Photo of Our People Management Team Training & Development Manager and Positive Support Manager, Adrian Valley

Our People Management Team Training & Development Manager and Positive Support Manager – Adrian Valley

Origins: 

  • A Yorkshireman by birth, but we won’t hold that against him….

Interests:

  • As a young man:
    • Rock climbing
    • Ice climbing
    • Kayaking
    • Sailing
    • Mountain biking.
  • As a more mature gentleman:
    • Making things in the shed
    • Motorbike desert trips (last one, Simpson Desert)
    • Bushwalking
    • Mountain biking.
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Education:

  • B.Ed. Secondary Education (1991) Masters in Primary Education (2012)

Job History:

  • Park Ranger
  • Outdoor Instructor (including teaching cliff jumping)
  • Mobile Seed Cleaner
  • Design and Technology Teacher (5 years)
  • Cycle Shop Manager.

More Recently:

  • Working in the disability area, as a supervisor/manager/EO of a disability service in Alice
    Springs (2 years).
  • Employed at CLA since September 2000, as a Coordinator, My Life, My Community Coordinator, ATE Manager, Positive Support Manager and Training & Development Manager

Significant Others:

  • Two kids
  • A wife
  • A very old dog
  • 7 chickens

Unusual Achievement:

  • Cycled from Darwin to Sydney on a tandem (well it didn’t seem a long way, when planning it in the UK!)

Best holiday:

  • Riding around India, Ladakh and Nepal on an Enfield motorbike.
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Photo of CLA's Executive Officer, Vicky Corpus

CLA’s Executive Officer – Vicki Corpus

Vicki is currently Executive Officer of CLA, having worked at the organisation since 2009 in a range of roles including Accommodation Manager, A/CEO, Contracts Manager and Project Manager.

We asked Vicki to tell us a bit more about herself:

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Favourite Pastimes include:

  • Reading
  • Gardening
  • Music
  • Photography

Memorable Holiday Destinations

  • America (Highlights – The Grand Canyon & seeing the Aurora Borealis in Northern Minnesota)
  • Vietnam (Highlights – The people, food and cruising down the Mekong Delta)
  • Italy (Highlights – Lake Como, Cinque Terre & the Amalfi Coast)
  • Germany (Highlights – Berlin Wall, Holocaust Memorial, Brandenburg Gate)
  • Copenhagen & Amsterdam (Highlights – canal cruises, cycling, history museums, food)
  • Broome & The North West – caravanning (Highlights – Cable Beach sunsets, Staircase to the Moon, Purnululu National Park, Bungle Bungle Range, Cape Leveque, The Gibb River Road & lots more!)

Significant Others

  • My partner, 4 sons, 10 grandchildren, Mysty the dog  and Indie the cat.

Career History (Previous)

  • Retail Manager
  • Training & Program Coordinator – Women’s Refuge
  • Manager – Women’s (Fremantle)
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Photo of Our People Management Team Senior Coordinator, Eric Glas

Management Team Senior Coordinator – Eric Glas

For as long as I can remember I have always loved old cars. When my parents and five siblings emigrated from Holland back in 1981, we were collected from the airport in two separate vehicles – one was a HQ Holden Ute, the other was a HZ Station Wagon.

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The smell of old Holden seared into my memory and is one of my first memories as a five-year-old on Australian soil and instantly returns whenever I get into an old Holden.

Our family’s first Australian car and my Dad’s pride and joy was an XY Falcon Station Wagon complete with red interior – red vinyl seats, red door skins, red steering wheel, red dash, red vinyl floors, red hood lining, red everywhere!

I remember hot sunny days climbing in and scalding my legs on the hot vinyl seats. For over 15 years, that car did everything for us – my Dad used it to pull down trees, to get to work and to cart the family. The XY was in my family for most of my childhood, and 15 years of hard working reliability is hard to find – especially in a Ford!!! (I’m a bit partial to Holden’s…)

In my late teens my older brother bought a 1976 Leyland Mini, LS 1275. He drove it like he’d stolen it, which was a shame, because it was an excellent example of a cleanly restored and beautiful little car. I instantly fell in love with everything Mini – the way it handled, the direct steering, those tiny ten-inch wheels, its simple mechanics and lack of frills make it one of the most iconic cars ever built.

