As our Conversation Series continues, we met with Lorraine Salloum who is the People, Culture and Performance Executive at Achieve Australia. Lorraine oversees the workforce strategy for a growing team of more than 1,000 employees across Sydney and the Northern Rivers of NSW.
We talked about her personal connection to working in the disability sector and what it takes for an organisation to continue moving forward in a complex and changing environment.
What are you passionate about, Lorraine?
I’m passionate about using the workforce to drive performance and social outcomes for those who are most vulnerable in our community. We spend 90% of our time at work, and my focus is to make the workplace environment the best it can be for everyone and drive the workforce to achieve our Purpose and outcomes for our clients and their families.
To do this, we need to understand the changing and complex disability sector environment, the impact of technology and the role of leadership and culture. We can then continue to create the right environment for our teams to succeed in, or what I like to refer to as the ‘conditions for success’, which flows into our service delivery.
”Being a parent of a child with disability, I understand the challenges that are faced every day by the people we support and their families. What better way to combine my professional expertise as well as personal connection than working at Achieve.Lorraine Salloum
Why did you choose to work in the disability sector and at Achieve?
I have built a 20 year career around organisational performance improvement and pride myself on being a change leader and champion of culture and purpose regardless of the role, program or initiative I’m involved in. I also have a personal and family connection because my 11 year old daughter, Caitlin, has severe autism. Being a parent of a child with disability, I understand the challenges that are faced every day by the people we support and their families. What better way to combine my professional expertise as well as personal connection than working at Achieve.
I admire and respect those who choose to work in disability support services. It can be a challenging, but also a very rewarding, career path. By using my expertise in the not-for-profit sector, I can get closer to the frontline of disability support and take the opportunity to make a real impact.
What’s in store for the future in your division?
We have a big focus on performance, culture and leadership and helping our managers’ to drive and create the ‘conditions for success’ for their teams. Over the coming months we are working on ensuring our workforce and our leadership is set up to respond to the changing disability sector environment. How we respond to the workforce capability and capacity needs to provide the best client services and supports is crucial. We are looking at our workforce, resetting how and who we need to recruit, and how best to develop and support our employees while designing new and agile workforce systems and processes.