National Disability Insurance Scheme News

The EFA Enquirer: 30 May 2022

Helping providers to help participants

In this edition:

  • Karen Pritchard, Power Packed With Positivity
  • Mid Term Audit Training this Tuesday
  • EFA Supporting Residential Aged Care NDIS Providers
  • Increasing Participant Engagement in Auditing

Karen Pritchard, Power Packed With Positivity

The EFA Enquirer: 30 May 2022 1

Have you noticed those quirky, engaging, and motivating social media posts that EFA has been posting lately? That’s the wondrous work of one of EFA’s newest team members, Karen Pritchard, our Digital Marketing Coordinator. Karen loves her work as she loves life. A creative, lateral thinker who brings a sense of humour, gratitude, and loads of fun to all that she does. No negativity there! Expect the unexpected with Karen, and it will come accompanied by one of her famous off the cuff comments.Karen and I caught up recently. What really is the source of her contagious joyousness?

What do you love about your work? Karen: My Team – First and foremost! All our heads, hearts and intentions are in the same place. I feel we all skip to the beat of the same drum.Generally I feel lucky in life. I have a lot of gratitude. I tried part time work for a while and now I’m back to working 5 days a week between EFA and another company. I’m even busier and I love it!  And I have 100% autonomy, something creative people need.(Karen is so switched on with balancing her priorities. She told me that she regularly schedules a ‘no phone/screen time’. And this is a definite. She does not compromise on that for herself. That’s something most of us could do with!)

What are the highlights of your life to date? Karen:  I’m so proud that I’m finally working in a job I love to do. It’s no longer about working in a job just for the money. Even on the weekends I like popping into work online and doing some work, not because I need to catch up but because I just love it. It feels as though I am doing good and that’s important to me.  EFA is not a big multinational corporation. It’s all about Australians helping Australians. Doing good by keeping it local. I like working for a company with those values.(Such a refreshing perspective! What did Confucius say: “Choose a job you love and you will never have to work a day in your life.”)

What three words would you use to describe yourself? Karen: Fun. Loud. Worrier. LOL – That’s me – Always going straight for the catastrophe jump. I go from nought to a million in an instant. I think that comes from being an over thinker. I’m what I would coin a loud introvert.(Is the “catastrophe jump” as Karen calls it merely the result of a wild imagination……. Then again I think there are many of us that do the catastrophe jump when something unexpected happens.)

What is the best piece of advice you have received? Karen: “Life is a journey not a destination.” It’s the journey that matters.Sometimes we all just need to pause to smell the roses. Of such value too is; “Smile at someone!” It makes a difference and being a brighter person encourages the same in return from others.(So many wisdoms in response to one question. Smiling makes a massive difference. Have you ever noticed that if you smile at a stranger? And how many of us are always wanting to jump to the final outcome, to finish a task, wishing away days and weeks. It feels so good just to stop and breathe. It’s like pressing reset on your phone.)

What is the most courageous thing you have done? Karen: I can do job interviews as cool as a cucumber. I can speak to crowds without any butterflies.The most courageous thing I have done was to apply to be a member of the Charity Taskforce Advisory Council. This group is made up of high flying executives and CEOs and applying for ‘li’l me’ to join this committee of high profile people was daunting. Speaking up with highly successful and already connected personalities is scary. But I told myself; “…. You know what! I am as able as them to do this role.” And I did join that council so I could add the voice of the small charity sector.Together we will be guiding on the development of a charity donation platform that pulls together donors, workplaces and the community.  It helps to share and celebrate the ‘goodness feeling’ that comes from collaborative giving.  A bit a background if you’re curious – this platform encourages workplace giving (regular pre-tax donations direct from your pay) We like to say, it doesn’t matter how much or how little, but every bit counts.  If you’ve not heard of workplace giving and want to know more, head to the Workplace Giving Australia website to discover all the benefits for employees, organisations and the causes you care most about.(You go girl! We are always the best person to back ourselves. How amazing does it feel when you step out of your comfort zone?) 

What accomplishment are you most proud of? Karen: Growing pumpkins! I have been dedicating spare time to growing a veggie garden for the past nearly 5 years and I love growing pumpkins. I talk to them and they all have individual personalities – no kidding! My pumpkins are organic and every late summer they completely overtake the backyard. (A whizz at social media and a green thumb! Looks like halloween is at Karen’s.)

