James O’Malley is based across North and North West Tasmania, where he leads teams across Launceston, Devonport and Burnie.

We asked James a few questions to get to know his team.

Who are your teams and what are you responsible for?

“I am the program manager of a few awesome programs: Integrated Family Support Service, Family Support for Grandparents and Relatives Raising Children, Helping Young Parents, Getting Connected and Fantastic Families.

“As you can see, the common thread in all these services is children and the endeavour of all the awesome staff in these programs to improve the circumstances in which they live.

Describe a day in the life of your team.

“Well it all starts with a good strong coffee served on the lounge chair at the beach, followed by an exhilarating foot and leg massage…sorry wrong day!

“Strong coffee is the same, but as for the rest we check our email, phone messages and calendar. We’ll then set time aside for scheduled home visits, phone calls, case notes and meetings. We also handle issues as they arise from one of our 15 possible allocated families in our caseloads.

“Throughout the week we have team meetings, supervision and caseload reviews. What I’m trying to portray is that no day is typical! This is what is great about the staff and programs.

Tell us about a community-based initiative your team’s been involved in.

“Anti-Poverty Week has been celebrated every year with a collaboration between our Devonport and Burnie teams and the Devonport Community House. We host an event supporting disadvantaged families including free pre-loved clothing, fresh fruit, a sausage sizzle, ingredients and demonstrations for cooking a basic meal and making cleaning products. Everything at this amazing event is free to the community and they love it!

Describe your team in three words.

Irrepressible, unwavering, amicable.

What’s the best thing about your team?

For me the undisputed best thing about my team is the feeling of contentment in their presence.

Tell us about a recent challenge the team faced and how you overcame it?

Recently we had circumstances where a senior manager was on leave and all was fine, however, the acting manager had some emergency health issues and was subsequently away as well. My teams did not miss a beat, which shows the internal fortitude of these staff individually to not falter even when things are not going to plan.

Do you have a recent good news story you can share?

I have a story from one of our family support services. Michelle* was homeless with four children and her partner. The family were couch surfing for several months and after engaging with us, we managed to secure transitional housing. The family are now living in a permanent housing property and are back on top of everything, including their finances. This is a very short description – however it was certainly a process to get to this point and ensure the entire family was looked after.

James and his team are part of a network of teams in Tasmania working to reduce homelessness and strengthen communities across the state. For more information about our services in Tasmania, explore the service directory at missionaustralia.com.au/servicedirectory.

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