“Bernie is the person who made everything happen for me, I would not be where I am or who I am today if it wasn’t for her.” – D'arce Luke, Ability Centre Customer
There’s little doubt Bernadette Williams is a much-loved and highly-respected member of the Ability Centre team.
As Coordinator of Respite Services she oversees respite support for 250 children and adults with disabilities and their families, a role she tackles with great passion and outstanding leadership.
So it should come as no surprise that she has just been announced the winner of the Excellence in Leadership at the 2017 Disability Support Awards gala event at Crown Perth.
Bernadette accepted her award in front of a 750-strong sell-out crowd on Saturday night after receiving a glowing nomination from Ability Centre staff and her respite ‘family’.
“It was a huge honour to be nominated for this award and amazing to have won. I am still smiling. Working at Ability Centre with our wonderful staff, customers and their families I receive far more than I can ever give.” said Bernadette.
Nominating Bernadette was D'arce Luke, who has known Bernadette for over fourteen years as a customer of Ability Centre’s Arnhem Court respite care.
“I love Bernie because she is my second mum,” said D'arce “At a time in my life when things were difficult she took me under her wing. She made me feel comfortable, loved and warm. Bernie is an irreplaceable person in my life. She is family to me and always will be.”
Sentiments also shared by the people who work under the leadership of Bernadette, with Arnhem Court’s Acting Team Leader Grace Doyle also involved in supporting the nomination.
“Bernie always wants the best for her staff and she is very appreciative for the work we put in and makes her staff feel valuable,” said Grace.
“She is not only a role model for staff but she teaches us how to be loyal, considerate, good team players and how to flourish as a worker. Bernie means so much to us and without her Arnhem Court would not be the loving, inviting home environment that it is.”
We’re so proud to say that four of our Ability Centre team were recognised as nominees and we also had a hand in a fifth nomination recognising one of our key collaborators in the Goldfields.
In addition to Bernadette’s award, Elide Bot and Scott Shipside were nominees in the Excellence in Personal and Community Support Award while Gareth Goodway was a nominee in the Excellence in Improving Participations Award.
Goldfields Regional Consultant Wendy Dimer was also nominated for her work with Ability Centre in the Excellence in Regional Support Award category
Ability Centre was also proud to be a Silver Sponsor of the 2017 Awards, now in their ninth year.
The evening showcased a large range of workers and organisations involved in WA’s disability services sector, recognising its important role as a place of innovation, a place for employment and a place to have a career.
Congratulations to Bernadette and all our 2017 WA Disability Support Awards nominees.