A weekly dose of community connection

“Wellbeing: a state of being comfortable, healthy or happy”

This is one definition of wellbeing. Another way to look at wellbeing is a consistent state of wellness.

Feeling connected with your community is an important part of wellbeing, which is why Woodville Alliance hosts barbecues weekly at our community garden, to bring members of the community together.

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There is no need to RSVP to these events and everyone is welcome. Our aim is to assist the community in creating cross-cultural and cross-generational understanding as well as community harmony.

The barbecues take place next to the Villawood Community Garden which is open for people to visit during the barbecues. The garden provides people with an opportunity to create positive hobbies such as gardening and helps build their team work skills.

It’s an opportunity for members of the Villawood community who might be socially isolated to meet new people, have a chat and a bite to eat. After all, it is a well-recognised fact that  eating together fosters a feeling of belonging and better communication. Through this program we have already met some wonderful community members who have shared their stories and passion for their local community.

These community conversations are one of the ways Woodville listens to what the community wants, which is how we work towards a better future for all.

The people who attend the barbecues seem to agree.

Where: Urana Street community garden

Time: 10am to 12noon

When: every Wednesday

For more information, call us on 9724 3807

 

Supporting our client families + NDIS

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Woodville Alliance is hosting the next series of NDIS Workshops for our client families.

Families are invited along to our centre to get the latest on what to do when you get your NDIS Plan, how to understand it, what to expect and more.

When: Saturday 29 October OR Thursday 3 November.

call us on 9722 5200

Invitations have been sent out. We look forward to supporting you through this next stage of NDIS transition and sharing food together.

The workshops follow on from the NDIS workshops Woodville hosted earlier this year.

Those who attended the workshops told us that we hit the mark with the information we provided, and that they appreciated receiving support through the NDIS transition.

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The workshops are just one of the ways Disability Services is supporting our client families to understand the NDIS and what to do to get the plan you want. Through meeting with families, talking with them and answering their questions, we have been there all the way.

By listening to our families, we are adapting our service offerings to make sure that we can deliver the supports that will help people with an intellectual disability to live the life they want.

Powerhouse Museum hosts world premiere film!

A film with a difference had its world premiere at the Kings Cinema this week.

The red carpet was rolled out, autographs were written and it was an event filled with excitement, pride and a lot of happiness.

 

Disability Services clients premiere movie

The film project was the brainchild of a man with an intellectual disability. Mark set himself the goal of seeing himself on film and Woodville Alliance helped make it happen.

But Mark wasn’t the only one to benefit from his idea, a group of other clients made the trip into the city to the Powerhouse Museum to create ‘The Mysterious Whale of Hawaii’. The film was made possible by a collaboration with our Powerhouse Digital Learning partners.

“It puts a smile on my face” said one participant who came up with the story idea for the short film. The clients from Woodville not only acted in the film, they co-wrote the script and arranged the music.

 

For the Powerhouse Museum team, working with Woodville clients offered up their first experience working on a disability access project and according to Courtney Stewart, it proved to be very rewarding.

Courtney was part of the Powerhouse’s first movie making project with Woodville, ‘The Banana Bread Muffin Saga’. She sees the project as a way of leveling the playing field for all abilities.

Following the world premiere of the ‘Banana Muffin’ movie, the word spread amongst Woodville clients about how much fun it was to make a short film. So a new group of clients set the goal of taking part in making a movie.

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“It was a lot of fun for us, we felt really redundant,” Courtney said, “the group was really good at making a mystery comedy film!”

Tamara, the mother of one participant who attended the launch this week, said her daughter had gained some confidence from being part of the movie making group and it was great to see her doing something different and ‘out of the box’. For Tamara, it was all about having a go and she enjoyed seeing her daughter do a happy dance every day she had attended the movie making program.

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A number of clients spoke to the launch guests following the movie premiere, and thanked the Powerhouse staff for supporting them along the way.

“We’ve really come a long way. Thanks – we really appreciate it,” said Wasim.

 

From small beginnings, and Mark’s individual goal, a group of adults with an intellectual disability had the chance to travel into the city from western Sydney over eight weeks and  do something amazing.

 

Students get a taste for disability services

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TAFE students at Woodville Disability Services

This month Woodville Alliance is playing host to TAFE Disability Cert III students.

Students from the South Western Sydney Institute of TAFE (SWSi) are getting a taste of what it’s like to work in a disability services organisation.

The TAFE students are getting first-hand experience of supporting people with a range of abilities, buddying with Woodville support staff as part of their 120 hours of work. With enthusiasm and willingness to learn, the students are getting exposed to the vocation they have chosen to study, by providing person-centred support to people with an intellectual disability.

