Travis started his journey at Access Your Supports (AYS) 5 years ago. Before joining, Travis had been working at Encompass Community Services, where he had witnessed firsthand the positive impact of working with people with disabilities. Travis accessed services himself through Access Your Supports, so he was able to develop an understanding of the company’s culture and values. When he heard about an opportunity to apply as a Peer Mentor, he jumped at the opportunity.
Travis has found his favourite part of the job to be watching participants grow and achieve their goals. As he got to know his participants on a personal level, they gradually opened up and shared their stories and aspirations. Travis is there to listen, guide, and offer support as all Peer Mentors are.
His advice for other Peer Mentors is to always be understanding and patient, also encouraging his colleagues to relax and enjoy the time they spent with their participants. Being reliable and maintaining professional boundaries were also crucial to ensure a healthy work-life balance.
Reflecting on his time at AYS, Travis considers his biggest achievement to be his commitment to “staying the course”. Although some shifts can be a little repetitive, the reward of seeing his participants flourish made it all worthwhile.
Travis has the same birth defect (spina bifida) as one of his participants which gives him an understanding of what they physically are capable of. Most of Travis’s family and friends live in Melbourne, therefore getting out and about on shifts (especially during lockdowns) allowed him to still have face-to-face interaction with participants and this helped with his own wellbeing.
Outside of the office, Travis works in Education Support, assisting primary and secondary students in schools in Geelong and along the Bellarine Peninsula. Travis is a keen photographer and enjoys capturing surfing moments with his zoom lens at Bells Beach. He is also an avid footy fan who passionately supports the mighty Cats.
As Travis celebrates his five-year milestone at AYS, he couldn’t help but feel grateful for the incredible journey he has had. His dedication, empathy, and passion for helping others have made a lasting impact on the lives of many. Travis is excited to continue his work at AYS, knowing that every day brings new opportunities to make a difference.