INFOCUS STAFF PROFILES
Hi I’m Claire West and I am a Support Worker Coordinator
Hi everyone, my name is Claire West. I have worked with InFocus since 1994 – so 22 years (give or take a few years when I had my 3 beautiful boys). I have worked in a few different roles – as a support worker, a structured respite provider, a keyworker and my current role which is Support Worker Coordinator South. InFocus combines the best of both worlds. It is an extremely flexible, family friendly employer and it is a fantastic organization that does amazing work. I love coming to work each day. My colleagues are a group of extremely dedicated and passionate people. I also get to coordinate an amazing team of diverse, caring, highly skilled support workers that work within a number of different programs. As part of my role I meet with the families and beautiful children who receive direct care services from InFocus. It is very rewarding to be able to work with families to achieve the goals and dreams they have for their children – whether it is to join a club, start a hobby or to simply have the opportunity to go for a walk at the waterfront or a picnic in the park. I also enjoy doing some support work here and there particularly with very complex and palliative children.
Over my 22 years at InFocus I have seen many changes within the disability sector. I am now looking forward to moving towards working under an NDIS. It is an exciting and challenging time to be part of a disability support network so I guess InFocus is stuck with me for a while.
Hi I’m Ella Zhang and I am the Chief Financial Officer
I joined InFocus in April 2013 and started as an Assistant Finance Officer, and it is a privilege to be part of The InFocus Family. I graduated from Macquarie University in 2009 and have a Master degree in Accounting, prior to that I have also done a Bachelor degree in Environmental Engineering back in China. I have many years of experience in financial accounting and information systems gained within organisations in Commerce, HR services and other Industries, and I am very excited that I can utilise my knowledge and skills within the Disability sector.
I have just been promoted early this year and have this exciting opportunity to have a peek in the Leadership Team and to provide them with financial support and services in the NDIS transition planning. We are working closely with families to ensure that those with a disability have choice and independence which is our continuing focus.
Hi, I’m Jessica Lane and I am a Support Worker
Hi my name is Jessie, I’m a disability support worker based mostly on the Southside. I work on Saturdays and during the school holidays with InFocus Kids Club, offering children a supportive environment to engage in a range of different activities such as arts and crafts, cooking, or day trips out in the community to play bowling, or to the park or to a nail salon for the girls! The giggles that escape when we’re in the car during our travels brings a smile to everyone’s face, being able to provide these children with a break from their daily routine and the impact that this then has on them for the rest of the day is amazing.
I have studied as a Paramedic for a year at University, before I changed degrees to Occupational Therapy which I am currently in my second year. I absolutely love this degree and everything that this profession promotes. I feel so passionate about providing care, as well as both physical and emotional support to people of any age. However, working with InFocus all the more confirms my love for working with children who need that extra bit of help. I love seeing their faces light up when we help engage them in an activity they love, and how happy they are when you just sit down and have a good chat. Seeing the difference that I can make to their day inspires me to work harder to finish my degree and one day work full time in this carer field. InFocus has given me the training, skills and knowledge to enable me to best support these beautiful children in an environment where I feel completely supported by all staff.
Hi, I’m Sandra Anderson and I am the Manager of the North Region at InFocus
I’ve been at InFocus for about 9 months now and am really happy to have been so warmly welcomed into the InFocus family! I have worked within the Disability sector in various capacities for my entire career. Upon finishing school, I was accepted into a three year course that had been designed to equip students with the ability to provide new, community based services for people with disabilities, instead of congregate care models. This was an exciting time to enter the sector and I worked for the Department for the following 10 years, supporting the transition of people from institutions into the community.
Three babies, further study and part time work in various positions including direct support, project work and service management kept me busy for the next few years before I returned to fulltime work to take up a position where I managed a large and diverse service for people living in community accommodation. Since then I have held senior management positions that have provided me with some wonderful opportunities to broaden my community services experience and to meet some incredible people along the way.
I am thrilled to be a part of the InFocus team and look forward to the opportunities and challenges that the NDIS brings to the sector. The team at InFocus have a genuine commitment to families and have extensive knowledge, skills and compassion which is evident every single day.
Hi, I’m Rebecca McAree and I am an Occupational Therapist
My name is Rebecca and I am an Occupational Therapist based at the South office. I studied OT at the University of Queensland and graduated with a degree in 2001. During my studies, one of my very first student placements was at InFocus.
After completing Uni and a graduate programme in a rural hospital, I set off overseas to the UK (and later Dublin) on a working visa.
While in England, I worked at St Thomas’ Hospital in Westminster, The Royal Liverpool Hospital and Basildon Hospital in Essex. It was great to get some experience while living and travelling abroad. While overseas I met my husband and we have since had two boys.
On relocating to Dublin I got a job with the Health Service Executive and worked with families in the community for the first time. I found community work flexible and a different challenge to working in a hospital environment.
I returned to Brisbane in 2013 and one of the first positions I applied for was with InFocus (which I still had fond memories of).
My role here, working with children in the community, was a bit of a learning curve at first as I had previously mostly worked with adults as clients. I also had to reacquaint myself with the intricacies of the Queensland health system and local equipment suppliers. I have learnt a lot in my time here and now relish the challenges that working at InFocus offers me.
I get to help families with their decision making when it comes to specialized equipment that can enhance the lives of their children by enabling them the ability to play and lead an active life.
Hi I’m Paulene Pearce and I am a Support Worker
A big Hi to all of our InFocus Community.
I have been asked to write a few paragraphs about who I am and my role at InFocus.
I am Paulene Pearce and I have the privilege of being part of the InFocus South Side Community Team. I am also a mother of two great young people, Rachel (21 years) and Jayden (17 years) as well as being married to my best friend Mark (29 year anniversary coming up). I am soon to become a mother in law to a great son in law to be, Jeremiah.
I have been with InFocus in this role since late October 2008.
My favourite day of the week is Monday as I look forward to spending a great week with some incredible children.
The part I love best about being at InFocus is that I am valued as part of this loving community and encouraged to enable and empower the families I work with in my role as well as value the person hood of the children I have in my care. I am always amazed at how I am blessed and challenged to grow as a person as I share my working life with these precious individuals. I often say that I am hoping to enjoy my role at InFocus until I am no longer able to safely do so. A big thank you to InFocus and their continued investment in me by providing great training and learning experiences and a big thank you to the families who give me the privilege of spending time with their incredible and wonderful children. I am very blessed.
Hi I’m Sanchia Bartlett and I am a Keyworker/Facilitator
My name is Sanchia Bartlett and I am a Keyworker/Facilitator located at our South office. I have had the pleasure of working at InFocus for 13 years, with some time taken for three maternity leaves.
I came to InFocus fresh as a Social Work graduate in 2000 and have been here ever since. What I enjoy most about InFocus is working alongside families through both difficult and joyous times. In my role I may; visit families in their own home, advocate to and liaise with government departments, attend appointments and meetings, provide supportive counselling, and assist in applying for funding. My role is also a linker to both supports provided by InFocus and services in the wider community.
I also enjoy immensely working with a great group of professionals who provide quality support to families. I have recently started working in the InFocus team and this is a new learning opportunity for me, particularly using a self-direction self-management funding model. I look forward to working through the upcoming changes with the National Disability Insurance Scheme and continuing our high quality service to the families we support.