05 December 2022

On Friday, 2 December, Ability Options colleagues gathered to celebrate their crowning achievements and dedication to supporting people with disability in our communities year-round for the 2022 STAR Employee Awards. 

A record-breaking 460 nominations came in during the lead up to what was an exceptionally special night where our colleagues got together to celebrate and recognise each other’s hard work in achieving our mission throughout the year.  

This year’s event saw a host of 14 refreshed awards covering every aspect of working at Ability Options. They were up for grabs to those employees who demonstrate Ability Options values day in and day out. 

This year was only the second time in its history that we have been able to host the STAR Employee Awards in-person, due to the pandemic, and what a difference it made. CEO Julia Squire was quick to encourage the crowd, to make noise, celebrate their colleagues and enjoy the night. The sound and feeling in the room was electric; the excitement, and even the tears, especially during the inspirational keynote address from our MC, Karni Liddell was truly special.  We were grateful to be able to come together again and celebrate the achievements of our organisation after over two years of challenging times.

In a record turnout, our Board, staff, special guests and sponsors celebrated our people doing what they do best. 

This year’s winners

The STAR Employee of the Year Award acknowledges an outstanding individual from within the organisation. This year, 16 finalists were chosen for the title of STAR Employee of the Year, as voted by our Ability Options colleagues in the STAR Employee of the Month Awards. 

2022 STAR Employee of the Year: Tracey

Tracey’s leadership demonstrated throughout the year is something to aspire to. The way she leads is extraordinary. She has built a strong, supportive, and fun team who all strive to reach her participants’ goals and expectations to a “T”. Tracey leads by example.   

She has taken on all changes and challenges involved with new ways of working and in the process her service continues to exceed all expectations. Tracey checks in with her team regularly and is always reminding them she is only a phone call away. This award is well deserved.   

The Ability Options Values Champion: Leanne

Leanne goes the extra mile for Ability Options residents and stakeholders and has done for over 10 years. Each day, Leanne has demonstrated endless care and compassion for residents.

Stellar Safety Award: Katherine

Katherine won this award for her awareness of the importance of work health and safety matters in all aspects of her job as well as ensuring visits with participants kept everyone all as safe as possible by following procedure.

The Customer Service Expert: Jessica

Jessica was awarded for her stellar customer service. She always makes others feel welcomed and to have a purpose. As an exceptional leader and motivator, she is someone who demonstrates our values and inspires their team to be the best.

Standout Leader Award: Matthew

Matthew has been an inspiring leader to the entire Ability Options Support Coordination Team. His ability to continue to service a complex caseload of NDIS participants, as well as recruit and train multiple new team members, all while providing professional supportive directions to the team during the most challenging of times, truly demonstrates his amazing leadership skills. 

*Sponsored by Orchard Talent Group.

Motivator, Mentor and Coach Award: Nick

Nick is an outstanding leader who is committed to outcomes and the development of his team. He maintains regular contact with Team Leaders and ensures he is accessible and visible at the houses he leads.

The Self-Starter Award: Kadee-Lee

Kadee-Lee is an incredibly skilled support coordinator who quietly achieves amazing results for Ability Options participants. Her insight into the NDIS, along with engagement with stakeholders ensures she’s able to answer any potential questions, offering the choices that enable participant choice and control.

The Problem Solver Award: Daniel

Daniel is a subject matter expert on all things NDIS and Support Coordination. His ability to connect with staff on all levels gives them the foundations they need to thrive and grow in their support coordination mission.

Team Player Award: Tarnee

Tarnee was an essential contact point to the Customer Experience Team during Ability Options’ transition to the Workforce Australia program. She never fails to help with frontline questions and go over and above to help, guide and train those around them.

Productivity and Efficiency Award: Aureen

Aureen is always looking at ways to improve efficiency in internal Ability Options systems, and she recently investigated and implemented a number of changes for her own daily reports and has now implemented this across the Business Support Teams, saving a great deal of time for task checks organisation wide.

Peer-to-Peer Support Award: Anthony

Anthony goes above and beyond to support his teammates. He actively checks in to see how everyone on the team is handling their workloads and balancing them with their personal lives.

The Extra Mile Award: Jayne

Jayne epitomises the values of Ability Options every day. Faced with so many challenges, she strives to make everyone feel part of the big picture, building a fabulous rapport with people and will go above and beyond to ensure the needs of participants are met.

Most Valuable Team Award: Seventown DES

Ability Options’ Seventown DES team has come so far with outstanding courage and passion for their sites. The team is a rather small one, but all work efficiently, and with care, striving every day for the best for participants and each other.

Champion Employer Award: Crown Sydney

Crown’s Disability Program CROWNability has continually presented a fantastic opportunity to the people Ability Options proudly supports.  

Congratulations to all this year’s winners!  


Thank you to our 2022 sponsors

Ability Options would like to extend its thanks to the sponsors of this year’s event, particularly our Major Sponsor – Speak Your Language (SYL). SYL is an Australian owned and operated translation and interpretation company with the capacity to offer services for over 150 languages and dialects supported by NAATI certified quality interpreters and translators. 

Ability Options would also like to thank the Table Sponsors Maxxia, Graphic Print Consultancy, Brennan and Bridge, Award Sponsors Orchard and Canon, as well as Board Director Heather Scheibenstock and HESTA for their generous support of this year’s event.

Stay tuned for our wrap up of some of the highlights from this year’s STAR Employee Awards Ceremony.

Read more about our sponsors here.

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