Strengthening our service provision for women and children with disability

Over the past few months, we have been lucky enough to have had two experts in disability service delivery join our team on secondment to share skills with our domestic and family violence teams: Michelina Bell and Amber Figura.

Secondees Michelina Bell and Amber Figura

Michelina Bell joined our team on secondment from iCare, where she worked as a team leader in the Dust Diseases Care Team supporting workers injured by toxic dust such as asbestos.

We spoke with Michelina about her time so far working with our Centre, where she has been supporting our Practice Manager to develop and implement disability-focused case management services that improve client access and outcomes.

“As a part of my role, I have facilitated collaboration with local service providers and NSW Health to develop training resources for the case management teams (Staying Home Leaving Violence and Bankstown Domestic Violence Service) to expand their capacities to assist their long-term clients with disabilities.”

Already, Michelina has helped us develop new partnerships and initiatives.

“The team and I are particularly looking forward to an upcoming project with Services Australia who will provide training for South West Sydney Legal Centre on various payments, resources and assistance that can be obtained for their clients. This training has been tailored to meet the needs of local clients, reflecting the multicultural community they come from.”

Michelina’s passion for her work and friendly open manner has been a pleasure to have on the team.

“Every opportunity to support a client is an opportunity to change a life even if it is just for that moment.”

“Working with such a dedicated team is inspiring and encourages me not to take for granted that kindness and consideration in the workplace is valued. I will miss the team and feel privileged to have worked at South West Sydney Legal Centre”.

Amber Figura joined our team on secondment from Sydney Community Services in Sydney’s Lower North Shore. Sydney Community Services support seniors (over 65s), people with disability and families with young children. 

What did you hope to get out of your secondment with us, in terms of sharing knowledge?

From a personal perspective, I was interested in gaining knowledge and experience in the domestic and family violence sector.

From a professional perspective, I was hoping I could provide information and practical support to caseworkers to enable them to better understand and support women with disability and women who have children with disability.

Working with people with disability is my passion and providing inclusive services is something I feel strongly about.

What experience did you bring to your secondment with us?

Throughout my working life, I have provided services to adults with disability. Initially, I did this as a recreation officer, with a focus on 1:1 inclusive leisure option and more recently as a support worker.

In my work as a Social Support Co-ordinator with Sydney Community Services, I provide activities, events and social home visits to seniors and working with families with young children through inclusive playgroups that focused on child development.

What’s one key lesson you’d like to pass on to our team before you leave? 

Continue to foster the inclusive mindset that already exists in the team.

What have you learnt about South West Sydney Legal Centre in your time working with us?

South West Sydney Legal Centre has a supportive, warm and friendly work culture that is proactively working towards to inclusive services.