There is something about these old cars that the new ‘plastic cars’ will never quite achieve. These aren’t heartless machines intended to be traded in as soon as they got to 150,000km. People used to hang onto the family car until it was either dead or so rusty that it could no longer be deemed safe.

These machines took on a life and character of their own, no two were exactly alike, and each one had slightly different attitude on how to get started on a cold, frosty morning. The family car held memories of beach trips and breakdowns, singalongs and backseat bickering – the car was a family member in every sense of the word.

These days I would love to own even more old cars than I do, (since my teens I have owned more than 80 cars) but the budget and time have restricted me to owning only four or five at a time! My 1962 Mini currently takes pride of place in my shed, and still needs a bit done to restore her to her former glory and I hope to have it back on the road within the next year. Whenever money gets tight we think about selling her, but then my kids scream ‘NO, you can’t sell the Mini!’, and I too am forced to recognise that this old car is now a part of the family.

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Photo of Support Worker, Fiona

Support Worker – Fiona and client Melinda

We asked Fiona to share a typical day in her life as a Support Worker for CLA.

“It’s Tuesday afternoon and I’ve just changed into my gym gear. I’m off to work with Melinda. We do a workout at BodyCare Health Club for 30 minutes. This is our first session of the week, two more to go!

Mel’s ready when I arrive so I check she has water and a towel and off we go. We work our way around the exercise machines, then Mel goes on the rowing machine last.

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We change into warm clothes as we are off to Coles to do our weekly shop. We have our shopping list typed by Mel.  She chooses a quick healthy recipe for dinner – no more than 30 minutes to prepare & cook.

We spend about an hour in Coles walking up & down the aisles. It turns out to be a bit of a social gathering as Mel meets old support workers plus friends from Activ. The staff are very friendly and always happy to chat.

We usually get back about 5:30pm and Mel puts her shopping away.  Cookbooks are something Mel loves, so we have a look at possible recipes for next week. Then we start to cook. We grate lots of vegetable & hide them in the spaghetti bolognese as Mel will eat them if she can’t see them! We take turns at washing the dishes.

We watch TV and both take our vitamins at 8pm. Mel makes me a hot chocolate & we have a snowball.  Bedtime is 11pm; we have a doctor’s appointment at 9am & then off to the gym so we need to get to bed!”

Fiona was recently nominated by Melinda for the Support Worker of the Year Award.  Melinda said about Fiona:

“She has a lovely kind heart and she cares about people and has a really good sense of humour.  She’s marvellous!”
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Photo of Support Worker, Clinton

Support Worker – Clinton

Support Worker Clinton O’Brien has changed the life of family in crisis.

The family who own and run a successful business in the Great Southern self-managing their son Tom* who in their own words is “Autistic, non-verbal and frequently very aggressive”. This family live in a rural area, and finding support is a constant challenge.

* client’s name changed to protect their privacy

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They desperately required respite due to some severe medication side effects Tom had been affected by, but like many families were afraid to invite an outsider into their lives seeing it as their duty to manage.

Almost at breaking point they finally accepted respite and Clinton stepped in, accepting the hour-long journey to assist.  Clinton has strengthened the caring capacity of this family which enabled their son to remain at home and has in turn increased this family’s health and wellbeing, knowing they have support if and when required and that they are not alone.

In their own words:

“By supporting and caring for Tom*, Clinton has enabled us as a family to stay together during this very, very hard time and gives us hope that Tom’s world will become a better place.  It is our belief that Clinton is not only an asset to CLA, but to us as a family and to any client who is fortunate to receive care from him. The passion Clinton displays for caring and supporting Tom has enabled us as a family to remain together during this very, very hard time and gives us hope that with people like Clinton in Tom’s life ongoing, that his little world will become a better place, slowly but day by day and we thank Clinton for this hope and encouragement.”

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Photo of Support Worker, Janet

Support Worker – Janet

Janet answers some questions about why she loves working for CLA…. 

Why did you decide to become a support worker?

I’m a hairdresser and a teacher by trade and have done lots of different things in my life including running a family business and being a Thermomix consultant. I love variety and working with people and to be honest, at this stage of my life I want to do rewarding work – it’s all about making a difference in people’s life for me.

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What do you do to relax?

