Ivy Recruitment Partners

Ivy Recruitment Partners is a niche boutique recruitment consultancy specialising in financial planning recruitment for boutique to medium sized financial planning firms across Melbourne and Kim Eveleigh is the powerhouse behind it all.


How did Ivy Recruitment Partners come to life?

I owned another recruitment agency for nine years and after returning from maternity leave with my third child, my then business partner and I decided it was time to go our separate ways.  This is when I met Mandy from Canny Group who assisted through the sales process (she was amazing!).  When we settled I sold my shares, established Ivy Recruitment Partners and I haven’t looked back!

How long has Ivy Recruitment Partners been up and running for?

Seven amazing months!  As part of the sale I was able to take my clients with me and I anticipated just working on those roles.  However it has absolutely taken off and completely surpassed any of my expectations that I previously had.

What do you love about your job?

The relationships most of all!  I have amazing relationships with my clients and due to this they always give me repeat business which is incredible.  Some of my clients are like friends now.  Because of the relationships I have built, I get many referrals which means I regularly get new financial planning businesses contacting me off the back of my existing relationships.

I love dealing with candidates.  There are some candidates that I placed many years ago in junior roles who have worked their way up and are now my clients!

I also wouldn’t be a recruiter if I didn’t enjoy the satisfaction of making placements – it’s not only the thrill of placing a great candidate (particularly the junior candidates when you hear them squeal with delight that they’ve been offered their dream role), but also the praise the client gives when you’ve secured them their ideal candidate and how pleased they are that they’re been provided a great service.

It’s a pretty lucrative career as well.  If you love it… you do it well.

Is your job exciting or do you just look at peoples resumes all day?

It has its highs and lows.  One day you have multiple roles on with candidates going out to interviews and making placements and it’s so motivating!  Then the next day, you might have a candidate withdraw or another agency fills the role you are working on (as there are a few businesses that use several agencies for one role), or it could be that something else happens and the placement you thought you were to to make just simply doesn’t happen.  That’s when you turn it up a notch and go into overdrive to fill the roles for your clients.

You certainly do look at a lot of resumes, but having been in recruitment for 13 years now, it’s second nature and I can easily pick a top candidate out of 50 applications through quick screening.

What’s planned for the future of Ivy Recruitment Partners?

At the moment, I absolutely love having the flexibility and freedom of working for myself around the kids as life is busy with three!  However, I have so much business coming through, much more so than I had anticipated, that I might need to look at bringing on another consultant sooner rather than later.  Ideally, I’d like to continue as I am until my littlest reaches kinder and hopefully I am able to do that.  At that point, I’ll be back talk to Mandy about how to build the business and put a plan into place.

How do I get into contact or find our more about Ivy Recruitment Partners?

You can e-mail me directly at kim@ivyrecruitmentpartners.com.au.

I am always on LinkedIn as well so that’s another good way to make contact!


Kim Eveleigh – Director

Ivy Recruitment Partners

Julie Ryan – Marriage Celebrant

Being held up in an armed robbery whilst working as a pharmacy assistant led to Julie Ryan to take some time off and look for something a little less stressful.


What is it that you do as a marriage celebrant?

In my role as a marriage celebrant, I am the one you meet to organise your ceremony to ensure the words of love come through to your guests in a beautiful and meaningful ceremony structured around what you want.  I lodge all the paperwork required by Births, Deaths and Marriages to ensure your marriage is legal.


How did wanting to become a celebrant come to life?

I was having some time away from my role as a pharmacy assistant after being involved in an armed holdup and was looking for something a little less stressful.  I had been attending my uncles funeral and thought what a beautiful ceremony the celebrant had conducted.  It was at this time, I decided I wanted to be able to reach out and be a celebrant.

To complete the Certificate in Celebrancy it involves both components of marriage and funeral… and here I am today, a celebrant!

I graduated in 2017 and applied to the Attorney General for my registration which was approved and I was legally registered on 5th January 2018.


What do you love about your job?

What is not to love?  I get to meet lovely couples and help them put together beautiful ceremonies.  When it comes to their special day, I am the one that gets to bring together two people in love, surrounded by their nearest and dearest.  I also get to see the smiles, the kisses and so much love which makes it a truly wonderful job.


How can I get in contact?

Visit my Facebook page to have a look at the beautiful wedding photos over the past year that I have been apart of:

Julie Ryan Celebrant – https://www.facebook.com/julieanneryancelebrant/

E-mail – julieryancelebrant@gmail.com

Phone – 0438 411 609

Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation

Kerry Browne is the incredible woman behind Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation, with over 20 years of experience as a physiotherapist, her passion for optimal wellness for her clients inspired her to train as a lymphoedema therapist.


What is Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation?

Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation sees patients from diagnosis, through post-operative phase and treatment and then onto a guided exercise program to optimise physical and functional recovery.  We specialise in prevention and treatment of lymphoedema, treatment of cording and post-operative scar management.  We also assist in continuation or return to physical activity following cancer treatment.

How is it that Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation come to life…?

I have over 20 years’ experience as a physiotherapist and spending the first 15 years of my career specialising in musculoskeletal injuries, it was the work I did whilst in London 15 years ago at a clinic specialising in low back pain led me to train as a polestar pilates practitioner.  After returning to Australia, I worked at a busy Melbourne practice specialising in the rehabilitation of cancer patients using both manual and pilates skills.  A real passion for optimal wellness for these clients inspired me to train as a lymphoedema therapist.

I moved to Geelong 5 years ago and decided to open my own Oncology practice.

What keeps you coming back to work everyday…?

I am very privileged to be in the position to help people who are dealt the terrible cancer card.  I meet them when they are at a difficult time juggling the stress of diagnosis, treatment and their work and family lives and I then watch them come out the other side and return to what they love and enjoy.

My work keeps me grounded and also motivates me to continue to strive to use best practice to help my patients.

Is your job exciting or do you just hang out with people who are struggling with movement?

Day to day I probably wouldn’t describe my work as exciting.  Yes I am often dealing with patients who are struggling not just physically but also mentally however their strength and resilience continues to astound me.  What is exciting is the research which has recently been published which has confirmed the importance of exercise and movement during and after cancer treatment in decreasing cancer recurrence!

What is planned for the future of Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation?

I will continue to manage cancer patients on a day to day basis but would also like to be involved in some further research into optimising wellness for my clients.

How can I get in contact or find out more about Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation?

My contact number is 0401916365 or you can go to http://www.geelongcancerrehab.com.au

Kerry Browne – Geelong Cancer Rehabilitation

Geelong Pilates Studio

Pilates Movement Therapy Practitioner and Geelong Pilates Studio owner Lu Albrecht, has developed her method for her studio through many years of learning about the body.  We sat down with Lu to find out about how she is discovering the life changing benefits of Pilates and gaining a true understanding of the mind body connection.

What is Geelong Pilates Studio?

Geelong Pilates Studio is a boutique studio in the heart of Highton village.  Our core business is our small group Studio classes where we work with clients who need a specific program designed for them.  These classes are designed for those with injuries needing rehab, or with ongoing pain such as back pain and postural pain, and for those who simply want to keep themselves in a healthy routine and keep moving.  We use lots of props and each class is different.  We also offer a class called reformer (using the specialised Pilates equipment that allows clients to move without impact).  Reformer is a great way to condition and strengthen the whole body.  Consistency is the key to Pilates with most clients attending once or twice a week.

How did Geelong Pilates Studio come to life?

After many years of practicing and studying Pilates with some of the best practitioners that Melbourne has to offer, the dream was to open a studio that focused on a quality and not quantity – meaning that I really wanted to focus on a few clients and really work hard at getting them into shape rather than offer lots of classes with many clients and not be able to give everybody the attention and detail they deserved.

My goal was to help people and improve their quality of life.  I felt it was important to take time and care with every client, to build a strong and loyal customer base that would appreciate the power of incorporating Pilates into their lives.  It has taken years to build my business into the space that I originally envisaged.  Starting out, the space was too big and the offer was too varied as I was trying to be too many things with too many different types of client.  Since simplifying and going back going back to my original vision, I feel that the business and the clients I have attracted are now in line with my values and the work/life balance I have always wanted.

How long has Geelong Pilates Studio been up and running?

5 years, going into our 6th year in 2019.

What is planned for the future of Geelong Pilates Studio?

Now that the business is heading in the right direction with the correct offering, I would like to concentrate on building an even stronger client loyalty.  We will be introducing massage, Osteo and nutritional services so that our clients have more opportunity to work on their health with other types of health care professionals.  The intention is that all our practitioners will work together, referring clients and coming up with a holistic plan between us.

How do I get in contact to find out more about Geelong Pilates Studio?

Head to the website for detailed info on our classes, teachers and how you can get started today.


Geelong Pilates Studio

Shop 8, No. 1 Bellevue Avenue, Highton 3216

(03) 5241 2661


Lu Albrecht of Geelong Pilates Studio – Highton Village

Holman Designs

Holman Designs is a boutique building design company based in North Geelong.

Tell us a little about Holman Designs and how it came to life?
The primary focus for Holman Designs is creating inspiring trend setting homes based on families lifestyles in Geelong and the Surf Coast region.  Holman Designs offers services for new home designs, extensions and commercial projects.

