A cuppa with Christine

How long have you been at Marriott Community Hub, and what is your role?

Hello there, beautiful people!

I have been working alongside my Marriott family within the Community Services team for over 3 and a half years now. I was lucky enough to land a position within Marriott right after I landed in Australia from Ireland. Thanks to a friend’s recommendation! I have spent 3 years as a Disability Support Worker and in the last 4 months, I commenced a new position as a Team Leader. I am loving the new responsibilities this new role involves.

What is your favourite thing about working at the Community Hub?

Oh, there are so many now that I think of it!

The main one for me are the participants. I have always loved working with people and our Marriott participants keep me ticking, smiling, and laughing. Let’s be honest, without our participants, what is Marriott? To help our participants be the best person they can be while supporting each person to learn crucial skills for the wild world we live in is how I like to spend my day!

What does a typical day look like for you?

Oh, the trick question here now. No day is the same in this position, and that is why I love it! I begin every day checking Marriott’s communication emails, which sometimes shapes the day ahead. I assist my other Team Leaders with the program board and participant attendance. This highlights which participants are present that day and the staff to participant ratio which then allows me to work out which staff member is doing for the day.

I also create and run programs, such as health and fitness, community integration, discussion groups, answering phone calls from parents, guardians, and assisting staff with any tech issues. I also ensure that each staff member is taking their much-needed breaks and are supporting each other to be the best they can be. Throughout the busy day, I also assist my manager with her daily duties. We are a team after all, and I make it my mission to ensure each staff member is feeling supported, feeling valued, and has a purpose here at Marriott. I would be lost without my amazing team so THANK YOU, TEAM!

What challenges have you faced in your job and how did you overcome them?

I face challenges every day, but like my quote, I do not find my challenges impossible.

One of the biggest challenges I have faced in this role to date is not having enough staff available on busy days. These things happen, especially during COVID lockdowns or if a staff member must take safety precautions and isolate. That is okay because as a Team Leader and with over 9 years of experience in the Disability Sector, I like facing these days with an open mind and with the help of my other Team Leaders and Manager. Sometimes coming away from admin work and running interactive programs to assist with staffing is an absolute blessing.

What do you find most rewarding about your role?

Seeing the participants achieve goals. When they knock their goals out of the park on any given day, I feel like the proudest person in that room.

Supporting a participant who is clearly not having a good day and coming up with problem-solving ideas together. This learning experience alone is so rewarding, knowing this person can get themselves out of a bad moment without relying on the help of staff members. 

What advice/tips would you give to someone who is interested in working in the disability sector?

Believe in yourself! I know how it feels coming into a busy environment and meeting a team of strangers, but knowing you are going to become part of the Marriott family makes it all worthwhile.

Have an open mind- There are programs to suit all our participants. Some may suit you too. Keep that mind open and choose which program would be your strength. We could use somebody like you!

In the Disability Sector, there really isn’t time to sit around, but that is the best part. You can get involved in so many different activities such as the morning dance groups, swimming programs, bike programs, and out and about programs. If you have the passion to care, support, and motivate participants to achieve their goals then this is the industry for you. You might even achieve your goals in the process of helping others.

What activity would you recommend trying at the Community Hub and why?

Ooh yes! We have a new program. This is the Bike Program. We have 3-wheel bicycles, motorised battery-operated bicycles, a 3-wheel bicycle with a built-in seat in the front, so a Support Worker can control the bike whilst a participant sits in the front. This is an activity which I think will excel. Already so many people are interested and many of which ride their bikes to the Community Hub every day! There are many community bikes routes our participants can take, which are away from the main roads. I think this program will allow participants to gain confidence riding on the bike. The bike program will allow participants to gain fitness, become more confident riding in the streets, and socialise whilst having fun!

What is a fun fact about you that nobody knows?

When I lived and worked in America, I told my work colleagues that my father was a true Irish leprechaun and had a large wardrobe of green clothing as well as top hats. As I am a redhead, this became very believable and the most hilarious joke that went on for an entire year.

I am Christine and I will tell you at least one joke or pun in the day. 😁

Are you interested in working in the disability sector and making a positive impact to people’s lives?

By working at Marriott, you will be supporting people with disabilities to achieve their goals and lead a life of purpose and choice.

To enquire about career pathways within the Community Services team, please contact our Human Resources team hr@marriott.org.au or view our current vacancies page.


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