Rocky Bay has this week reached the incredible milestone of 1,000 active staff.
A coordinated celebration was held across all nine Rocky Bay hubs, which included beautifully designed celebratory cakes for each hub made by creative Rocky Bay Speech Pathologist and part-time baker, Naomi Ng, and a giant ‘1000’ cake made by Sugarloaf & Co., for the Head Office in Mosman Park.
A special address was made by CEO, Michael Tait, at Mosman Park hub where the 1,000th staff member, Danielle Gleeson, was undertaking induction.
Danielle has this week begun employment with Rocky Bay as a Community Disability Support Worker, after working with an agency in the sector.
Earlier this year, Danielle completed a Certificate III in Individual Support, where part of her work experience was facilitating groups of individuals to support them to learn new skills.
She previously had the opportunity to support a Rocky Bay customer by providing personal care and social support, and it was working with this customer that began her passion for work in the disability sector and cemented her career choice.
“I was asked to support a high care Rocky Bay customer for an hour in the mornings three days a week,” Danielle said.
“When I arrived to support them, I just had this rush of passion and knew this was what I wanted to do. I enjoyed it so much, so I went from there and applied with Rocky Bay.
“I wanted to work with Rocky Bay so I could commit to one organisation and put in my all to make a difference, and to progress in my career in an established organisation. This is what I want to do long-term and there is a lot of progression in this type of job which is a big thing for me.
“It’s a really nice environment here (at Rocky Bay). Everyone is so friendly, everyone is like-minded and have the same passion.”
Danielle explained that her personal experience, coupled with the desire to challenge stereotypes and promote inclusivity, is another big reason she chose a career in the sector.
“I am a very bubbly and happy person, but I had a lot of challenges at a very young age, so I have a lot of empathy for people who aren’t very confident or who have low self-esteem.
“I have the type of personality where I can make people feel comfortable. I recently finished working with a customer who lives with an intellectual disability and hasn’t spoken to anyone in 40 years properly like he did with me.
“I don’t give up and I interact with everyone… everyone can have a meaningful life.”
In the near future, Danielle plans studying for a certificate in sign language, so she can continue promoting good communication and inclusivity.
Rocky Bay has been on an enormous journey of growth in the past three years in particular, with the introduction of NDIS into Western Australia and new services being introduced for customers – including podiatry, dietetics, home assessments and the opening of WA’s very first Specialist Disability Accommodation in Girrawheen.
Rocky Bay CEO, Michael Tait, said this achievement should also be recognised given what Rocky Bay, and the sector as a whole, went through during COVID.
“It is an incredible milestone, not only because of the journey we’ve undertaken, but also what we have gone through with COVID – we have added, very quickly, another 100 staff on the other side of COVID,” Mr Tait said.
“This came about because of the resilience of our staff, the quality of our services, and growth that has improved over that time has been outstanding.
“To have over 1,000 staff and be such a strong organisation on the other side of COVID speaks to the quality of the people we employ. They make such a difference to improve the lives of the people we support, and have such a great impact on West Australian…our staff should all be very proud.
“I look forward to the next part of our journey – we will be announcing new offices, supported accommodation housing and we have new programs to develop. It is a very exciting time to be part of the sector.”