth attempt, with each knock back more disheartening than the last, Lexie's funding was finally approved, and now her future is looking brighter than ever. According to Lexie, Mr Shane Ferguson encouraged her to be optimistic every step of the way. “We were downhearted, but Shane kept saying “Don’t worry Lexie, we will get there” and we did in the end!” reminisces Lexie. Lexie’s NDIS package has granted her a freedom she hasn’t had in years. It has allowed her to participate regularly in social outings and given her focus to pursue her own personal goals. “The support workers are great, they take me out. I’ve been everywhere, I’ve been up to The Shed, which is an Olive Farm at Rathdowney. You sit up on top of a big hill on a big veranda and when you out you have beautiful views of the mountains. I’ve been to Darlington, the pubs downtown, I even went to Mondaze at Flagstone!” Outside of increased social participation, Lexie aspires to use her funding to assist her husband, Dave more in the kitchen.

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"The next goal that's on my list is that I want to have my support workers help me to cook again. We're going to cook up some meals for my husband and I and put them in the freezer - I want to cook a month's worth of food at a time, over the course of a week!" "We've made a list of meals we would like - my husband and I both enjoy spaghetti bolognaise!" Only a month into her NDIS supports, Lexie is feeling optimistic about the future proclaiming "I've got a life again!" “Before I had the NDIS, I used to sit inside my own four walls, my outings consisted of me going out once a fortnight – and that was for a doctor’s appointment. I never went anywhere other than that” Today, Lexie has a team of female support workers who assist her in her day to day errands - 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. “My son Alex is also a participant, so I had met a lot of the girls previously and I feel comfortable with them at the moment. Every one of them is unique in their own way. They’ve all got their own little quirks and I just love each and every one of them." "At the moment with the NDIS, I’m looking forward to getting on with my cooking, being out and about in the community – I actually went out with my cousin the other day and it was so lovely, I hadn’t done that in ages. I want to do other things too, like go to the movies.”

Lexie's story paints a picture of what the National Disability Insurance Scheme was designed to achieve. It has allowed her to express choice and control while re- introducing a sense of freedom, back into her life. Rural Lifestyle Options Australia are proud to have played our part in assisting Lexie get her NDIS journey underway and are happy to hear that she is making the most of her NDIS plan as she strides towards her goals under the scheme.

I’ve been out for drives for lunch and morning tea, even just going to the park and having a coffee and a chat is just lovely as I get out of the house!

LEXIE

We are proud to be supporting Lexie to live a life of her choice.

donate today to support people with a disability.

www.rloa.org.au/donate

1300 032 175

www.rloa.org.au 13

1:5 all abilities relay

Did you know that over four million Australians have some form of disability? That's one in five people. On Saturday 15 September 2018, Rural Lifestyle Options Australia showed our support for 1 in 5 Australians by hosting the first annual 1:5 All Abilities Relay at the Tamborine Pony Club. Scenic Rim Regional Council Mayor Mr Greg Christensen officially kicked off the relay which saw teams of all abilities, take to the relay course, working together to complete a 5km distance. Many teams decided to embrace a theme and wear fancy dress, with Tamborine Pony Club entrants even supplying their own fake ponies! The day played host to a series of entertainment for families and friends including a magic show by Drace Illusionist and a musical performance by country music artist TJ Macc.

A 15m obstacle course and an inflatable jumping castle kept the family fun alive with relay participants turning to local vendors Serious Burgers Food Van, BKS Coffee2Go and The Churro Shack for post-relay nutrition. Event Organiser Mr Nicholas Power said he was happy that the day ran smoothly and was glad that everybody enjoyed themselves. "We are grateful for our supporters and are looking forward to making the event bigger and better in 2019!" With thanks to our generous sponsors, fearless relay participants and the support of friends and family, the organisation raised $5,116 toward our Unfunded Projects initiative.

The 1:5 All Abilities Relay will be back in 2019! Visit www.1in5charityrelay.com to learn more.

