Helen Dabb Highly Commended in Yooralla’s Excellence Awards 2021

2021 Excellence Awards Highlights

Helen Dabb, Support Coordinator has been highly commended in Yooralla’s 2021 Excellence Awards for Operational Goals and Innovation.

“I have studied and worked in disability in a number of different roles for the past thirty-three years! (feeling old) and there is still nothing more rewarding than seeing a person set a goal and supporting them to reach for it,” said Helen.

The Operational Goals and Innovation Award is for an individual employee who exceeded expectations to provide a service for Yooralla employees, managers and/or customers that contributed to an operational outcome. In 2021, the awards were expanded after feedback from managers to include nineteen teams or individuals. This is an outstanding achievement, and Yooralla is pleased to acknowledge Helen in this way.

A courageous advocate

Helen was nominated by Administration Coordinator, Melanie McGuigan who has observed Helen’s passion to ensure customers live their best lives.

“Supporting decision making and choice for people with a disability has always been my passion, and something that I strive to do as I work alongside someone even when at times it has not been easy or popular,” said Helen.

Helen is especially recognised for support she has provided to two of her clients.

“Helen empowers her clients to not only exercise their fundamental human rights to make their own decisions but then supports them to provide step by step actions. Helen has had many courageous conversations to advocate and demand better for her clients,” said Melanie.

An interstate move

Helen went above and beyond to build stakeholder relationships in Queensland to allow a 65-year-old customer to move back to the Gold Coast. Helen liaised with the Summer Foundation to source potential living options and found service providers, including an occupational therapist, physiotherapist, community access and more. Her application for grant funding was successful to assist with set up costs.

The customer has said that he is very happy with his accommodation and supports and loves his new life back with his family again. Helen worked with the customer, his family and service providers to ensure he visited his new accommodation before finally moving in February 2021. This was an incredible outcome, considering that all of this was achieved during ongoing interstate border closures throughout 2020 and early 2021.

The customer stays in regular contact with Helen as he transitions to a new service provider. He has told Helen that he doesn’t miss Melbourne’s weather and the only thing that could make his life better was if Collingwood won some more games this season!

Persistence and collaboration

Helen has supported a customer experiencing psychosocial disability which contributed to homelessness and multiple transitions in and out of hospital. Helen successfully set up multiple accommodations despite initial barriers to the customer’s Supported Disability Accommodation (SDA) eligibility. With Helen’s persistence and collaboration with the Care Team, the customer now lives in a new SDA located near her mother.

“My favourite experiences are the day to day exchanges we have. When I support someone with complex communication support needs and I see their face light up as they realise we understand what they are trying to communicate to us,” said Helen.

Helen demonstrates Yooralla's values in all her interactions.

“Helen respects people from all backgrounds and her empathy fuels her passion to support her customers,” said Melanie.

Congratulations to Helen on being highly commended for your work. Yooralla is proud to have such a passionate and inspiring staff member.

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