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Insight to Flair & Fine Care


Patty with her client Ashleigh and Juile

If Dedication Has a Face – Patty Nikolakopoulos

Patty is one of those team members whom Flair & Fine Care is undoubtedly proud of. Upright and dedicated, she always covers an extra mile for the participants she works with. She has chosen to be a support worker as this career is associated with her personal values. She believes that compassionate interaction is the key to building effective relationships. Every evening, when we read the shift notes left by Patty, we are joyfully amazed how this girl deals with all relevant authorities to fight for her clients’ rights, be it the building or the food service, she is always on top of the game. 

Patty reflected on why she chose to be a disability support worker. “This work was not something I had considered, as life often does, it leads us to areas where we can learn from and then contribute to. My background is in allied health and for a number of years, I taught meditation and mindfulness. 

We are all seeking a fulfilling life experience, connection, inclusion, purpose and a higher awareness of our inherent nature. My interest and learnt disciplines are about creating pathways of awareness and connection to people’s inner resources. We have narratives regarding ourselves or life circumstances and can quite easily make that our identity. 

This is particularly prevalent for people with disabilities and the challenge is to have someone see that this is an aspect of self, not an identity. That they are so much more…To imagine more for themselves…

The psychosocial area of this work is what I focus on, taking an intentional approach with each interaction. Supporting and encouraging people to identify their own self efficacy in order to build capacity and achieve sustainable change. This includes aiding people to participate in lifestyle choices that support their wellbeing and growth and enhancing their relationship to self and others; Encouraging available pathway supports, social inclusion and the development of their natural skillset; Assisting people to recognise that this contribution to their own lives, also contributes to a valued presence in community. 

It takes time to get to know someone, understand their needs, build trust and create receptivity to new thoughts that lead to change. Often, it means stopping, reassessing, asking a different question and starting again in the pursuit of better outcomes. These open-ended questions help me to support in ways that are most valuable for another and define direction.

One question I like to ask is: “Who do you want to be in this situation right now?” This is like pressing the reset button which changes the narrative… reminding them that they have the absolute authority and autonomy to self-direct and to choose in each circumstance. 

The awareness of the disparity in the image a person has of themselves and the image they wish to have, influences change. Encouraging people to re-imagine, expect more from themselves and develop self-empowerment skills, means they have better stories to tell.”

Patty enjoys her working relationship with Flair & Fine Care and considers herself fortunate to work for an organisation that is “agile and responsive” to what she needs. She tells, “Providing support for people to achieve a lifestyle reflecting their individual values, interests, goals and visions is challenging and equally rewarding. I meet with the very real impact that disability has on peoples’ life experience. Holding a clear space for each person, dealing with traumas and triggers, being witness to their anguish or suffering requires the building of my own muscle.

I am very fortunate to work for and be supported by an organisation that is agile and responsive to what I need. With the recognition that supports have a daily impact on improving peoples’ lives and need to be supported.

Huma and Ramna are always willing to listen, learn from my learnings and to help reorient. Understanding the changing needs of clients and staff and putting structures in place to better support. I most value that we can work collaboratively, internally and externally, to deliver great outcomes. Being a part of a diverse and flexible work environment, that encourages professional development and continuous improvement supports my growth.

It really is one big eco system…fostering my self-efficacy…

My belief in my ability to attain results, to meet the challenges ahead of me, and to influence my own life.”