Staff and customers are celebrating Community Facilitator Brigid Barilla’s milestone of ten years with Interchange.
Brigid is a dedicated, hard working member of the team at the Spearwood Service Centre and she has seen Interchange and the broader disability sector evolve and change dramatically over the last decade.
She joins Kaylene Wilson and Carole Baker as the longest standing staff members – who we have dubbed the ‘Three Tenners’!
It’s people like Brigid that make Interchange a great organisation to be a part of. We sat down with Brigid to understand what makes her tick – read her interview below.
How did you feel on your first day at Interchange?
As soon as I started with my first customer, I stepped into another world. I felt like I belonged straight away, like a gift had been given to me. I haven’t looked back since.
What is your favourite part about working at Interchange?
My favourite part of the job is meeting people with unique characters and personalities. It is hard not to love our customers; they are honest and original and they have no hidden feelings or agendas.
How do you relate to customers?
I don’t see the disability, I see the person. To me, our customers are just like everyone else, we are all different. I certainly don’t feel sorry for them.
What is the most significant change you’ve seen in the disability sector over the last decade?
I’ve seen a shift in the way we care for people with disability. There used to be a ‘medical model’ where we thought that people needed our ‘help’, but its not like that anymore. People with disability are equal to everyone else and they don’t need our sympathy. For me, support is personal. It’s about supporting people to fight for their rights, and to discover and build on their interests and abilities.