Growing a positive culture in disability services

By Rohan Braddy, CEO

At our recent staff culture camp, I said to Mambourin’s teams:

“In 20 years from now, humans will live on the moon even Mars. But in the meantime, all you really want people to be able to do is to go to the supermarket, the movies, a restaurant, the beach. And you spend every minute of every working day dedicated to making that happen.

Disabilities are not what impedes people’s potential. What impedes potential is society’s attitudes towards disability.

But you don’t see disability. You see ability. You support people to realise their goals and their own potential.”

While the idea humans soon having access to interspace flights is pretty monumental, what a lot of people really want to do is be able to live everyday lives – to have life experiences without barriers placed on them by societal attitudes. At Mambourin our staff teams support people to make that happen.

As the NDIS brings about a new era for people with a disability, their carers and families, it has meant disability service organisations like ours must recruit, empower and nurture the very best. Building Mambourin’s positive culture has been a strategic focus for our organisation over the past 24 months.

Here’s what we have learned so far:

Happy, well trained staff are empowered. Staff that feel trusted and empowered to make decisions create exceptional customer outcomes. They go that extra mile to find ways to say “yes”, they stay positive, and they take on opportunities to learn and innovate.

We must listen. Always. Having a feedback loop between customers, staff and their managers is crucial. Acting on issues or concerns and tracking their progress, ensures that people feel valued and understood – and empowered to speak up when they aren’t happy. This is a significant factor in preventing abuse and neglect too.

People want to step up. High performers need and want recognition. They need to be given professional development opportunities they actually want, and frequently. They might not ask for it though, so managers need to be in tune with their teams and make sure team members are given regular opportunities to shine.

Our values drive everything that we do. Our revamped Mambourin values have given us a new reference point for our actions. They drive us, they make us accountable. They connect us as a community.

Our Culture Camp 18
Culture Camp is part of our new employee engagement strategy and our focus on engaging and nurturing staff. We turned our old staff day model on its head. In its place we now have a Culture Camp – a day of collaboration between each of our community hubs. Using feedback from across the organisation, our teams built the day themselves.

Our first Culture Camp took place recently, themed around value-driven actions and making a difference in people’s lives.

Some quotes from the day:

“The community here is everything. We are like a family and you get that sense when you come to work every day.” – Amanda

“You want to work for a place that is making a difference and where you feel like you are part of something bigger.” – Mahal

“I am not just a disability support worker, my job is about always listening and giving people the opportunity to learn new skills. I love my work and what I get to do, even on the harder days!” – Caryl

We thank our incredible teams for all that they do.



Rohan Braddy CEO

I have been Mambourin’s CEO for 16 years, I love continuing to learn, develop and grow.

I describe my role as ‘opening opportunities for people to do fantastic work, then getting out of the way and let them do it’ and it gives me great joy and satisfaction to see the exceptional outcomes that are achieved across our organisation and help plan for the future.

In my spare time I enjoy riding a bike a really long way up very steep hills - the fun is in coming down! When I’m not doing this I love spending time with my wife Melissa and my three amazing sons.

Other areas of interest

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