Nadine Soper - Director
I started Our Voice Our Choice as I passionately believe in ensuring people with a disability have a voice that is heard - my company is for the people!
We - myself as Director, and all my staff and volunteers - are not here to just 'babysit' or take care of people's basic needs, but educate society to accept each individual and assist them to have a sense of belonging and to feel worthwhile, that they are valued. Being part of the community is the most important step for inclusion for everyone, and community includes ALL people.
The driving force in my career is to be driven only by the people's voice and their desire for choice, so they know they are listened to and respected as valuable members of the community.
Personally, my most important achievements have not come from educational success but from making a difference to people's lives...
A man with no words taught me the most valuable lesson in life ... empathy and true compassion. He taught me to listen to someone that could not talk, to see that we are all worthy no matter how different we are. Whilst he had no "verbal voice", his words spoke clearly to me, he held his voice in his smile and heart ... but so few took the time to listen. And that is what I want to change.
I want to make a difference. Welcome to Our Voice Our Choice.
Nadine is well qualified in Behavioural Management and Disability Services with a Diploma in Community services, Level IV Mental Health and Addictions Certificate, Level IV Social Services Certificate, Level IV Aged Care and Disabilities Certificate as well has being extensively trained in Non-Violent Intervention and Complex Behavioural Therapy.
Nadine is involved in all aspects of the planning and implementation of supports for Residents, and is dedicated to a person centred approach.
Nadine is also a pioneer in different and exciting approaches for Community Participation for residents, and ensures their goals are establish, their voice is heard and their choice of provider is clear.
Chief Operating Officer
Tell us Kyle, what does a COO actually do?
All sorts of stuff! (chuckles). I have oversight of the business in anything operational. My focus is on interweaving the services we provide to the participants to the finance system, the policies and procedures, the compliance requirements and other business strategies.
So what lead you to join OVOC?
When I saw the role opportunity at OVOC, it was just an organic transition from my last role. When I met with OVOC, I really liked what the company was about. I talked with Nadine and Christie at length, and learning what OVOC stood for and how they go about delivering the services appealed to me. There is a lot to like about OVOC.
That’s brilliant! What would you say is OVOC’s point of difference?
There’s quite a bit of difference. A lot of other agencies that I know of claim to do great things, but OVOC doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk! OVOC has an uncompromising focus on their participants and delivering real services to them. It is central in all considerations of the business.
What would you like to see OVOC achieve in the next few years?
I believe it is realistic to see OVOC continue to grow, including into interstate locations. It is an exciting time, and there are no limitations to what OVOC can do.
Can you tell us a little bit about what you enjoy outside of OVOC hours?
My family and I have moved to take this position, and we are looking forward to our ‘tree change’. We will be spending weekends exploring Newcastle & the Hunter Valley, and our three kids (3yrs, 5yrs & 7yrs) love sports so you’ll usually find us following them to one of half a dozen different sports from swimming to cricket or tennis. I enjoy watching the Rugby too.
Interview with Kristy
Services Manager - NDIS Compliance
How many years have you been in the Disability Support Services Industry?
Approximately 25 years.
How long have you been with OVOC?
I joined OVOC in January 2019 in a full time capacity, however I have worked alongside OVOC with joint participants for 2 years in another role.
What does a typical day involve for you?
- Managing NDIS funding and funding compliance for residents
- Assisting residents/aprticipants to have a better understanding of their NDIS funding
- Education and mentoring staff of OVOC to have a greater understanding of NDIS funding and how best to support residents to achieve their goals with this funded support and what roles of SW should look like for Supported Accommodation. It's about Active Support
- Liaising with families and residents to ensure quality service is being provided
- Planning meetings and review meetings with NDIS
- Providing Coordination of Support services to participants
What do you love most about your role with OVOC?
Being part of an organisation that provides high quality service to residents and participants that are in the centre of all planning and supports. Having staff motivated to encourage our residents/participants achieve their goals
If you weren't working in Disability Services, what job would you like to have?
a. Life Coach/Mentor - I think I will always be in human services somewhere
b. Landscape Gardener - I love being outdoors in the garden and would like to learn more around creating a vision and seeing the outcome
c. Hoard and Squalor Cleaner - this is the OCD part of me where i Love to see a mess become organised!
Interview with Linc
Support Worker - the Farm
How long have you been with OVOC?
Since February. Before that, I have been a caretaker in a boarding house with over 55 ex drug addicts, people struggling with mental health and alcoholics. I had respect in the boarding house, and got them to be feeling better, more positive.
What brings you to being with OVOC?
I've had a lot of experiences in my life and I want the opportunity to give back and help others. I've been in tough situations before. It doesn't matter if you're rich or poor, you all end up in a situation that's unexpected and can make you re-evaluate life.
When you're not working at OVOC, how do you spend your time?
Watching football, with my three kids. I love going to the beach in the summer with the kids, we love the water in Newcastle - and seeing movies!
What are your goals for the future?
Well I'd love to travel in my time off. And my work goals? I'm happy doing what I am doing with OVOC, making sure the guys are moving in the right direction ... Long term goal I feel like I'm in the right place ... I want to team with people and get to know them, and have a strong team and make progress. My short term goals is to help the guys discover what they want out of life.