With the rollout of the NDIS in Western Sydney, it is expected that up to 3,300 more jobs will be created to meet the needs of around 8,000 people with a disability seeking support. Western Sydney is expected to see the highest growth in the state. The forecast is that the NDIS will create an economic and jobs boom in NSW over the next three years. You could argue it has never been a better time to seek work in the disability services sector.

Meanwhile, Woodville staff have received great feedback from the students who are benefitting from working alongside our experienced support staff.

It’s part of our ongoing partnership with SWSi TAFE.

We look forward to soon hosting another group of TAFE students who are returning for part two of their work hours placement. These keen students will be gaining experience working alongside support staff at our Independent Community Based Options (ICBO) base, supporting Woodville clients with an intellectual disability to access their community and be a part of local activities.

These TAFE students are lucky enough to dip their toes in the water at Woodville and see how our committed staff live out our values in all the work they do guided by ethical behaviour and informed by our professional skills and experience. If you are interested in learning more about working at Woodville Alliance Disability Services, contact our HR team.

Intellectual disability no barrier to creativity

 

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What’s in a sock?

In this case, it’s a token of appreciation!

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A Woodville Disability Services client gifted these socks to one of our support workers after knitting them in her spare time.

Our support worker thought about wearing them next winter but then he thought again:
“I’m putting them in a frame!”

The client has an intellectual disability. She described the socks’ appearance: “this is daytime, night-time, and this the sun.”

Sounds about right!

This client has a talent for knitting and has produced neck scarves, drink bottle holders and more, as part of her hobby. You could say these socks are a symbol of the value the client places on the support worker.

We can’t wait to see her next creation.

Woodville Alliance values rate a 10

This week Woodville Alliance closed its doors for one day. We did this so that staff from all of our work sites could come together and reflect on the culture and values of our organisation.

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To close all of our services for an entire work day is a big thing to do. Again, Woodville closed its doors. For one whole work day.

This step was not taken lightly. It is significant in that it demonstrates the importance placed by Woodville’s leadership team on staff development, reflecting and evolving. All of our people were given the opportunity to come together. And learn.

Woodville’s annual Staff Development Day

Under the guidance of our facilitators, the Voice Project , we particularly reflected on what it means to work in a values based organisation, by unpacking the meaning behind the values that we hold dear in the work that we do every day.

Whether it is supporting a family at risk, educating a young child, partnering with other organisations to address youth unemployment or providing a place and opportunities for people with a disability to be themselves, our people demonstrate our values each and every day in some way.

At Woodville, our values include:

We were asked the big questions and given the opportunity to express what Woodville’s culture and values mean to us. We used words, video, design and other creative ways to express ourselves.

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What was very clear this day was that as a values based organisation, our values are at the very core of everything we do. They define how we behave, what is important to us. Our Staff Development Day reinforced this. The staff themselves said this.

With our busy work days, we are not always afforded the opportunity to reflect. But exploring complex issues such as values and culture in a range of creative and expressive ways is part of our work to review our core values. We want to make sure that as an organisation we evolve, respond and adapt to changing environments. We believe it is important.

Our vision is for a fairer, more just society and improved quality of life for people in South West Sydney.

So how did our people rate our values? Overall, our current values rated very highly, at 9-10/10.

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If you are interested in working at our values based organisation and think your skills would be a good fit for what we do, keep an eye on our Vacancies page.

Disability Support Worker’s 20 years’ service

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Life is full of surprises.

When Luke was a community services student he was asked to choose a work placement somewhere he didn’t think he would ever be able to work with. He chose the area of disability.

It turned out Luke was so well suited to working with people with a disability, he was offered a job at his work placement. The work placement was at Woodville Alliance and that was twenty years ago.

In those twenty years, Luke has made connections with countless clients, families and staff through dedicating himself to supporting clients achieve their goals.

Today Luke’s colleagues and clients at Woodville surprised him with a special barbecue celebration to mark his milestone as the first Woodville Alliance Disability Services staff member to clock up 20 years of service.

Some of the clients spoke to the gathering, thanking Luke for all he has done for them. Woodville Alliance Chief Executive Pam Batkin congratulated Luke on his milestone and commented that the organisation was very fortunate to have someone with Luke’s sense of humour and intuition.

‘The way Luke relates to our clients, it is understated, but he has such a great sense of humour and the ability to pick up anything that seems amiss. He is a great role model to his fellow support workers,’ she says.

