At h&h Accredited Training, our community comprises students and staff, as well as wide network of like-minded businesses that we collaborate with on things such as training, traineeships, work placement and also finding jobs and careers for students who graduate.

One of these businesses in Eurella Links Community Services in Burwood, NSW, a disability service that does such wonderful things for people living with disabilities.

h&h works with Eurella in so many ways that are mutually beneficial and also that help guarantee our graduates workplace and/or employment opportunities after graduation.

Bree Lord is Senior Links Manager at Eurella. Here, she chats with us about her job and why she enjoys working with h&h.

Q: Please can you tell me about Eurella? What roles does the organisation play in helping people with disabilities in our community?

A: Eurella is a disability service that supports adults and children who are living with multiple disabilities. We have been around for just over 65 years and we do so much more now compared to what we used to.

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) means we can offer a great deal more to people living with disabilities. This encompasses in-home support, community support, taking people to appointments, support coordination in assisting people to get the services that they require and making the appropriate referrals to ensure that they have the services that they need.  We can essentially provide support in whatever area the person has NDIS funding for and is deemed as ‘reasonable and necessary supports”.

We also offer therapy services, which includes occupational therapy, speech therapy, behavioural therapy and early childhood intervention therapies.  Another service we provide is a supported employment service called Eurella Packaging, which gives people with disabilities, including mental illnesses, the opportunity to work and earn money, utilising their skills with meaningful employment opportunities. This in turn gives them with work within the community and helps to provide them with independence and an improved sense of self-worth.  We also have a residential house, where four people live in a supported environment.

Q: What is your role in Eurella?

A: I am the Eurella Links Senior Manager. My portfolio includes looking after the business enterprise services and also looking after Eurella Links, which is a program that provides community participation, recreational, social and civic activities. I am also the trainer for the organisation, so I write all the training packages, for the staff’s professional development learning, and any mandatory training that is required for the organisation.

Q: How long has your organisation worked in affiliation with h&h?

A: It has been at least 10 years! All of them very happy, too!

Q: In what ways do you and h&h work together?

A: We take a lot of the Cert III in Individual Support (CHC33015) and Cert IV in Disability (CHC43115) students for work placements. We have also used their trainers to come and train our staff in professional development, things like manual handling, or motivational training.

We also have taken our staff to h&h to use their facilities to help them learn. They have hoists and beds that help us train staff in simulated real-life situations. They support us in our fundraising events and we also support them with their fundraising events like Genes for Jeans day and so on. h&h recently gave us a donation for fund raising to expand our gym and recreational space for our clients and create a new accessible facility. We will be naming the room we are renovating in their honour! It has always been a great symbiotic relationship.

Q: Do you employ graduates from h&h?

A: Yes, we absolutely do. I think half my staff are sourced from h&h!

Q: What kinds of standards/skillsets do you see of the graduates that come from h&h?

A: They all seem to have a really wide set of skills. They are aware of and well trained in many different types of disabilities that people live with, and they have a solid background in terms of how to work with them. They are also across all the varying legislation that is needed for working in our industry, which is really important.

It is typically a streamlined and seamless process for us when hosting h&h students for their work placements - over and above any other educational facility. We would also always look towards h&h first when we have a vacancy, before we look at other colleges. As soon as I have a vacancy, I contact them.

Q: How do you find h&h students and graduates in terms of enthusiasm, skills and attention to detail?

A: The students and the graduates we employ are generally of the highest level. We see that they are motivated, they really want a career in the industry, and they are keen to learn more. They ask a lot of question and they really want to be able to help. We service a wide range of disability types and h&h students are across this and always keen to apply their skills in a variety of ways to best service our community.

Q: How would you describe your overall experience with h&h?

A: It is absolutely a positive experience. As I said, we employ many h&h graduates in support worker roles and other roles. Some have been here for a very long time and have been able to move up the chain here. For instance, one of our employees who did Cert III in Individual Support at h&h has worked her way up to be a team leader here and is now in management role. We wouldn’t have half our staff without h&h!  The support that the Trainers also give the h&h Students whilst on work placement is absolutely awesome.