Meet VMCH Senior Manager of Accommodation Services Kristy Simmonds
Kristy leads a dedicated team of support workers who run VMCH’s disability accommodation services across Victoria.
Kristy joined VMCH in April and she says her main objective is to ensure the people living at VMCH residences are happy at home.
What appealed to you about coming to VMCH?
I thought that I was ready for a new challenge. From a career perspective, I thought VMCH could offer me something and equally I could offer my knowledge and expertise in the accommodation space. I really felt that my work ethic and the way I liked to work matched the values and mission of VMCH.
What is it about disability accommodation that appeals to you?
For me fundamentally, I really think it’s important for people to be happy at home. So, if there is one thing I achieve on a daily basis and it is ensuring that the people I am responsible for are happy at home, I think that’s a basic human right, that’s pretty special. It gets me out of bed in the morning.
Supported accommodation is difficult. It is probably one of the most complex elements of disability services because often people don’t get to choose who they live with … so there are still elements of that choice that is taken away from them. I strategically try to think about different ways to ensure that each person is empowered and involved as much as possible, given the constraints of the operating model that we work within.
What is your wish for the people we support in disability accommodation now and into the future?
That they are happy at home, and I think we are achieving that. That we continue to provide safe and happy houses for people to live in. It important that people are happy at home.
What do you think VMCH needs to do as a service provider to continue improving outcomes for people with disability?
We must continue to commit to people’s individual support needs. I think that we need to continue to develop our systems and processes to ensure that they are being implemented consistently. Consistent systems and processes translate into better support. They go hand-in-hand.
It is also about making sure we train and recognise staff for their efforts. The best representation of our organisation is our staff. Our support workers are the face of our disability services.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I love to cook for family and friends. I do that because it’s soothing being in the kitchen. I tune out. I enjoy cooking both sweet and savoury. I also like to travel overseas as much as I am able. I have been very fortunate to travel many places throughout the world but of course there are many more on the list to visit.