Another staff member, Suzanne,  says, ‘When you think of Woodville, you think of Luke — he is someone who epitomised the values of our organisation and loves what he does —you can see it from the moment he walks in.’

‘He thinks of ideas, nothing is too challenging, he gets on board with new initiatives, welcomes new staff and clients and is an integral part of the team.’

With his can-do attitude, Luke has spent more than a decade getting to know some Woodville Alliance’s service users, sharing their joy, providing quality support. Service users are motivated by him and trust him.  Staff are amused by his practical jokes and sense of fun.

When Woodville asked some of the families whose loved ones access Disability Services about Luke, it was clear that he is widely respected and appreciated by clients and families.  Some of those families contributed to a video screened at the barbecue, to thank Luke.

For Luke, it’s about coming in to work, making a difference to someone’s life and going away knowing that person’s life has improved in some way.

‘Working at Woodville has been a fantastic experience,’ Luke says, ‘I work in the community in which Iive; I see the people I support when I walk down my local streets. Knowing I have supported them in some way, it means so much to me.’

If a key challenge to disability service providers is to attract and retain talented staff, then Luke epitomises a support staff member who is driven, engaged in his work and gives his best, every day.

If you are interested in current job opportunities at Woodville Alliance , contact our Human Resources team.

As for Luke, the resounding message today was ‘here’s to another 20 years!’

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Disability Services Open Day

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You are invited to Woodville Alliance’s Disability Services Open Day.

You asked, and we listened: we are opening up our Centre to you, so you can see for yourself why our participants and families love Woodville so much.

Tuesday 13 September at 10.30–11.30am
Hear and see what we have to offer | Hear our Woodville choir sing, see our participants cook and take part in a kickboxing session | NDIS information + hear about our Support Coordination | Q+A | light refreshments

OR

Thursday 15 September at 6-7pm
Hear and see what we have to offer |NDIS information + hear about our Support Coordination | Q+A | light refreshments
Light refreshments provided.

Where: Ground floor, 44-46 Mandarin St, Fairfield East 2165

Bookings are essential
RSVP: 9722 5200 by 8 September

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How we celebrate diversity through inclusion

Woodville Alliance serves and celebrates the diverse communities of Western Sydney, one of the most ethnically diverse communities in Australia.

From Fairfield, Villawood, Carramar, Bankstown, Auburn, Guildford, we partner with our Western Sydney clients to achieve our vision of a fairer, more just society.  The Woodville team have a commitment to respecting cultural diversity, including diversity in personal and religious values. We value all Australians including those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds.

Whether it be Christmas, Chinese New Year or Eid-al-Fitr, Woodville Alliance recognises the significance of these important festivals for the wide range of people with whom we work and support.

Recently, for the first time, our Disability Services staff and clients came together to celebrate an important date in the Muslim calendar — Eid.

Eid is a feast that can last up to three days — for Muslims it a joyous celebration, with the underlying purpose of celebrating their faith. It is the culmination of the month-long period of fasting, prayer, giving and reflection: Ramadan.

During Eid, Woodville clients and staff who are of the Muslim faith took time out to celebrate with their families and communities and Woodville wanted to join in the celebrations. To demonstrate our recognition of the importance of Eid to many, we organised a gathering of our clients and staff.

After much excitement and anticipation for our clients, the day arrived. Many of our clients dressed in traditional dress and expressed their sense of pride.

For our staff, it was a chance to pitch in and help with a special celebration, which they could share with our clients. For our clients it was a day of fun, laughter, food and dance.

For one of our clients, it was an opportunity to give a short speech to kick off the celebrations. It was a great privilege to witness the giving of this speech, which was a demonstration of our client’s confidence, trust and expression of his abilities.

If you know an adult with an intellectual disability, contact us to find out how Woodville can support them.

Click here

Or call us on (02) 9722 5200

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Woodville Clients Graduate!

Six Woodville Disability Services clients recently completed a six week TAFE course.

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Each day, students travelled all the way from Villawood to Campbelltown TAFE campus to attend class. Along with Woodville support staff, the students immersed themselves in a TAFE environment and completed assessments.

The course, offered by TAFE SWSi (South Western Sydney Institute) catered for the different abilities of each individual and covered the units “Using everyday technology” and “Identify and use literacy for vocational and community engagement.”

During the classes Woodville support staff observed the students talking more than they ever had before, to help one another and ask questions if they didn’t understand. For some participants who didn’t usually feel comfortable asking for help, this was a big achievement.

We are so proud of our clients who took the leap into learning in a classroom situation and completed the course. Their sense of pride was on show, with many exceeding their own expectations. Bravo!

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