We are very proud of our staff and recognise upfront that the service we offer to Clients is only as good as the service offered by our Support Workers and Client Managers. These key personnel are our service ambassadors in Clients homes and within the community.
The Association currently employs over 140 dedicated Support Workers in various locations around Cairns and Mackay. The level of additional supervision offered by Clients within support seams varies from team to team depending of the Client’s skills’ and experience and level of autonomy they want to take on. In some full autonomous teams the Client themselves are rostering support for their team yet work closely with our Administrators to meet specific Industrial Relations requirements and minimise roster / time clashes.
ILSA highly values staff progression from within its own ranks and closely mentors the development of its Client Managers. Every one of ISLA’s current, and several past Client Managers have been Support Workers themselves at some time (even the CEO). This foundation supports the rights of staff, builds mutual trust and respect and ensures a close understanding of and connect to the work being undertaken.
All our Support Workers are hired on a casual basis, with part time options available in certain circumstances. Staff are paid as per the Social Community Home Care And Disability Services (SCHCADS) award which includes varying penalty loading after 8pm, Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays. Salary packaging is also available.
We have been very fortunate to date to have attracted the majority of our staff via word of mouth. We seldom advertise and therefore do not use application forms. We ask people seeking employment with us to send in a resume with a cover letter which we review and place on our database. When a suitable position becomes available we call potential employees and arrange an interview time.
Feedback from our Clients indicates a preference for Support Workers who exhibit one or more of the qualities of being empathetic, open minded, flexible, passionate to assist others, professional, understanding and attentive. It is also highly beneficial to have some understanding of either disability or aged care support and / or some qualification or interest in an attendant care field such as certificate III in individual support / disability / aged care or specific training units such as manual handling, medication supervision, and mental health first aid, among others.
We have a dedicated internal training program to help Support Workers build their experience. Often the most successful workers have come to us with the right attitude first and the training has helped them become more complete, well rounded and in demand with Clients.
Our staff numbers have grown substantially over the last few years and anticipate this will continue throughout NDIS progression. If you are interested in applying for work in the disability sector please send your resume to .
To be cont’d
We survey the wellbeing of our staff at least annually, but also actively conduct mentoring and supervision of our support teams on an ongoing basis. Our aim is to develop actions or strategy which reduces workplace stress and improve the mental health of the workforce overall. Whilst we have well established Employment Assistance Program and Rehabilitation and Return to Work platforms in place, we would hope to proactively avoid going down this routes whenever possible.
At ILSA we believe training is essential for our staff to feel confident in performing their duties. We have a dedicated online induction program new staff are asked to undertake initially and then every 12 months. Most of our Support Workers have completed Certificate III in Individualised Care (or similar) which we also aim to offer internally to new staff every 12 to 18 months. The course is made up of 14 modules ranging from personal care, advocacy, workplace health and safety, to operating disability specific equipment. Even our very experienced workers have admitted they learnt something new from the course (and not many of them enjoyed spending a day in a wheelchair).
More recently we have developed and internal training platform consisting of standalone modules (2-6 hours in duration) aimed to closing skills gap shortages in the workplace. Such training includes (among others):
We also set aside a training budget for staff to attend short courses on subjects of mutual benefit to Clients and Support Workers. This professional development may include such training as:
We are always on the lookout for appropriate training and encourage staff and Clients to let us know when something is offered that will be beneficial to the support arrangement.
Chief Executive: Neil Luckett Josie O’Shea
Manager – Mental Health Services: Josie O’Shea Naomi McGravie
Dusk 2 Dawn Manager: Ron Pierce-Lyons
Disability Services Manager – Mackay: Elle Simpson
Client Manager: Dianne Anderson
Client Manager: Daire Phillips
Client Manager: Christina Bunting
Client Manager: Tracey Whight
Administration Officer (accounts) – Janelle Cragg
Administration Officer (payroll / HR) – Rayleen Allen
Administration Officer (IT / Rosters) – Daniel Gleave
Administration Officer (Executive services) – Francoise Marx-King
Bookkeeper (state funds) – Christine Elliot
Bookkeeper (NDIS funds) – Dael Hedgcock