Hi, I’m Lucy and I work in the Windmill (Disability) Program at Royal Far West. Windmill provides disability support and therapy services for children aged 2-12 with autism, intellectual disability, developmental or global delay who have an NDIS plan and live in rural or remote areas of NSW. Children who take part in the Windmill Program receive personalised support from our team of specialists to help them achieve their goals.
I started here seven months ago, providing administrative support to our small team. Recently, I was promoted to the role of Service Planner.
What I do
As a Service Planner I help families plan the supports they would like to receive from Royal Far West to best achieve their child’s NDIS goals. Our families can access allied health services including Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Psychology by visiting us in Manly for an intensive Immersion Week, or through our Telecare program, where the children access support in their school or home via technology, or by attending one of our fun, therapeutic Holiday Camps at Manly. Many of our clients choose to access all three of these services.
My role involves talking with parents and carers on the phone and communicating by email to really understand their child’s needs. I also have the opportunity to meet them face-to-face when they visit Manly, which is lovely and allows me to put a face to the voice and vice versa.
I also liaise regularly with our clinical teams and co-ordinate with caseworkers and NDIS plan managers around NSW to ensure we are all working together to offer the best possible levels of service and support for country children and their families.
What makes it all ‘real’
I arrived in Australia from the UK almost 20 years ago and have done a fair amount travelling here. However, nothing has made me appreciate the ‘true’ Australia as much as my daily chats with our rural families. I have been asked to book an Immersion Week between lambing and harvest, I have had a call briefly put on hold while a mum has picked up a new goat on the way home from the school run. Also, I have had a call interrupted by a gaggle of curious geese coming into the kitchen of the family’s farm. Working next to the ocean in Manly, I am constantly reminded of the vastness and variety of our land.
Why I work here
I love being part of the dedicated team at Royal Far West that works so hard with our Windmill families to help their children with disabilities. It is a privilege getting to know the families; their resilience, grit and sense of humour is inspiring, especially in the current very tough times. Sadly, a large number of our families have been affected by drought, and many have been directly impacted by the current fires.
As I walk through the doors at Royal Far West I don’t always know where in New South Wales my work day will take me. However, I do know that each day will be different, interesting, educational and rewarding.