Without our people, we could not deliver our services. We depend on over 800 employees and 1,500 volunteers across our offices, programs and housing facilities to work alongside and support our clients.
Our work ranges from directly supporting clients in roles such as care workers and case managers, to *corporate *functions that underpin the way we work and the services we deliver. While our roles vary greatly, we all share a passion and drive to improve the lives of every person that needs our help.
Meet below some of our employees and volunteers. Their stories will give you an insight into the work we do every day and why we do it.
Shane is part of Wesley’s Crisis and Homelessness Services team, based in Ringwood. His role is part of the Social Housing Advocacy and Support Program which provides tailored case management for public housing tenants. The aim of the program is to help people maintain their housing for successful tenancies.
Shane had a varied career in the army and as a printer, before working for Tenant Advice and Advocacy Service North Queensland. This was a turning point in his career as he discovered a passion for getting good results for tenants. Shane joined Wesley because he wanted to continue making a difference in people’s lives.
Tenancy Support Worker, Crisis & Homelessness Services
“I love what I do. To work with the most vulnerable people who don’t have a say, people that need a voice. It makes me proud to be able to get a good result for our clients.”
Nick is a volunteer counsellor with Lifeline Melbourne, which is part of the national Lifeline phone counselling service. When someone calls 13 11 14, he’s one of the people that picks up the phone and actively listens.
After studying psychology, Nick wanted to explore his strengths to guide his future studies. He found the training for Lifeline to be extremely beneficial before he even answered any calls. And he says it’s a privilege to experience the trust people show when they disclose their most personal feelings on those calls. Nick really enjoys being an active listener and he’s always learning more about himself through that listening process.
“It’s so rewarding to be able to help people going through tough times. To give back to the community is very satisfying.”
Jenny and her sidekick Harry the Labrador are part of our Do Care program, providing pet companionship through weekly visits with a Wesley client.
Jenny and Harry visit Erin, a young woman with autism, every Friday afternoon. Erin lives independently in a retirement community and has embraced the opportunity for social interaction with Jenny and the chance to play an active role in Harry’s life.
And Harry’s not your run-of-the-mill labrador – there’s no sedate walks in the park for this trio. Erin practices dance moves with Harry and encourages his skateboarding skills! Jenny says Erin has become quite the ‘dog whisperer’ and Harry responds beautifully to her.
Do Care volunteers
“Volunteering gladdens my heart and I’m looking forward to a long involvement with Wesley Pet Pals.”
Simone’s role is diverse and challenging, working with vulnerable children and young people who come to Wesley as a result of experiencing neglect or abuse at home.
Given all that they’ve been through, the children’s positivity and resilience never ceases to amaze Simone.
She’s equally inspired by her colleagues’ compassion and dedication as strong advocates for their young clients, to do all that she can to make a difference in their lives every day.
Manager, Children, Youth & Family - Home Based Services
“I truly believe my job makes me a better person.”
For many parents, teenage boys can be a handful at times, but for Andrew Cox they’re a blessing. Last Father’s Day is one Andrew will never forget after he was surprised with a gift one minute past midnight!
For the past 2 years, Andrew has been a foster carer with Wesley. The inspiration to join the program came from a friend and Andrew is now caring for two teenage boys who mean the world to him.
For Andrew the best part has been seeing the progression of the boys, “They can be a handful like any kids, but to see where they have come from is so rewarding”.
“They’re my kids, they call me dad, it’s the most amazing thing…I don’t know a life without them.”
Nick joined Wesley Employment Services in 2013, as a former job seeker with the service himself!
He now makes a difference in the lives of his own clients, supporting successful job seekers and their new employers to ensure job placements are going well for everyone. His philosophy, which he applies to his work, is ‘to help people who may not be able to help themselves’.
Nick has been a recipient of Wesley’s John Wesley Award for his commitment and dedication to his work, and consistently outstanding performance.
Post Placement Support Officer, Wesley Employment Services
“It’s a role that requires great people skills – especially empathy.”
Food for Families is a vast operation that relies on volunteers performing a range of tasks. Lyndal’s first role with Wesley was as a volunteer during our annual Food for Families appeal.
Lyndal called schools and businesses to encourage them to participate, organised collection boxes and sent them out to other volunteers.
Lyndal was interested in working in the charitable sector and saw volunteering as a chance to support Wesley’s important work. Soon after the 2013 appeal finished, Lyndal joined the fundraising team staff to support our donors and supporters in the community.
“It was so encouraging to call last year’s volunteers and find out they were so happy to come back and do it all again.”
Lynn works in Wesley’s Do Care program, which pairs volunteers to spend regular time with older people, or people with disability. Her role includes the recruitment, training and support of program volunteers, conducting in-home assessments for new clients and promoting the program’s availability in the local community.
The variety in Lynn’s role is one of the reasons she loves her work – every day is different and the opportunities to meet interesting new people are endless.
And she can’t speak highly enough of the volunteers she works with…”they’re amazing”.
Social Support Coordinator, Do Care
“Even after 10 years, I still get excited when I match a volunteer with a client.”