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Recent CDS retiree Roberta Stone with Donna Little the new Residential Team Leader.
Recent CDS retiree Roberta Stone with Donna Little the new Residential Team Leader.

IF she could, Roberta Stone would work at Currajong Disability Services forever. Helping people comes naturally to her you see and is apart of her make up. Having spent 26 years in child care prior to a decade with CDS it’s easy to see why. That came to a tearful end on June 15 when she officially retired.

“I will miss it at CDS and cannot thank my colleagues and the board enough,” said Roberta.

“I’ll especially miss the clients, their reactions when they achieve their goals and they are more like my family now.

“We’ve all been through so much together but now it’s time to travel and catch up with my other family and grandchildren.”

When Roberta first walked through the doors of CDS ten years ago she was seeking a new challenge. The interest in special needs and the disability services industry had always been there but it took a long time she says to take the leap. This was because her passion for helping people extended beyond the disability sector.

“Helping people is who I am and keeping my emotions in check has always been tough,” she said.

“The rewards are there for the right people and they are immeasurable and everlasting.

“One of my highlights was seeing Jason Spicer make a fruit salad for the first time and successfully using cutlery,” said Roberta.

“The look on his face was priceless and being there to see that and knowing I played a small role in improving his life and understanding was one of the most incredible feelings I have had.”

With massive positive changes ahead including the roll-out of the NDIS Roberta has no regrets and knows it is the right time.

“Donna Little is great and she is more than capable of taking CDS into the next phase of their development,” she said.

“Donna is a fantastic person and sharp operator.

“I know everyone is in good hands with her, our new CEO Jeff and the team.”

For Donna Little, the new system represents fresh challenges but more importantly new ideas and a chance to build on the good work of those before her like Roberta.

“Roberta has been tremendous and a great source of knowledge and support,” Donna said.

“In the close to four years I have been here Roberta has always gone out of her way for everyone.

“I know I speak for all staff when I wish her all the best.”

Donna Little will take on the role of Residential Team Leader that will incorporate much of Roberta’s old position and some other responsibilities.

“I am looking forward to it immensely and I am up for the next phase of the NDIS roll-out,” she said.

“The NDIS is the most significant change to industry in my experience but we are all coming together and working through it.

“It has been extremely beneficial working closely with all stakeholders from staff to clients and their families”.

But Donna, like Roberta wouldn’t have it any other way.

“It’s in my DNA and I know Roberta is the same,” Donna said.

“Building relationships and a sense of belonging is a real positive for clients, staff and ourselves.

“People are our passion and helping them be the happiest and best they can be is the icing on the cake!”