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www.rloa.org.au 15

YOUR IMPACT MAKING A DIFFERENCE

Our Unfunded Projects initiative includes any project undertaken by Rural Lifestyle OptionsAustralia which adds value to the lives of the people we support, which we do not receive any funding for. Every dollar we raise through our Unfunded Projects counts and contributes toward supporting a person with a disability living in a rural or regional community. Our Unfunded Projects, as listed on our website, are only made possible through the generosity of members within our community. Contributions from Preloved Homewares Op Shop purchases, Play For Purpose ticket sales, bequests, donations, in-kind support from local businesses, and our Monthly Giving and Workplace Giving programs all assist in bringing our Unfunded Projects into fruition. We are pleased to announce that we have successfully achieved funding for Unfunded Project 10 which involved the installation and purchase of a Ceiling Hoist system designed to facilitate safe, comfortable and dignified transfers of people.

Ceiling Hoists are used to transfer people between two locations (e.g. between a chair and a bed). A ceiling hoist comprises of a track which is fitted to the ceiling and an electrically powered lifting motor, which is also attached to a sling. A big thank you to our supporters who have assisted us in achieving funding for this project which include the Stronger Communities Program Grant ($3,800), Bentleys Chartered Accountants ($3,200) and Beaudesert RSL Services Club ($2,000). Total project cost was $9,000.

Our Unfunded Projects initiative is only made possible with your support. To learn more about our Unfunded Projects visit www.rloa.org.au

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NDIS HIGHLIGHT Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and the NDIS are helping people like Terry achieve their goals. The smile on Terry's face from a recent trip to Broadwater Parklands at the Gold Coast, says it all.

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FutureS planning within the ndis

Futures planning for a loved one with special needs is a particularly challenging prospect. Many families state they feel overwhelmed by guilt at the prospect of placing their loved one into care and feel the time constraints of simply caring for their loved one are prohibitive in the search for appropriate care. Once a carer decides to visit the possible options, they are also faced with a vast variety of hurdles to navigate in order to successfully plan for a transition and continued care for a loved one. This article seeks to discuss the barriers to future planning and outline some of the options and suggestions to navigate around these barriers. I would like to start with the most significant barrier in my view, which is the challenging nature of futures planning. It forces carers to confront mortality, suppress feelings of guilt and betrayal and discuss the options with extended family and support networks. It places siblings and extended family in a position of perhaps wanting to or feeling pressured to provide support, however not always having the time, skills, money, energy or desires to provide that care. Family can become divided by the discussion, and perhaps lay further guilt upon the carer, believing that a carers duty is lifelong, thus challenging the notion of futures planning. 18 Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Magazine

Futures planning forces carers and families to confront not only their own mortality but that of their loved one who is reliant on their support. It is important to understand mortality; that the loved one will require life long support but mentally for their own peace of mind. Carers and families can often feel considerable guilt about the topic of futures planning, believing that they hold a lifelong responsibility to provide the necessary ongoing care for their loved one. Siblings or extended families should remain open to how they can assist in this planning process, but be encouraged to be honest about their desires and wishes as well. Daily pressures, many carers are struggling to make ends meet at the best of times both from a financial perspective and further a time and resource perspective. Carers routinely find themselves exhausted after providing extensive acts of daily living required for their loved one, simply not having the energy or mental reserves to expend on the complex and vast topic of futures planning. Where do carers start? How do carers and family start the conversations with extended family, friends and organisations? What are the Government and Non Government roles and processes involved in this endeavour? Is this a question that begins at the local GP level, perhaps the school? What about carers who have never had formal disability support for their loved one? Like many taboo subjects, futures planning is not widely discussed with information generally being sparse