What could you not live without? Karen: My iPhone. Seriously! It enables me to do things that normal-sighted people take for granted. Besides the obvious benefits of my iPhone I can listen to audio books, the radio, and podcasts. Listening to content is just the same as reading it, but the main benefit is you can be doing chores around the home while reading.  Boom!  there is a life hack for you!  A must for everyone, get the Borrow Box app, connect it to your local library and start listening. It really makes those dull jobs fly quick.(BTW Karen has 97% sight loss. That doesn’t slow her down one iota. Her energy, passion and zest for life is compelling.)

If you could sit over dinner with anyone who would it be and why? Karen: Well, it can’t be just one person. I’m making the most of the opportunity.

Elon Musk. I’m curious if he’s as the media purports him to be.

Princess Diana, undoubtedly an iconic mover and shaker who left a lot of unfinished business. The ripple effect of her being here on earth is still playing out in our world currently.

Marilyn Monroe, a woman who was manipulated and used as a possession. Does she have substance to her compared to how she was portrayed. Who was she really?

The current Pope. We could discuss the Da Vinci Code. And one of my ancestors such as my great great grandmother or grandfather. I don’t know much about my ancestors and I would like to be able to find out who they were and what made them tick.

Of course, the whole EFA team would be at the dinner as well. We’d be situated on a hill, under a flowering arbor of purple wisteria at a large round table. The warm air gently blows around our feet and dapple sunlight plays patterns on our faces. We’re eating the most amazing food and OMG, the chairs are so comfortable, it turns out to be the longest (and memorable) lunch ever! (Wow! I want to be there too! Imagine the intensity of conversation flowing around the table well into the twilight hours. The Pope with Princess Di – the mind boggles!!) 

What song do you HAVE to sing along with when you hear it? Karen: YMCA by the Village People. To me that song is all about happiness without judgement.(And when Karen’s around….”there’s no need to feel down” LOL)Karen is the sort of person you just want to hang out with once you meet her.  As Karen says herself; “I’m way too busy creating memories to do housework.” I think that is an important life lesson we could all hang onto and run with. Don’t forget to do all the things that you love and usually everything else can wait, and if those routine things don’t get done does it matter in the scheme of life anyway.It seems that life in company with Karen would be fun, spontaneous, and adventurous. I get the feeling that life in Karen-land is never dull.

EFA Supporting Residential Aged Care NDIS Providers

Currently across Australia there are about 627 residential aged care providers supporting NDIS participants within their facilities. These facilities are required to undergo NDIS registration as well as maintain their aged care accreditation.  

Navigating those compliance requirements can be a quagmire for residential aged care facilities initially, but help is on the way. EFA in collaboration with our partner, ARTD Consulting have been asked by the NDIS Commission to develop resources, training and education for these residential aged care providers undergoing NDIS registration. NDIS auditing and registration requisites can also be daunting for providers so it’s important to have up to date resources to bridge that uncertainty and to build confidence in residential aged care providers.

We will also be providing resources and information to support NDIS participants living in residential aged care engage in NDIS audit processes.

To ensure you have access to the information and resources as they become available ensure you receive our newsletters and/or follow EFA on Linkedin or Facebook.

Increasing Participant Engagement in Auditing

One area of note in the latest industry Communique of the NDIS Quality and Safeguard Commission is the need for greater representation of participants in the registration and auditing processes.

Furthermore, the Communique mentions how it seeks to introduce measures to increase participant involvement and contribution in the (audit) registration process and to facilitate the provision of educational resources and provider quality information that informs participant decision making.

This particular objective is one that EFA has particular expertise in. Take a browse through our EFA team profiles. Three of our team members are NDIS participants themselves, including one of the founders and Directors of EFA. Communicating with and maximising the engagement of NDIS participants is one of our key attributes. In fact, earlier this year we were asked to speak on best practice about that topic at a national forum.

EFA is currently providing regular training/workshops to NDIS providers to promote participant engagement. Please contact us if you’d like to have a tailor made session for your organisation.

Additionally, we are passionate about making information accessible to people with disability. At EFA we believe it is essential to ensure that all individuals are provided with appropriate information to support a rights based, person-centred approach. If you need help with accessible documentation we can assist you.

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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