Focus On: James, Senior NDIS Coordinator
15 July, 2021
Each month, Focus Care spotlights one of our amazing staff members, showcasing the work they do and helping you put a face to the name. Today, we chatted to James, our Senior NDIS Coordinator, learning about his background, his current role, and what he loves most about working at Focus Care.
Thanks for sitting down with me, James! Let’s have an easy one to start - what is your industry background?
I first entered the sector studying Social Work, with the intention of working in child protection. Throughout my university placements, I ended up in two other sectors that I thought I would initially not want to work in, but I instead ended up absolutely loving them. I worked at both St George Hospital in aged care, and the City of Sydney, in community development with the international student community. Due to COVID-19, my previous position was made redundant, which led me to find my current position at Focus.
The role was initially more community-based, allowing me to establish and build upon the Creative Therapy programs that we offer. After some time, my role changed, highlighting a much stronger focus in NDIS Support Coordination. I was hesitant to get involved with a more client facing position at first, but I am really happy that I did - it reignited my passion for what I do.
That sounds awesome! You seem to really enjoy your position here at Focus. Can you tell us about your current role?
I am now a Senior NDIS Coordinator. Excitingly enough, I can combine my Support Coordinator role with the ability to still support the wider team with more complex, high-care situations in my professional practice as a Social Worker. I am currently the only Social Worker in the organisation, so I feel as though I provide a unique perspective.
I really enjoy when opportunities come up to work with the broader Focus team - it feels like a Focus family. We build each other up - we share knowledge and help the organisation grow. I feel like I have built a great rapport with the team, where they are able to approach me and ask me questions. I really enjoy that - I enjoy everything about my role, honestly.
Collaboration is always good. Is there a certain aspect of your job that you enjoy the most?
This is such a tough question because I absolutely love every single aspect of my practice, and am really passionate about all aspects of my work. Some people shout at me and tell me to stop working (laughs), when I am on leave or when it is late at night, but it is truly a reflection of how much I enjoy my practice.
Take one of my NDIS participants who recently had her Plan Review, for example. Preparing for the review seemed like an impossible task at the time, but fast forwarding 2 months, the NDIS gave feedback that my report was one of the best Support Coordination reports they have ever received. More importantly, the participant was over the moon, that I was able to secure much more funding to help her achieve her goals. This is a participant who was told she would never walk again, and now – she is doing everything she was told she would never be able to do, it is truly inspiring.
Moments like this make it all worth it. I know the work that we do makes a difference in people's lives, but times like that make you really feel it. It might sound cheesy, but I do not really have a certain part that I enjoy the most - I love all parts of my job and am so excited to turn up to work everyday.
Speaking of turning up to the office everyday – what do you think you’re known for in the office? Don’t worry, there are no wrong answers here!
Honestly, (laughs) I really do think I am the office clown. I feel like people enjoy my sense of humour, but I am also conscious that I can be very loud. Overall, I think people know I am super passionate and I am always happy to help – no matter how busy I am, I love a question. I am also known as being the office's home-grown chilli supplier - making my spicy rounds across the office. Oh, I think it is also safe to say that I am known for having the cleanest workspace in the office! I would know if someone sat on my desk – I am super organised and particular, so please do not touch anything, trust me, I will be able to tell.
Well then - remind me to never sit at your desk! Working at Focus Care is quite the journey – what’s your favourite part? Can you narrow it down?
There is a strong sense of community here. I noticed it the day I started. It is a great contrast from my previous role working at the council in the largest LGA in Australia, to an organisation where everyone is more accessible, and there is a lot more collaboration. Just as I said earlier, it is a Focus family.
If I need to follow up with another department, I can just talk to them, I don't have to wait long periods of time for a reply. There is a sense of unity and everyone here really has the best interests of who we support at heart, and I think that is what sets us apart from other providers.
Agreed. Well, thanks so much for chatting to me today, James! I’m sure you’re very busy, so I’ll let you get back to work now.
No worries! Thank you for having me.
Congratulations to James for this month’s recognition. Check this space next month for our next Focus On Staff Highlight!
Focus Care is an approved provider of Home Care Packages, and a registered NDIS Service Provider. If you are looking for home care or disability support, contact us today to see how we can help.