Holman Designs is the brainchild of Guy Holman after 12 years of employment with several building companies.  Guy had a vision for a firm that “offered more” for clients with a personal experience that ensured the designs reflected the client’s lifestyles.  In 2016 Guy started Holman designs which quickly progressed into a successful business that has since seen new staff join the team.

Holman Designs has been operating for 2 and 1/2 years and Guy has no plans to slow down!

Everybody has something they love about their job… what is yours?
Every day brings new challenges and experiences, something the team at Holman Designs thrive on.  “Every home should be unique to a person’s lifestyle and taste, this makes more a creative and happy workplace.”  No two designs are the same and this is the way Guy likes to keep it.

Guy really enjoys the interaction with clients and bringing their ideas to life whilst putting his own spin on designs.  Holman Designs looks to service the area with highly detailed documents and personal service for years to come.

Looking into your crystal ball… what is planned for the future?
The outlook is to continue providing high quality over quantity with a view to expand our team over time.

Holman Designs is located at 33 Mackey Street, North Geelong.  The team has an innovative light filled work space and welcome walk in’s for discussions on designs.

Alternatively more information can be found at www.holmandesigns.com.au.

Director; Guy Holman with Justin Coppe; Junior Detailer/Designer

Bodhi & Co.

What is Bodhi & Co?

Bodhi & Co is an allied health clinic that specialises in exercise physiology, pre and post-natal care, massage, cupping, dry needling, diet, nutrition and health assessments, including personal training and body fat testing, and injury claims through TAC and Workcover.

How did Bodhi & Co come about/to life?

Originally known as Oceandina Health and Rehabilitation Clinic we re-named the business Bodhi & Co. in 2016. Donna the principal clinician has over 10 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, has run a successful personal training business, worked as the Community Health Coordinator of a large sports facility in Melbourne and worked with elite sportspeople and athletes at high school and APS level as well as working at AFL and NRL clubs in Melbourne, Geelong and regional areas. Donna saw a place in the industry for her knowledge, expertise and passion and decided what better way to help people than open her own allied health clinic.

How long has Bodhi & Co been up & running for?

Bodhi & Co was established two years ago, however, was previously known as Oceandina Rehabilitation, which had been operating since 2012.

What do you love about your job?

I love when I am able to do a nutrition plan and clients begin to see that food is not the enemy. Clients begin to see results from eating properly, not restrictively or obsessively and it begins to change their mindset for a healthy future.

I also love that people trust me to be able to fix their injuries, aches, pains and niggles and the satisfaction in being able to successfully get them living their life pain-free.

Is your job exciting or do you just hang out in the gym all day?

Since moving into our clinic in Belmont, Bodhi & Co has being focusing more on exercise physiology, allied health treatments and nutrition rather than spending a lot of time in the gym. We still have a number of personal training clients who we train at Elite Training Centre, so we hang out there sometimes.

What’s planned for the future of Bodhi & Co?

We hope to continue to grow and expand our clinic by adding more services, including holistic services such as mediation, plus taking on more allied health professionals and launching our online pre and post-natal programs. We want to be one of the best allied health clinics in Geelong.

Donna Lindsay Owner, Director & Principal Clinician

How do I get in contact or find out more about Bodhi & Co?

You can find us online at www.bodhiandco.com.au where you will be able to book online and be kept up to date with regular blog posts. You can also find us on Facebook and Instagram and can be contacted on 0413881663 or donna.lindsay@me.com

Urban Upcycle

Urban Upcycle is all about working, living, playing and celebrating sustainability!

Working hard to provide a clean waste collection service to both businesses and households, Angela Lord and Nicole Urbanski re-purpose waste items into art and craft supplies.  The community ie. schools, kindergartens, childcare centres and the public is provided access to these items through the retail store for further use in crafting and education.  Through this process, plus additional services such as educational visits, crafting sessions, parties, events and school holiday programs, Urban Upcycle strives to increase awareness of the importance of reducing, reusing, re-purposing, recycling and upcycling.

Urban Upcycle consists of sisters Nicole Urbanski and Angel Lord along with the help of their mum LeeAllan and a few other amazing people.  Combining a working background in the waste industry with an experienced secondary school teacher, this is where Urban Upcycle came to life.  With the inspiration to start a business coming from the realisation that there was a need for education within the community, especially among children to create a sustainable environment. Both sisters having young children of their own, a combined passion for the environment and educating children, helped to bring the realisation that there is such an importance of taking care of the planet and its future – from here Urban Upcycle was born.

Working hard and just having completed their third year in business, the girls are looking stronger than ever.  When asked “what do you love about your job?” Nicole is quick to respond with “educating children would be my favourite part of the business. Watching them create a new life from old items and seeing the proud look on the children’s faces when they’ve completed their creation. It brings me pure joy.” Nicole openly says that she is lucky enough to be part of a business, where she is providing opportunities for children to create memories with their friends, parents, grandparents and carers. To top it off, knowing that they are potentially making a positive environmental impact and influencing children’s lives and their future habits, whether it is big or small is extremely satisfying.