or unclear. This barrier alone can be enough to cause procrastination on the topic and can lead to another barrier - role reversal. Information regarding the process and options for futures planning can be sporadic and sometimes quite frankly false. Two places to approach to receive up to date and unbiased information can be disability advocacy services or providers who provide support to people independent of their families. They can be great sources of information and can assist to ensure that the correct information is available. It needs to be noted that patience is required as this planning process can take considerable time, as there are many variables that need to be considered. The person with special needs may previously and or currently required support in more complex tasks or roles, but as the years pass a role reversal can creep up on carers. As carers age they may become less physically able for to undertake even just the basic activities of daily living, they may find themselves reliant on the loved one with special needs for physical assistance and thus creating a symbiotic relationship where the carer and individual need each other to accomplish daily tasks. This also creates a barrier, as now neither person is able to secure their future due to the entanglement of the relationship and roles that now exist. If steps are taken to future proof care for the person with special needs this might leave the carer unable to meet their daily living needs, effectively doubling the issues. The need for routine and continuous care for some people with special needs has made the prospect of personal funded arrangement untenable for most people in this country. The costs associated with providing long term care for a person with special needs are considerable and automatically rules out privately funded arrangements in most cases. Carers may feel pressured to sell their possessions in order to accommodate these costs leaving them without assets for their own future security.

Carers may not have expected their loved one to outlive them, with the constant advancement of medical science, new medications and assistive technology; the prospect of their loved one requiring futures planning may not have been considered. Carers may also have had misconceptions or expectations of their support network or government simply must assist when called upon. Carers can feel that ‘rules of the family’ insist that the family take over the caring role and thrust this expectation onto extended family which may be unviable. The carer and family may have similar expectations that the Government or community agencies are already aware of the situation, when in fact, if families have had little contact with these agencies, they may not. Managing expectations can be challenging, topics regarding futures planning may have been discussed previously and considerable changes have occurred in this time. The suggestions are to remain open and double check expectations are meeting reality. If extended family has previously suggested they would assist with futures planning, have follow up meetings or conversations to ensure that this offer remains current – often peoples circumstances change over time. Provide as much information as possible to extended families so that they are making an informed decision. It is never in the best interest of the person to be moved from one arrangement to another. Be prepared to bring a mediator or support person to any meetings with providers, government or even extended family members to ensure that conversations stay on topic.

Author: Mr Shane Ferguson, General Manager Disability Services

If your goal in 2019 is to live more independently in a community of your choice, talk to one of our friendly staff today.

www.rloa.org.au

1300 032 175

www.rloa.org.au 19

people engagement & culture

Nominations for the Above and Beyond Award are submitted by peers to the Rural Lifestyle Options Australia Senior Leadership Team who assess nominees against a set of criteria. Where exceptional practice has been demonstrated and the nomination is supported by the Leadership team, the staff member is presented with a framed certificate by the CEO. Recipients of this award also receive a $50 Coles Group & Myer Gift Card, feature in our Annual Report, biannual Magazine and across our social media pages.

What we do is just as important as How we do it.

Sally schiffmann

raeli badger

sam wright

January 2019

february 2019

february 2019

learning & Development

At Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, we offer a diverse and challenging environment with great learning and career opportunities for people who share our values. We provide our staff with the right knowledge to grow, learn and develop their skills in order to reach their full potential. Over the past 6 months we have celebrated the achievements of two new staff members from our Customer Service Team who attained their Business Cert 1 through a traineeship program in partnership with Access Australia. Mrs Sally Schiffmann, who became fulltime after her traineeship in July 2018 and Ms Tracey Moss who joined the organisation in a full time role in January 2019. Congratulations to both Sally and Tracey on this amazing achievement!

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Employment benefits

sally's journey As part of a fabulous opportunity by Access to participate in their Business Cert 1 Traineeship for 2018, I was interviewed for Rural Lifestyle Options Australia and started in March. During my traineeship process, I was very nervous starting my first day. Upon arrival, Kirily walked me around the office and introduced me to all the staff. I felt my nerves subside and a part of the team instantly. Annett was tasked to train me for reception, she is a very patient woman, from there my knowledge grew into learning other admin tasks so I was able to cover for Annett for holidays. Once my traineeship finished, I was given the opportunity to stay on fulltime at the Rural Lifestyle Options Australia office in South East Queensland.

