The EFA Enquirer: 30 June 2022

Helping providers to help participants

In this edition:

  • Kathy Gronthos – Connected & Down to Earth
  • EFA, Awarded NDIS Auditor Training for 5th Year
  • Upcoming EFA Training
  • Hosanna Compliments EFA
  • Dedicated NDIS Minister Announced

Kathy Gronthos – Connected & Down to Earth

The EFA Enquirer: 30 June 2022 1

A relative new team member to Engels Floyd & Associates is Kathy Gronthos. Kathy has taken on Rachael’s role as Client Engagement Administration Manager so she may be the one who responds to your inquiry or answers your phone call.

Kathy has had extensive experience working as a senior administrator in the health, disability and carer space in the Commonwealth and State Government.  She has worked on national disability policy and carer agreements, government funding initiatives and policy strategies. 

Speaking with Kathy this week she is obviously thrilled at her move to EFA and, with Kathy’s skills and wide ranging experiences, we are equally thrilled to have her join our team.

So who is Kathy?

What do you love about your work?

Kathy: I love the variety. No day is the same. The work is varied, interesting and fast paced. It is quality work where I feel like I am making a difference for people with disability. The day flies and you don’t even notice the time. 

My team at EFA are lovely, very supportive and every day I am learning new things. The team are all so knowledgeable and very wise. There is a lot of wisdom and years of experience at EFA and it really shows.

The more I spoke with Kathy the more this quote I had heard rang true: “We are not a team because we work together. We are a team because we respect, trust, and care for each other.” Kathy appears to be the actualisation of that phrase.

What are the highlights of your life to date?

Kathy: My three children. They are really good kids, with good hearts and amazing personalities.  They make my life very interesting and there is never a dull day in our house. You could say they keep me young and on my toes.

(Kids can be great role models for helping our own inner child and imaginations to flourish.)

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Kathy: Family orientated – I come from a large extended Greek family with a lot of cousins. Everyone is very supportive and we are all there for each other through good and bad times. It’s true!

Down to earth – I am a very grounded and practical person.  I respect truthfulness and being treated respectfully. What you see is what you get.

Honest – I do my best to live my life honestly and ethically. It is those principles which I was taught growing up in my family and try to teach my children.

(This is the sort of person you want on your team isn’t it! We certainly do. Honesty and grounded, practicality are ideal. Although it wasn’t raised, I did get the feeling that Kathy holds a high standard of integrity as a key attribute also.)  

What is the best piece of advice you have received?

Kathy: I was brought up around the principle of the Golden Rule. To treat others in the same way you would like to be treated in terms of respect, kindness, generosity, and love. A great foundation and my parents were good role models in the Golden Rule. I do not think you can go wrong in life if you try to base your life on that rule.

(The Golden Rule was new to me although many of us probably know it by another term or by the act itself. The most familiar version of the Golden Rule says, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Also known as the Ethic of Reciprocity. Something all of us could benefit from practicing.)

What is the most courageous thing you have done?

Kathy: Recently, becoming an amateur beekeeper. I always had an interest and then out of the blue the opportunity to have some hives in my backyard presented itself. So I said, “Why not!”  An 80 year old Greek beekeeper brought the hives over and taught me how to take care of them. He taught me in Greek which was a challenge at times because my Greek is not the best but we got by. It was pretty daunting and scary at the beginning and sometimes still is, but I am learning every day the beauty of bees and how important they are to the environment. All that yummy raw honey I get to enjoy and gift to others is a fantastic bonus. 

Leaving the security of the Commonwealth Public Services for family reasons was a big decision at the time. However, it led me to spend more time with my kids when they were young by allowing me to be a full time Mum for a few years and opened up new opportunities for me. After which I moved into working for private organisations which was an eye opener and eventually this led me to work here with EFA.

(Now that was unexpected! Beekeeping. Did you know there are 20,000 different species of bees on our planet?  And of those only eleven can make honey. Beekeeping definitely takes a bit of courage and tenacity too I bet.)

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

Kathy: Being successful at not being eaten alive by the bees although I have had quite a few stings, which isn’t nice. Showing my kids that you can learn something new and totally left field and take yourself out of your comfort zone. I still haven’t convinced them to help me yet. I think the bites on my face when I swelled up like a balloon have scared them off.

Also successfully turning a hobby, making concrete and eco resin homewares, into an online small business and having to set up the whole infrastructure myself. I learned so much about social marketing, taking photos for artwork, social media, setting up a new website, and all the associated stuff that is part and parcel with setting up a new small business.

(I’m sure seeing your mother’s face swollen into welts from bee stings would scare off most kids. LOL)

What could you not live without?

Kathy: My children, my big Greek family, my dog, five cats, and six chickens.  Yes, I am one of those cat ladies, it’s the running joke in my family. 

Coffee as well but I am sure I could live without it. Not so sure if I would be a very nice person though.

(LOL – I reckon most of us would not have our nice guy faces on everyday without coffee either Kathy. I’m sure your large human & fur family would always keep you smiling though.) 

If you could sit over dinner with anyone who would it be and why?

