Celebrating 10 years of making a difference – Katie Van Grootel

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Celebrating 10 years of making a difference – Katie Van Grootel

I always knew I wanted to help people in some way, but it wasn’t until I came to Interchange that I instantly fell in love with being a Support Worker, so the decision was made for me. – Katie Van Grootel

Katie and customer Jeremy enjoying a fun day out and about

Helpful, unfeigned, amazing, caring, compassionate, selfless, dedicated – These are only a few of the words that come up when people describe Interchange Superstar, Katie Van Grootel. Katie has been part of the Interchange family for a long time and is considered an absolute gem by EVERYONE.

A dedicated support worker and generous friend, Katie is absolutely adored by both customers and staff for the fun and joy she brings into their lives and the passion she brings to her work. – Andrew Hayden, Peer Mentor Interchange WA

Today we are celebrating Katie’s 10 year anniversary with Interchange and her wonderful journey within the organisation. Starting off in 2010 as a volunteer while studying welfare work, Katie quickly decided working with people with disabilities was for her.

I enjoy that every day is different. It brings joy, laughter, lessons and challenges. It teaches me something new every single day and I love seeing people achieving their goals.

After finishing her student volunteer placement with Interchange Katie decided to come on board as a full time Support Worker. Since then Katie continues to grow within our organisation taking on plan management, host administration and project work.

Doing a job that I’m passionate about is very important to me. I enjoy working for Interchange because I am constantly learning, growing and being given new opportunities. Being part of a customer’s journey is an absolute pleasure. When I go to work I’m happy about it.

Yepp we can all vouch for that. Life just wouldn’t be the same without Katie greeting you with her gorgeous and absolutely infectious smile when you walk into the door.

Katie doesn’t just spread joy and happiness at her work place though, she is also an absolute family person. She loves to spend time with her two nephews, partner and the rest of the fam, doing outdoor activities, chilling out with the family dog or just reading a good book. Katie says she loves the ‘simply’ things in life and binge-watching a great crime series is apparently one of them. Who Knew!

Katie’s dedication, commitment and passion have been a true blessing for our organisation and her life motto “to treat others how you’d like to be treated” reflects in everything she does.

It’s important to me that we are all seen as equals. People with disabilities should be able to live, learn, work & play through their lives just like everyone else does. Stigmas and attitudes should never hinder this.

You are absolutely right Katie and we would like to thank you for everything you have done in the past 10 years within our organisation and beyond to ensure that people feel valued, accepted and like they belong. Well done and Congratulations Katie! We can not wait to see what else the future holds for you.

I consider interchange to be like family to me! The amazing staff have travelled this journey with me. We have all taught each other invaluable things and I’ve made the best memories that I will never forget.

Do you want to make a difference? Join us in our mission to support people with disability to live a good life! If you connect with our Values, have a great personality and want to work for an organisation making a difference, then we want to hear from you.