Meet AHA’s Brianna Barry – guiding NDIS participants through the process from initial inquiry to ongoing tenancy.

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About the Author

Brianna Barry is our much-loved General Manager Customers and Operations – which is fancy for “the one who looks after all of our community – our applicants, tenants, care partners and all the other incredible people and organisations that make our homes possible – and the go-to for problem solving, NDIS support, and/or a mean cup of tea and chat about anything that might be happening in our tenants lives”

Brianna’s dedication to helping those living with disability doesn’t stop with her work at AHA – she’s the Chairperson at Inclusion Access, an organisation dedicated to inclusive action, awareness and education to allow more people living with disability the opportunity to equitably enter and engage in the community, and a Director of Focal Community Services, a support provider committed to providing “endless opportunities for all” and high quality service provision for NDIS participants.

We sat down with Brianna, affectionately known as “Bree”, to find out what motivates her to improve the lives of people living with disability.

1.Can you please tell me a bit about yourself and what you do at AHA?

I’m Bree, self-proclaimed ‘NDIS nerd’ and the General Manager of Customers and Operations at Accessible Homes Australia. I work with all AHA NDIS participants from enquiry to ongoing tenancy, and everything in between.

From applying for Specialist Disability Accommodation funding, helping them review their funding where necessary, matching a person to the right property, helping them develop their support plan and then ongoing tenancy support – those are the sort of things that make up my day to day.

2.What is your favourite part of the job?

Housing is one of life’s fundamentals, and I work with many people trying to make do living in properties just not suited to their needs. My favourite part of the job is seeing the changes that finding the right home make in people’s lives.

There is nothing more special than sitting down with a new tenant and hearing about all the ways that everyday life has gotten better – from being able to do more for themselves independently in their accessible property, to having the right tailored support system and support amenities in place for a more spontaneous, normal life!

3.What three things get you out of bed in the morning?

Aside from three very big mugs of coffee, there are three things that truly get me out of bed in the morning:

  • 1. Making a difference: Knowing that my work at AHA contributes to enhancing the lives of individuals with disabilities is a powerful motivator. The opportunity to help create accessible and inclusive living environments for our tenants and witnessing the positive impact it has is incredibly fulfilling. It’s the driving force behind my dedication and enthusiasm each day.
  • 2. Our collaborative and supportive team: AHA has an amazing team that shares a common goal of making a difference in the lives of our tenants. The support, collaboration, and camaraderie within the team make coming to work exciting and enjoyable.
  • 3. Our tenants: As the NDIS grows and evolves, our tenant community remains at the heart of defining who we are, and what we do at AHA. We believe in the power of co-design and collaboration, and our tenants play a vital role in shaping our services and operations. Their feedback, insights, and lived experiences guide us in delivering the best possible outcomes. And they’re just a great bunch of people – working with and for them definitely keeps me going.

4.Have you got a favourite memory of your time at AHA?

One of my favourite memories at AHA was our first Christmas party, where our entire community came together. It was a big celebration where directors, employees, tenants, and their support networks met and celebrated the collective effort behind our successful homes and living solutions.

This gathering allowed everyone to meet each other, share stories, and celebrate the freedoms found through independent living. It highlighted the power of coming together as a group with a shared purpose, supporting one another, and celebrating the milestones we’ve achieved together.

The first AHA Christmas party will always hold a special place in my heart as a testament to the collaborative spirit and the strong sense of community that defines our organisation. It was a good reminder of why we do what we do, and it fuelled our commitment to continue providing outstanding home and living solutions to our tenants.

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