Fredricka Gonsalves is currently part of two very different teams in VMCH. She is part of the Carer Program team and the Assistance with Care and Housing (ACH) Program. She works with unpaid carers living in the Eastern Region, as well as supporting older people at risk of homelessness. On top of this, she also works with the Metro Support Coordination Team, who support clients living with a disability who have active NDIS plans.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen from when you started to now?
When I started, it was still Villa Maria and the merger was announced a little bit afterwards. The organisation has had huge growth since and because of this growth I feel it has enabled me to be in the position that I am in. In the Support Coordination space we are now supporting just over 200 clients with active NDIS plans and in the Carers Program last year we were successful in acquiring additional funding to support a further 700 carers in addition to the 1000 that we were already working with.
What does it mean to you to work at VMCH?
It means a lot to work for an organisation that shared the same values that I do and that we all share a common goal of person-centred care.
What do you love most about your role?
I know it probably sounds cliché, but I love the positive outcomes that we achieve for the people that we support. For us it could be something very small such as organising some pre-prepared meals or just taking the time to listen to them which makes such a difference to them. I’m so fortunate to work with two amazing teams who strive to always get the best outcome for the clients. Getting feedback from the clients about what we mean to them, makes it all worthwhile.
What do you like to do outside of work?
Prior to COVID I would have spent weekends going to the footy and catching up with friends and family, I do enjoy a good brunch. I’m unsure if it’s classified as a hobby, however my team probably feels that shopping is a pastime that I enjoy. However, with the current restrictions in place I have had the opportunity to focus on other interests that I probably wouldn’t have found time to do such as baking.