As soon as Kerry heard about Sylvanvale’s new site at Tahmoor, she had her heart set on the site manager role.
Kerry was a natural fit. A loyal Sylvanvale employee of seven years, she is also a highly experienced site manager and lives in the area.
An Aboriginal woman who takes pride in her culture, Kerry comes from the second largest Aboriginal mob In Australia – Wiradjuri. Her ties to the local community run so deep that a street is named after her mum’s side of the family.
Sure enough, Kerry was given the Tahmoor site manager role. She is very excited about the project. “I’m passionate about this. It is a great opportunity. It’s a beautiful town and the new homes are stunning.”
The stylishly designed, smart and healthy homes include five one-bedroom villas designed for independent living with robust SDA supports. The properties are located in the Macarthur region of Sydney, within the Wollondilly Shire.
Each villa includes a private bedroom and accessible ensuite bathroom, spacious, open plan living area and kitchen, as well as a private outdoor patio and garden. The homes have been specifically designed for Robust participants. They include a vast array of features including the latest in smart and assistive technology, sensory sound proofing and increased safety measures. According to Kerry, they’re in a great location too.
“The homes are within walking distance to the train station, buses, GPs and shops. There are lots of events in the local area that I believe the people we support would thrive on. There are lots of parks and things to do. It’s also close to Campbelltown, Narellan and Wollongong.”
Opening a brand-new Supported Independent Living (SIL) site is a huge undertaking. With the help of a strong support network, Kerry has been working hard to get the homes ready for opening.
“There’s a massive team behind it,” says Kerry. There’s the team at Good Housing, Sylvanvale’s CEO, Executive Team, Regional Manager, rostering, workforce planning, human resources, work health and safety, our property team and marketing team. Everyone must work together.”
“A lot of people don’t realise the huge amount of teamwork and effort that goes on behind the scenes at our Supported Independent Living sites,” she continues.
There are many things that need to be taken into consideration when opening a new SIL site.
“Once you’ve found residents who would be a good fit, you need to recruit the right staff. This is determined partly by the new residents’ support needs,” says Kerry.
“I also plan to bring some existing staff with me who already have training in certain areas and who know me well.”
Then there’s the training and documentation to think about.
“There will be a lot of training from clinicians such as Occupational Therapists, Physiotherapists and Behaviour Support Practitioners, depending on each resident’s needs,” explains Kerry.
“We’ll also need to do individual plans, transition plans, MySafety Assessments and customer modelling to help ensure everything flows smoothly and that each resident’s needs are met,” she continues.
There’s lots of planning around day-to-day living as well.
“An enormous amount of detailed preparation goes into it, including connecting with GP’s, working out the best places to buy groceries and partnering with residents to plan the types of outings they’d like to do. We also help residents to find work if they want it. And we’re responsible for ensuring the site has the right furniture and equipment.”
Kerry continues, “As the process goes on, much more will come up. But ultimately, it’s about supporting the residents’ choices and independence, so that they can live their best life.”
Fortunately, everything has been running smoothly so far.
“Everyone has been working really well together and the homes looks amazing. I can’t wait for the site to open!” says Kerry.