Empowering our participants

True to our values of Opportunity and Choice, OC Connections has developed a training program to equip a core group of participants to be involved in the recruitment and induction of new staff to the organisation.

Participant Advisory Group and Resident Advisory Group members have taken part in the training program, with great success.

Organised by Natalie Coates, General Manager People, Learning and Culture, our participants are part of the interview panel for 2nd round applicants.

“To work in disability, you need the ability to communicate respectfully and clearly with participants,” says Natalie. “By having participants interview potential new staff it not only shows us how the applicant will interact in this environment but also allows our participants to be part of the decision-making process in relation to who will support them.”

Through training and role-playing, participants are equipped with the skills and knowledge required to join the panel prior to commencing their first interview.

“I always enjoy interviewing and it’s always interesting,” says Aidan. “Some interviews have been fantastic and some have been absolute disasters. I get to decide on what my opinion is on the interviewee whether that person should get the job.”

In addition, the Participant Advisory Group also present at staff induction sessions. The induction can provide a more personal insight into participant’s goals and aspirations, with staff getting the chance to hear about their interests and activities at OCC and OCCE.

Aiden gets to speak about his entertainment blog; Richard talks about attending the recent Valid conference; Jenny has spoken on her work at OCCE, and Bernie will talk to the group about the questions she likes to ask the new staff.

image: Aidan interview role-playing with Jules