Access Your Supports values the contribution of every staff member and the individual strengths they bring to the team each day. Their range of skills ensures our participants have choice and control and can achieve their goals.

This week we highlight two outstanding achievements as Sophie Baker and Michael Menchise surpass 5 years of employment. We caught up with them both to celebrate the milestone.

“At AYS, I look for people with good character and values. Mike and Sophie epitomise what it means to be at Access Your Supports” – Ralph Menchise (Director)

Sophie Baker

Sophie is a passionate team member who supports our team as an Occupational Therapist. She joined our team in 2016 with lots of energy and eagerness to support families throughout the Geelong region. 

AYS Director Ralph Menchise remarks ” Sophie was our first graduate to join AYS….I never forget when parents said that their children wouldn’t come out of their bedroom and now they are traveling around Australia cheerleading thanks to Sophie. She’s a leader in everything she applies herself to, now and in the future”. 

What does it mean to you to hit 5 years with AYS?

I feel extremely fortunate to have landed this job straight out of university. I’m so lucky that Ralph and others felt I had the potential to fit in professionally and culturally, even though I had no idea what I was doing. I’m also feeling old in the ‘AYS world’.

What’s your favourite part of working at AYS?

The whole team! But I feel especially privileged to have such a great OT team around me! I also love working with the families, some I started with 5 years ago!

Do you have a favourite memory of your time at AYS?

So many memories from the early days before AYS exploded into the size it is now.

–       Team meetings in the pub

–       Michael being the little filing boy

–       Ralph’s awful dress sense (this is probably still valid)

Messages of gratitude from participants and families are always high on the list too.

If you could give yourself advice on your first day, what would it be?

1.Rapport is everything!

2. Get a work phone from day dot!

Michael Menchise

We continue to emphasise that Access Your Supports is a family orientated business, and the efforts of Michael have certainly proved that he’s a valuable part of the AYS team. Michael has been with Access Your Supports since 2016. He has worked in many areas of the business over the years including finance (payroll), Plan Management and he was one of the first Peer Mentors. He thoroughly enjoyed this role and it helped him gather first-hand experience in disability. Michael proudly took up the reins to become Peer Mentor Team Leader and has worked in this space ever since. Michael is loyal, honest, determined and thrives on working in a team, helping others and facing new challenges.

AYS Director Ralph Menchise remarks “Mike took over and established the Peer Mentor program and grown it to reach new heights with over 100 staff in his team. I trust him implicitly like a son”.

What does it mean to you to hit 5 years with AYS?

It means a lot as I joined during the infancy of the business and have been a part of its growth over the last 5 years. That has been special to me.

What’s your favourite part of working at AYS?

My two equally favourite parts of work is;

–       Seeing our participants reach their goals. It always has been, and always will be what I strive for!

–       The people I work with. We really are one big family and I am proud to say I love who I work with (shout out in particular to all the Peer Mentors and the Employment Support team)

 Do you have a favourite memory of your time at AYS?

My time as a Peer Mentor, particularly during the early days when we started in 2017. Working 1:1 with participants was so rewarding.

We thank Sophie and Michael for their valuable contribution to the AYS team.

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