Tony has been a customer for 26 years and lists the friendship, mateship, and company of the staff as his favourite parts of being part of the LiveBetter family. Most importantly, he credits the Disability Support Workers who have helped him persevere and keep going.
And none more so than Curtis, his Disability Support Worker, who one might say is his partner in crime.
“He’s kind of like one of the staff and we treat him like one of the staff,” Curtis mentioned about Tony.
“He’s a very good help. Normally anything I feel like I need help with, he’s already around the corner, right next to me saying, hey do you need this or that… he’s normally watching me to make sure that I’m alright. He helps out as much as what everyone else does.”
And this dynamic duo’s relationship started to blossom when they did a radio show together with another Disability Support Worker a few years ago.
“It was called Rocking the Waves, every Saturday night, from 6-9pm… and mainly DJ Tony would play 2 hours of pop music,” Curtis says.
Ironically, at one point during the interview, the microphone had a small glitch and cut out.
“Gee whizz… this was just like the radio show, wasn’t it Tone?!” Curtis jokes, while they enjoyed a good belly laugh together with cheeky grins from ear to ear.
But as much as the two have a light-hearted relationship where they can joke with one another, they have traded the airwaves for, what some might see to be a mundane, yet important, task – a safety audit.
“We make sure things are clear out of the way for people, just making sure pathways are clear and everything is safe for people with disability, both around LiveBetter and the Broken Hill town. Curtis and I do it, just the two of us,” says Tony.
Curtis emphasises the importance of what they do,
“At least once a week, we try to go around with a clipboard and a checklist. We go through every room at LiveBetter and make sure it’s not too cluttered or blocking safety exits, Tony checks the bins, and does all the extra checks.”
And who signs off to say the audit is complete, every time? Tony, of course!
Tony then goes on to say that one of the things he loves about the Disability Support Workers is the support they provide.
“They’re here for us, to assist us. Not to help us, just assist.”
Curtis echoes Tony’s comments when he speaks about his experiences of being a Disability Support Worker,
“It’s great working with the customers, we’re all pretty familiar with one another and it’s a bit like a family here. We all help out with each other. I enjoy working with them and sometimes it doesn’t even feel like work.”
“And it’s good working with Tone, he know what he’s doing and he knows what he is here for.”