Did you know that Rural Lifestyle Options Australia employees are able to ‘purchase’ additional leave? Purchased leave can be used to help cover things like school holidays or that big overseas holiday you’ve been working towards! All purchased leave taken is subject to operational requirements. Other leave types Depending on the circumstances, Rural Lifestyle Options Australia employees can also access a number of different leave types including: • Annual leave • Personal (sick) leave • Paid carers leave • Unpaid carers leave • Compassionate leave • Bereavement leave • Parental leave (maternity, paternity and adoption) • Long service leave • Community service leave • Jury duty leave • Family & domestic violence leave • Ceremonial leave If you are thinking about purchasing leave, or want some confidential advice about whether you would be eligible for a particular type of leave, please email our People and Culture Coordinator, Mrs Fiona Gazzard, at hrsupport@rloa.org.au or call 0439 371 154 . Think you would be a good fit for our organisation? Rural Lifestyle Options Australia are always on the look out for new staff who share our passion and values. We offer a diverse and challenging environment with great learning and career opportunities.

I feel very honoured to have been given this opportunity to work for such a wonderful organisation and to be part of the support network for the participants and families serviced in the Scenic Rim area. I am looking forward to being involved with the future expansion of the organisation and being able to make a difference, big or small in the lives of the individuals living with a disability in our community.

Author: Mrs Sally Schiffmann, Customer Service Assistant.

passionate about our cause?

consider your next career move at

Search www.seek.com.au for 'Rural Lifestyle Options Australia' for Current Vacancies.

www.rloa.org.au/careers

www.rloa.org.au 21

learning for purpose Rural Lifestyle Options Australia values the opinions of our workforce. As an organisation we are committed to creating an optiminal work environment. For the second year running and in partnership with Learning For Purpose, in November 2018, the organisation asked staff to participate in a Workforce National Survey for Not-for-Profit employees. The study addressed how to improve work and impact, build better careers, learn and be healthy, among other goals. We are proud to annouce that our organisation, compared to over 500 other Not-for-Profit organisations in Australia score much higher than the national average across all areas. We would like to thank our staff for participating. The survey closed on 24 December 2018 and highlights from the results are displayed below:

Worker Engagement

Worker net promoter

Psychological safety

human resource system strength

empowering leadership

promotions

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MEET Fiona People and culture coordinator

If you were to ask Fiona, she would say she ‘fell into’ Human Resources as a career shortly before starting her family and was inspired by how, when done well, HR positively impacts all aspects of a business. Fiona's career began in payroll with the Department of Environment, providing interpretation and advice on pay and conditions of employment for the Department’s most remote employees – the rangers and support staff in Kakadu and Uluru (Kata Tjuta) National Parks. Fiona went on to work on Christmas Island as the Human Resources & Employee Relations Coordinator for the Indian Ocean Territories Administration, where she provided advice and guidance for employees and management relating to employment conditions and workplace culture. Most recently, Fiona joins Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, after working within the People & Culture Division of the National Disability Insurance Agency. She notes that she is excited to be joining the organisation after seeing how passionate the staff are about the work they do, and how valuable those services and supports are to people with a disability.

Fiona considers that people are an organisations greatest asset and believes that (as quoted by Sir Richard Branson) “if you look after your staff; they will look after your customers”. Fiona joins Rural Lifestyle Options Australia with 15 years of HR experience and is available to provide advice and support for all members of the organisation during their employment journey with us. " I see my role as being one in which supports and enables the employees of Rural Lifestyle Options Australia to deliver on our mission and purpose." As the organisation's People & Culture Coordinator, Mrs Fiona Gazzard acts as an internal consultancy provider in relation to key areas including: • Recruitment and Selection • Induction and Probation • Wellbeing and Employee Assistance • Industrial Relations • Performance Management • Employee Lifecycle Management If you are interested in a career with Rural Lifestyle Options Australia, or are currently employed with us and have HR- related questions, contact Fiona for a confidential chat on 0439 371 154 or hrsupport@rloa.org.au .

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