Fiona Sander of Community Solutions has been presented with the 2018 Employment Consultant of the Year award at the CoAct 20th Anniversary celebration evening in Sydney, coinciding with the organisation’s annual ConnectUp! conference.
This award recognises individuals achieving great results for their job seekers and Fiona’s passion advocating for clients with disabilities makes her this year’s star performer.
Fiona is the only Disability Employment Services staff member for the Cannonvale/Proserpine area (Whitsunday region Qld) fostering great relationships in the community to ensure people have access to the right support to help them realise their full potential.
Community Solutions Program Leader, Michelle Peach nominated Fiona for the award describing her as a good communicator and active listener with a ‘can-do’ attitude that gets results.
“In Fiona’s seven years with Community Solutions, we have seen her support clients through their entire employment journey with a commitment to finding placements that best suit the skills and attributes of each individual,” she said.
“She continues to support clients once they start work too, scheduling regular catch-ups, meetings with employers as well as families or advocates to make sure clients have all the support they need to have the best chance of job success.”
The Community Solutions Cannonvale site has consistently achieved a 5-Star performance rating as a direct result of the active role Fiona plays in her community, supporting job seekers and local businesses.
Finding Work in the Wake of Tropical Cyclone Debbie
Program Leader, Michelle Peach says that there had never been more of a challenge for Fiona than when the Whitsunday Region was devastated by tropical Cyclone Debbie in March 2017.
“Living in the same town as many clients, Fiona experienced the fury of Cyclone Debbie first hand. But we saw Fiona put aside her own feelings and concerns to soldier on for the benefit of those she supported, referring clients in the right direction for disaster relief information, financial relief and counselling.”
Cyclone Debbie also put jobs at risk with many of the community finding themselves out of work, just like Fiona’s client Adam*.
Adam is intellectually impaired and lives with autism, so Fiona made it a priority to make sure he had the right support to get back into work as soon as possible.
Fiona recognised that living with a disability can be even more of a challenge during times of natural disaster, so she included behavioural support in Adam’s NDIS plan to support him and his Mum through this stressful time.
Fiona soon found a supportive employer and Adam’s skills and confidence have continued to grow in his new role.
It is Fiona’s selfless commitment to her community that makes her such a worthy winner of this year’s Employment Consultant of the Year award.
About the Employment Consultant of the Year Award
The Employment Consultant of the Year Award recognises employment consultants and the excellent work they do in delivering CoAct programs such as Disability Employment Services, Transition to Work and jobactive. 2018 finalists will be submitted to NESA later in the year for their annual Awards.
*Name has been changed for client privacy.