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OUR TEAM

“All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them”
Walt Disney

 

Our disability team is made up of unique, multicultural individuals who work proudly from a framework of inclusive practice. Every member of our team works to improve the quality of people’s lives by building authentic, genuine and professional relationships.

 

Our team is dedicated to raising community awareness of what it means to be vulnerable or to have a disability. Each member of our team shares their learnings and experience to benefit our clients, their family carers, the community and our team so that everyone can participate fully in the community life.

 

At DASH, we are dedicated to skills development and capacity building. We support our team to increase their mental health literacy and improve their professional practise. We work from evidence-based best-practice models for skills development across mental health and disability sectors.

OUR STAFF

Mariana Torres

Director & Senior Support Worker

Master of Social Work, Post Grad Dip. Intl. Comm. Dev.
and (Hons). Tourism.
Founder of DASH.
Has +20 years experience in Community Development and Social Work and +10 years in Disability and Mental Health. Mariana's passion is to travel and learn from others' cultures and perspectives.
Languages: Spanish, French and English
Fav. quote: ‘Per aspera ad astra’ Through hardship to the stars.

Harjinder Kaur

SERVICE MANAGER

MBA and Cert. III in Individual Support
Experienced in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Intellectual Disability, Mental Health and Developmental delay. Harjinder is an ambitious woman, who brings her ample knowledge in business administration and team leadership. Harjinder always works under a can-do attitude and loves challenges. Goal oriented, Harjinder is always looking for opportunities to do better and achieve greatness.
Languages: Hindi, Punjabi and English
Fav. quote: 'The Purpose of our Lives is to Be Happy'

Macarena Penafiel

Support Worker & Learning Enhancement Coach

B. Psychology (Cl) and Cert. IV in Aged Care
Has +4 years, including international, experience as a Counsellor Psychologist and Disability Support Worker. Reliable and with a positive attitude, Macarena helps participants with their development and training to increase their skills so they can participate in community, social and recreational activities. Macarena main focus is on children. She loves music and people, and provides support with care and optimism.
Languages: Spanish and English

Maria Dolors Padros

Personal Care Worker

Cert IV Disability and Cert III Early Ch.Educ. & Care
Experience in Mental Health, MS and Autism, Maria is passionate in supporting people reaching their personal goals. Family orientated, loves pets, the beach, movies and shops.
Languages: Catalan, Spanish, French and English

Cristin De la Vega

Personal Care Worker

B.A (Tourism) & currently studying Bachelor of Nursing. Cristin is passionate about learning new things and learning about new cultures. Always willing to do her utmost best to provide care with honesty and kindness.
Languages: English and Tagalog.
Fav. quote: ``Believe you can and you're halfway there.``

Keeda Mayes

Support Worker

Dip. of Community Services.
Experienced in working with disability and mental health. Keeda loves going for walks in nature, loves to do yoga and meditation, and likes activities with her friends.
Languages: English.
Fav quote: “what you think you become, what you feel you attract and what you imagine you create” - Buddha

Hannah Harrison

Support Worker

BA. Youth Work. Currently working towards a Masters of Teaching (Primary)
With lived experience, Hannah has worked with clients with complex trauma and autism spectrum disorder. Hannah has ample teaching experience in primary schools. Open minded and non judgemental, Hannah strives herself in her friendly and empathetic approach to supporting others. Hannah is organised, adaptable and reliable in her work. She loves working with all abilities and ages. With Hannah you can expect kindness and quirks brought in her role. She love animals (especially cats), sunflowers and cartoons. Languages: English.
Favourite reference: ``You’ve got a friend in me``. -Scene from the movie Toy Story

Nada Hussein

Support Worker

Dip. in Childhood Ed. & Beauty Course

Nada has experience working with people with permanent injuries, illnesses as well as physical and mental disability. Nada brings her passion to work as a beauty therapist. She uses her practical skills and puts her clients at ease and help them feel like their best selves. Nada is a passionate and very hard worker, who will go the extra mile to assist her clients. She loves shopping, dancing, listening to music and is pet friendly.
Languages: Arabic and English.

Jose Luis Chumacero

GARDENER & HANDY MAN

Cert. Senior Secondary
Jose is a skilled handyman with +20 year of experience at a wide range of repairs and trades, including gardening. He used to be a taxi driver. He likes dancing, singing and plays the guitar.
Languages: Spanish and English
Fav. quote: 'God Willing.

