Meet Michele Hodgson and Emma Holloway, Referrals and Transitions Managers in our Supported Accommodation team.
They work closely with our customers, and the team at Shift Accessible Homes (a Rocky Bay company), to match them with suitable accommodation options and support them through their Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) and Supported Independent Living (SIL) journey. This is a service that is unique to Rocky Bay, with no other providers offering such an individualised service when it comes to SDA and SIL!
Between the two of them, Michele and Emma bring a total of over 50 years of knowledge and experience to Rocky Bay. Michele has worked in the disability sector for over 30 years, and has been with Rocky Bay for 12 years, while Emma has been in the sector for 20 years and has worked with Rocky Bay for nine years, beginning her career with our organisation in our Customer Engagement team. She has now spent nearly three years in our Supported Accommodation team.
Find out more about the role Michele and Emma play at Rocky Bay in supporting our customers with our Q&A!
What does your role involve at Rocky Bay? Describe a typical day
Michele: There is no typical day for me. On any day I could be meeting with a customer about the accommodation options we have to offer, attending a National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) review, or assisting customers on their SIL/SDA journey.
Emma: No two days are the same. We could be out visiting new potential customers, touching base with newly transitioned customers and gaining feedback as to how they are settling into their new home.
We speak with support coordinators and other external key stakeholders regarding their participants, and Rocky Bay accommodation vacancies. We also assist with NDIS plan reviews for our Supported Accommodation customers, take new enquiries, or simply answer questions about Supported Accommodation, what that looks like or how to start the journey.
What can customers expect when they first make contact with you?
Michele: Customers can expect us to listen, first and foremost. We also read all information and supporting documentation (such as functional assessments), but in 90 per cent of cases we also meet with customers as you can really learn so much from spending time with them and their family.
We pride ourselves on being totally honest. We often find that if we aren’t able to assist customers now, families will come back to us if another option has not worked.
Emma: Active listeners who are here to answer any questions, provide information, support and guidance regarding all things Supported Accommodation.
How do you both work together to support our customers?
Emma: Michele and I both visit new potential customers as we are fully across all of our vacancies so we can bounce off of each other regarding best fit (for each individual). This also enables us to step in when the other is away, and it doesn’t impact on a customer’s journey.
Tell us more about your previous experience in the sector?
Michele: I have worked for both Government and not-for-profit organisations in Supported Accommodation from the ground up, starting as a Social Trainer for the Department of Communities (DoC).
My family and I were also one of the first ‘Host Families’ when DoC were closing the large institutional care hostels. A person with complex needs, who had been living in care for 50 years, came to live with our family, initially for six months. They ended up living with us for 14 years until they passed away.
At Rocky Bay, I previously held the role of Family Liaison Officer, utilising Government grants to provide “Respite Effect”.
Emma: Before joining Rocky Bay, I worked as an Education Assistant, working with a child with mild cerebral palsy in a primary school for two years. I went on to work for an early intervention service provider for 11 years as a Customer Liaison Manager.
What do you love most about your role?
Michele: I love meeting new customers and their families, hearing their stories, and assisting them on their SIL/SDA Journey.
Emma: I love the opportunity to make a difference each day for our customers. It gives me purpose.
What are three things you can’t live without and why?
- Family – particularly my grand kids. Family is the very core of my world
- My dog – I walk in the door each evening, straight into walking gear and out the door. This allows me to re-centre after a hectic day
- Morning coffee
- Family and dog for obvious reasons!
- Sense of humour – a smile is infectious and costs nothing but can change someone’s day instantly for the better
- Honesty & integrity – I couldn’t live pretending to be something or someone that I am not!