BusinessJuly 2015

Core values support a local community service focus

Carlie McWilliams is Life Without Barriers’ general manager for the Northern Territory and is grounded in the importance of connecting closely with the community in which she works.

With a career history spanning a range of roles in the social services, Carlie brings a wealth of experience to the team in the NT, having previously worked in other large project management teams.

A year into the role, she has been nominated for the Emerging Leaders award in the NT and seen huge growth in the services which Life Without Barriers has been able to provide.

Carlie says she is driven by her commitment to changing and developing the business to meet the needs of the population through the provision of new and innovative services.

“We are constantly looking at what we can do better in the Territory with our programs in Darwin, Katherine and Alice Springs.

“I’m lucky to be working within a strong and collaborative team environment which helps us deliver services which are responsive to the community’s needs,” she said.

Our services include a range of programs including, though not exclusive to the provision of foster care for children through a network of foster carers, and supported home care services for the elderly including domestic help, transport and other assistance required to allow them to maintain their independence and remain living at home.
Ms McWilliams said the organisation is all about providing culturally appropriate services in line with the requirements of each person we support.

“To support people from a range of backgrounds across the community, we focus on engaging staff from culturally diverse backgrounds that match these needs,” she said. “This approach is applied across all our programs including our supported accommodation services for people living with disabilities.”

Life Without Barriers recognises that culture and identity are important to the lives of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

Through the Community Pathways Program, the organisation offers contemporary learning and living skills that are tailored to the individual interests and needs of people living with a disability.

These activities can include cultural learning, visits to historical sites, shared stories, art and language lessons, work experience and the development of other skills to help people to connect with their communities.
“Our focus is on working with people to discover their dreams and goals,” Ms McWilliams said.
“This includes working with people with disabilities to make choices in their lives.”

Through an experienced network of staff, Life Without Barriers is running programs in four of the seven original NDIS trial sites around the country, and is working closely with NDIA to develop and offer services that best meet the needs of the population.

Life Without Barriers is structured around its core values, led by a focus on building relationships.
“To us, relationships are what make us stronger. We believe that family and community networkscan create an inclusive supportive society,” Carlie said.

“Our services are individualised for the people we support and our values are embedded in the delivery of these services every day.

“You will see this demonstrated in the community in the areas where we work as we focus on developing and maintaining each person’s independence so they can achieve their goals.
“We provide a broad range of support services nationally and you can find out more about LWB on our website at
www.lwb.org.au or call our office locally
on (08) 8930 2300”