Sapphira Moraitis

Support Worker

Certificate II & III in Community Services
Sapphira’s passion is helping others feel and be the best versions of themselves. Throughout her high school years, she volunteered in a range of different fields such as aged care, salvation army and more. She has experience in Autism, BoC, residential care and case management roles. Sapphira loves dancing, singing playing instruments such as piano and ukulele. She loves the outdoors and anything nature driven.
Language spoken: English.
Fav. quote: “Focus on what you want but never forget to be grateful for what you already have.”

Christopher Schliefert

Personal Care Worker

Cert III in Comm. Serv & Cert IV in Comm. Development
Chris has experience in supporting people diagnosed with mental health issues such as dementia and autism. Chris has spent a lot of time in various community houses, in both paid and volunteer roles. Chris is a genuine carer that cherishes connection and care. Chris likes reading (mostly fantasy, sci fi and crime), experimenting in the kitchen and fountain pens.
Languages: English
Fav. quote: “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light” - Albus Dumbledore

Betzabe Sobarzo

Cleaner & Support Worker

B. and M. in Teaching English as a foreign language
With more than three years of experience working in the disability field in Australia, Bet has experience working with people with Down Syndrome and people with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Bet brings her vocation of using language and communication skills to support her clients. She is passionate about languages and musical instruments.
Languages: Spanish, Italian and English.
Fav. quote: 'Give light and people will find the way' (Ella Baker)

Justin Penny

Cleaner and Gardening Support Worker

Senior Secondary Box Hill TAFE - Trade Skill Studies
With lived experience and 2+ years of experience in handy work, cleaning and gardening, Justin brings joy to his work. Justin likes to be active and enjoys playing golf and basketball, often with his mates. He has a passion to help and make a positive difference to other's lives.
Language: English
Fav Quote: 'A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.'

Krysten McIntosh

Support Worker

Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and Criminology.
Krysten is an empathetic and compassionate person, who loves to read, learn new things, and go for walks. Her main experience is in mental health. Krysten always wanted to move into the helping professions, because caring for people seems like the ideal job for her.
Languages: English
Fav. quote: ``As long as we’re living and breathing, there’s more we can do. We just have to be strong enough.” – James Holden, The Expanse

Hilda Garza

Administrative assistant & Accounts

Cert. III in Individual Support and Mental Health lived experience
Experience in Bipolar, Depression, Anxiety, BPD and long-term chronic conditions. Family oriented, provides personal care with kindness. She enjoys working with people and likes learning something new everyday. Animal lover.
Languages: Spanish and English
Fav. quote: 'Love and do as you will' (St Augustin)

``The K Project``

Kreative professionals

¡Hola from Campeche, Mexico! 'Kreative with a 'K' because they like to do things differently. In charge of developing creative content, enriching the internal and external communication of DASH. Proud to work with Dash, and share with participants a beautiful journey, where everyone can reach their star!'

Lupita De la Orta

Board of Advice Member

B.Comm.
Has +10 years of experience working with vulnerable children and their communities. Kind and with a mature and open approach, Lupita loves music and people. She supports participants with arts.
Languages: Spanish and English.
Fav. quote: 'It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop’. (Confucius)

Andres Torres

Board of Advice Member & Accounts

Andres manages financial documentation and supports staff members as required, which may include processing documentation related to invoicing, financial reporting, operating budgets, quotations and inventory adjustments.
Languages: Spanish and English

Sebastian Varela

Administrative Assistant

Sebastian administrative assistant duties revolve around managing and distributing information within an office.
Languages: Spanish & English.

To better support people with disabilities and for peace of mind to our clients, all our staff have:

 

Taken the NDIS online worker orientation modules: ‘Quality, Safety and You” and “Supporting Effective Communication”, and have received an industry recognised Certificate of Completion.

Completed the following:

  • Police check (National and International, if applicable)
  • Working with Children check,
  • NDIS Worker Screening Check,
  • Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) – Disability Australia Training: Hazards and Risks for Home care Workers in Aged Care and Disability
  • Privacy in Practise Training and
  • Infection Control Training – COVID-19

 

Our work is governed by robust policy and procedures, and Victorian State Government Disability Legislation and Standards.

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WORK WITH US

If you are an enthusiastic professional who understands the importance of trust, excellence in service provision and has capacity to develop meaningful relationships with clients, we encourage you to inquire about joining our team. We are always interested in hearing from: Personal Care Workers, Support Workers and Cleaners.

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