Five minutes with...Gaylene Connell

4 June 2020

One of the ways we support people with disability is through Support Coordination for their NDIS plan. What does support coordination involve? Find out as we spend Five Minutes With Gaylene Connell

Gaylene can make things happen - find out how dedication, passion and positivity helps Gaylene deliver NDIS goals for people with disability in Tasmania.

  • Name: Gaylene Connell

  • Role: Practice Leader/Support Coordinator (Disability Services)

  • Location: Rocherlea, Tasmania

How would you describe your Support Coordination role at Life Without Barriers?

I would describe my role as incredibly interesting. I’m a bit like a detective in as much as you are presented with a plan and an end result and it’s up to you to find the pieces that bring it all together. I wouldn’t want to be in a position where I couldn’t be with people.

What makes you excited to come to work every day?

Not wanting to let my clients down. I try to get the best services for the funds available in their NDIS plans. I love to catch up face to face, to see how they are going, to see them achieve the outcomes that they want and share a laugh!

I never give up. I’m like a mosquito buzzing in people’s ear, until I get an answer that will assist in achieving my participant’s goals.

What does a great outcome look like for the people you support?

The greatest outcome is for the client to trust you to assist them with, sometimes very large amounts of, money to achieve their goals.

What has been your favourite memory of working for Life Without Barriers?

My favourite memory in the last nine years is some of the special events that have been put on by Life Without Barriers. I remember we had a big Australia Day cricket match and BBQ. The clients loved smashing that ball anywhere really, whether staff were there to catch it or not! The highlight was definitely the after cricket ice cream! Every year Life Without Barriers puts on a sports challenge day on the football oval, where all services are invited and a lot of games are played, finishing off with staff novelty races which the people we support love the most! The day finishes with the presentation of medals and participation certificates.

What has been the biggest lesson you’ve learnt in your time at Life Without Barriers?

The biggest lesson I have learned is never underestimate the power of a good relationship.

Make sure to invest the time to get to know people, whether they are verbal or not you will always find a middle ground if you look hard enough.

What is a common misconception about disability support?

I often get asked what I do for a job. When I tell people that I support people with a disability with their NDIS plans, I get the reply “ Oh what a wonderful job you do, I couldn’t do it”, I tell them they are missing out on a rewarding job!

What Life Without Barriers value means the most to you?

One of my favourite values is ‘IMAGINATIVE’. This value gives you so much scope to make the impossible possible. There are always different ways to look at something and if you can stop and think about a solution, I find I get my answers when I go for my walk in the morning. I find if something needs an answer it usually comes to me at this time, sharing your problem is also helpful to get someone else’s perspective.

What are you working on at the moment that really excites you?

I am working from home at the moment and that really excites me as it means I can devote all my time to my participants without interruptions, and with lots of other people also working from home you get a speedy reply to your emails! It’s a win/win.

What does a life without barriers look like to you?

A life without barriers means I can choose people I want to be with who can help create a positive impact on my life. It means I am living in a country that offers so much diversity for me to explore and working in a job I really love! Sometimes you don’t need much in life!

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