I love to walk my dog Lucky on the beach or catch up with friends for a coffee. I’m a fan of historical fiction and like nothing better than getting stuck into a good book. I like pottering in the garden and of course adore cooking as you’d expect from an ex-Thermomix consultant! Spending time with my sons who are now 21 and 18 when they are in town is obviously also a big priority for me.

What’s the best thing about being a Support Worker?

It’s very rewarding to see progress being made in someone’s life. One of the people I support has grown considerably in confidence and ability over the time I’ve been involved in his team. This is very much a team effort and it’s so great to be part of helping someone to make decisions for themselves and have a more fulfilling life as a result.

What do you like most about working for CLA?

I have worked for many employers in my life and it’s very important to me to feel valued and respected by the people I work with and for. My Coordinators Fran and Val are very supportive and flexible and I really appreciate the way they remember to acknowledge my efforts when things go well at work. Even though CLA is a large organisation, I really feel like I’m valued and part of the team.
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Photo of Support Worker, Nadine

Support Worker – Nadine

Nadine Stone shares a day in her life as a CLA Support Worker…. 

My morning started by meeting Brendan and his mum at ASHS carpark at 8.30. We then drove out to the Princess Royal Sailing Club in Little Grove. We had time for a drink and chat and then joined friends for a sail at our weekly Sailability session.

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Brendan alternates weeks on a yacht named Gypsy Doctor, skippered by Tony or on the new power boat. Having a hoist on the jetty is a great help. We sailed around the harbour looking at various things and had much fun scaring pigeons off the old whale chaser!

After our sail, we headed back into town to use the ALAC facilities to freshen up for the afternoon. We then chose a spot for lunch at the park.

After demolishing our packed lunches (sea air certainly gives you an appetite!) we headed off to the Stirling Club to meet friends for a couple of games of darts and pool and play some songs on the jukebox. Brendan chatted happily with the ‘regulars’ – community members enjoying a social drink at the club.

Tired after all that socialising, we headed back to the school to meet Brendan’s mum for his lift home. We had a great day together – hope Brendan had as much fun as I did!
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Photo of Support Worker - Ron Weir

Support Worker – Ron

For the past five years, Support Worker Ron has been taking a holiday with a difference in Cambodia.  A friend introduced Ron to International Children’s Care (ICC) – a charity which enables people from all over the world to sponsor children in need.  In addition to child sponsorship, ICC gives people the opportunity to use their skills and experience to help people in practical ways.

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A builder by trade, Ron was attracted to the idea of helping out with the many building projects the charity is involved in. Ron makes an annual pilgrimage to the village of Kampong Timor to support building projects for the Light of Hope orphanage as well as building homes for local people. He is also involved in the construction of a home for women with HIV and their children, which gives them a safe place to live while they learn key life skills and produce products for the Australian market.

Ron and other volunteers, including Year 12 students from Great Southern Grammar, pay their own air-fares, accommodation and food and also contribute to the costs of building materials. This works out at about $2,500 each, but it’s not all hard work! The team usually fly into Phnom Penh and spend a few days in a hotel while taking in the sights around the city. At this point Australian teams can meet with volunteers from other countries – most recently Ron worked closely with people from Germany and the Eastern States.

After a few days of rest and teambuilding, the teams head off to Kampong Timor where the Light of Hope orphanage is situated. “It is very small place in the middle of nowhere”, said Ron, “and it’s not unusual to see ox and carts sharing the road with cars and other motor vehicles.”

Ron usually arrives before the teams because as supervisor, there is much preparation work to be done for the building projects. Materials and tools need to be bought in advance and Ron works closely with an interpreter to get what is needed from local suppliers. Houses are built in the traditional Cambodian style – approximately 4 metres square on stilts. Project teams can also be asked to install windows and shutters into existing houses, replace ceilings, fix septic tanks or other renovation projects.
Last year, Ron supervised a group of Year 12’s from Great Southern Grammar who built a home for a local family. Ron enjoys teaching the youngsters but insists that he encourages them to learn on the job. Ron said “I try not to do anything for them – they need to learn. Sometimes it takes a while, but we always get there in the end.”

This year, Ron will be a leading a team of Albany locals to renovate a cottage which is currently part of the Light of Hope orphanage. Ron encourages people to think about getting involved, either by sponsoring a child or joining him on a working holiday to the region.

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