Meet Joanne Walker, Pastoral Care Outreach Worker

Joanne wears a couple of hats across VMCH. She provides social and emotional support to around 400 residents across 21 VMCH Affordable Housing sites, and also takes property maintenance calls from residents; ensuring sites and units are running as they should.

Joanne joined VMCH in September and says she’s passionate about reaching out to and empowering disadvantaged people in the community.

Why did you choose to work at VMCH?

As my counselling degree came to an end, I was very excited to step into my desired position of pastoral care where I could provide emotional and spiritual support to people and to create ways for them to experience fulfilment and meaning in their lives. And on the property end, it’s important to ensure property processes and schedules run smoothly.

I feel honoured to work in this organisation which fosters the values of compassion, respect and inclusiveness as I believe these are vital to making a difference to the lives of others.

What have you noticed are the main needs of people supported in Affordable Housing?

Many residents really appreciate being socially included, supported and respected within their housing and local community. I have found there is a need for them to feel a sense of belonging and fulfilment whether through social events, an enjoyable activity or to have someone to care for and listen to them.

How important is Affordable Housing to the people we support and why?

Affordable Housing is of vital importance for people to financially afford housing while still living independently. We also journey alongside them in Pastoral Care if they need to transition into aged care or right through to end-of-life by linking them to services and support.

What more do you think could be done to support older people in terms of permanent housing?

As it is independent living, there is a need for home care package services for residents who require assistance. It’s important when we see these needs to continually inform residents of what home care support is out there.

What is your future wish for the people we support through Affordable Housing?

That they experience a greater social inclusion within their community, feel comfortable sharing concerns, feel we are meeting their needs and creating ways to help them experience fulfilment and meaning in their life.

What do you enjoy doing outside of work?

Going out for breakfast and shopping with friends, family game night, gym, church and singing.

If you’d like to join the VMCH team, visit our Careers page.