Kathy: My mum, I lost her suddenly 13 years ago and would love to have the opportunity to say to her all the things I didn’t say while she was alive and to talk with her about my children. 

My mum taught me so much about family, faith, values, love, and hospitality. Our house was always open and she loved helping people. She had a soft and giving heart for others and there were always new people we hadn’t met yet who visited our home. No-one left our house hungry. There was always an endless saucepan of beautiful, yummy Greek food cooking that never seemed to run out.

(Kathy told me how her Dad comes from the Greek island of Ikaria which has been identified as a Blue Zone. In case you don’t know what that is, blue zones are regions of the world thought to have a higher than usual number of people who live much longer than average. They eat mainly vegetarian diets and their healthy cuisine is now represented in many published cook books.)

What song do you HAVE to sing along with when you hear it?

Kathy: Total Eclipse of the Heart” by Bonnie Tyler because who doesn’t like an 80s classic. I can’t sing to save my life but I give it a good go especially in the car, despite my kids protests.”

(I must agree – the 80s had some brilliant classics. Songs like “Jump” by Van Halen or “Express Yourself” by Madonna. Personally I think “S..S..Single Bed” has to be up there. Just kidding!)

Kathy certainly came across as a genuine, compassionate, and friendly person on our first conversation. If you contact EFA and Kathy responds I’m sure you will find her very welcoming and eager to support you in the best way possible.

EFA Supporting Residential Aged Care NDIS Providers

Upcoming EFA Training

July 15       Internal Audit Training (One Day)

Internal Audits are a mandatory requirement for NDIS providers under the NDIS Practice Standards.

This internal audit training will give you a sound basis and the tools to move forward with your own audits. EFA are auditing and quality specialists. Book your spot now!

Can’t make July? Book in for our following workshop on 11th November then.

July 27       NDIS Restrictive Practices & Behaviour Support for Implementing               Providers

Seeking guidance about obligations of NDIS providers that support participants subject to a Restrictive Practice? We can demystify behaviour support and restrictive practices and share that information with you in a way that makes sense for you and your NDIS service. Book in here!

Can’t make July? Book in for our following workshop on 17th November then.

August 19     NDIS Feedback and Complaints Management Essentials

Our three (3) hour workshop via Zoom is presented by an experienced NDIS auditor, is interactive, and will provide you with some practical tips and strategies you can use immediately. Remember Complaints management training for workers is also mandatory! Book a spot here!

Oct 14       NDIS Incident Management Essentials

Managing incidents effectively is an essential part of providing quality and safe supports for NDIS participants. This interactive workshop will include: benefits of effective incident management and managing incidents to comply with the relevant NDIS Practice Standards and NDIS Incident Management Rules and reporting. Book your spot here!

EFA, Awarded NDIS Auditor Training For 5th Year

We are so thrilled to announce that EFA, and our partner ARTD have, for the 5th consecutive year been contracted by the NDIS Commission to undertake NDIS auditor training. To date we have trained 869 auditors through forty five sessions. A huge feat since 2018.

What this means for you is that you can be reassured that when you engage Engels Floyd & Associates you are dealing with the best in the business when it comes to NDIS compliance and registration. We understand NDIS requirements like the back of our hand. We train the auditors. If you need help from the experts in NDIS registration and compliance contact us for a chat.

Hosanna Compliments EFA

Linda Yalda from Hosanna Community Care based in Melbourne recently provided this glowing feedback to EFA. This was received after EFA provided Hosanna tailored consultancy support on auditing, quality management, and standards.

Linda wrote; “EFA is very honest, passionate, qualified, highly skilled and approachable team that has always supported us to continually improve.”  Accordingly in Linda’s words to EFA; “You are the best!”

This type of feedback is not only beneficial to help us know that we are on track and meeting provider’s needs efficiently but also that we ease the load for the providers that we work with. And if we at EFA can improve your systems and ultimately improve outcomes for your participants, then we are fulfilling our purpose. What do others have to say about their experience with EFA?

Dedicated NDIS Minister Announced

Following on from a change of Government recently, on May 31st Bill Shorten was announced as Labor’s first ever dedicated Minister for the NDIS. Bill will also be Minister for Government Services. Bill said “It is my great honour to serve people with disability…I will work every day to make Australia better. I look forward to the work and I won’t let you down.”

On June 22nd Bill Shorten visited the NDIA Braddon office to meet the NDIA staff delivering the Scheme to make an important NDIS announcement and to release the latest NDIA Annual Pricing Review.

Bill claims the review is a win-win situation. From 1st July 2022 price limits for all NDIS supports delivered by disability support workers will increase by 9 per cent, including a 2 per cent temporary loading in 2022-23, and all current NDIS plan budgets will be automatically increased to account for these price limit changes.

Further information is available in the associated media release: .

While all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no responsibility is accepted by Engels Floyd & Associates for any errors, omissions or inaccuracies. The material provided in this resource has been prepared to provide general information only. It is not intended to be relied upon or be a substitute for legal or other appropriate professional advice. Engels Floyd & Associates accept no responsibility for any known or unknown consequences that may result from reliance on any information provided in this newsletter, or any external websites referred to.

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