Nicole admits that she feels guilty calling her job a ‘job’ as she has so much fun! Admitting there is always shelves to be stacked and stock to be sorted, there are also new people to meet all day every day, plus catch ups with their regular customers.  The projects that the girls get are the opportunity to use ordinary, everyday objects that transform into something extraordinary. Often working on craft ideas and making prototypes for shopping centres and holidays parts that they visits, no two days are ever the same!

When asked about what is planned for the future of Urban Upcycle, the first thing the girls are looking to do is increase their floor space which means more onsite crafting areas for their customers… watch this space!

To find out more about Urban Upcycle, following the link: https://www.urbanupcycle.com.au/  or drop in to see Angela and Nicole at 7/147 Marshalltown Road, Grovedale (behind BBQs Galore)
ph. 52 445 818 OR 0434 832 391

Drive Safe Service Centre

Drive Safe Service Centre is a mechanical and auto electrical workshop in Victoria Street, North Geelong.  At the helm is Drew McKee, who after many years spent working and managing other workshops, knew it was the time to make his life-long dream a reality and it was in July 2015 that Drive Safe Service Centre was born. With only a small team of 4, it’s truly amazing what love and dedication for your job can help you to achieve in such a short time.

With 18 years of mechanical experience and skills behind Drew alone, it’s no wonder that you’ll never find him walking around his workshop as it’s always overflowing with cars. Drew’s reputation for going the extra mile for his clients is second-to-none, his love for his customers as well as the love he has for his job is the reason he and his team enjoy coming to work each day.

When asked what does he love about his job, the first words out of Drew’s mouth without any hesitation are “the challenge of finding a problem and fixing it like a puzzle, then the rewarding feeling of knowing when you have fixed it”. If you know Drew, you know that he loves meeting their teams ever growing customer base and they all become part of the ‘Drive Safe Family’.  “Taking the time to get to know the customers and families has always been a great part of the job and seeing parents bring their older kids in with their cars is a wonderful feeling.”

Every day is a challenge, not knowing what will be towed in or what extra cars will show up as the day unfolds, it’s all part of the puzzle and the love of fixing things!
What is exciting is trying to manage the unknown which at times can be extremely difficult but the Drive Safe team are always willing to help.

By setting themselves targets and goals they have ensured that they are always offering their customers the best service as well as making sure the teams skills are up to date.  Constantly getting new technology such as, scan tools and making the most of online programs, mechanical, electrical, LPG and diesel testing equipment to name a few makes the job easier but it also ensures better quality which can save time and money so that Drive Safe can pass on the savings to their customers.

When asked what is planned for the future of Drive Safe Service Centre, they are keeping tight lipped as there are some big plans for 2019. However it’s no secret that the love, dedication and hard work has paid off as the team won the VACC Best Mechanical Light Vehicle – Regional Small Business award for 2018 earlier this year.

Drew & Alice McKee of Drive Safe Service Centre Pty. Ltd.

Drive Safe Service Centre offers full vehicle service and repairs to all makes and models of vehicles. As well as auto electrical repairs, LED upgrades, LPG services and repairs, brakes, air conditioner service and re-gas, battery replacement, roadworthy certificates and so much more.

Find the team by going to their webiste: www.drivesafeservicecentre.com.au, check them out on their socials, Facebook and Instagram or give them a call: 0352721510.

Born & Bred Historical Research

It’s not often you find two young ladies who love searching through dusty old archive books and uncovering mysteries that lie within public records. Lee Hooper loves old houses; the mysteries and stories that surround them and Phoebe Wilkens has a knack for finding any hidden skeletons in the family closet. Together these ladies are Born & Bred Historical Research Pty. Ltd. and they’re not scared to start digging into your family history.

It’s not just family history and finding missing pieces of the historical ‘puzzle’ that Lee & Phoebe have been doing in the last four years. The range of research they do includes individuals, legal practices, businesses and historical groups and societies. The research includes simple and in-depth family trees, family history research, obtaining copies of public historical records, digitisation and comprehensive research of organisations or agencies, oral histories and family narratives, presentations, scanning and digitising of slides and photographic negatives just to name a few.

Together Lee and Phoebe have over ten years experience in history, research and writing and wanted to combine those experiences and passions to help others’ find out about their own history. Celebrities such as Delta Goodrem, Shane Jacobson and Patti Newton have had their family trees put together by Born & Bred Historical Research on the hit television show “Who Do You Think You Are?”.

While no one day is ever the same, both Phoebe and Lee agree that their job is incredibly exciting. Often being asked to unlock family mysteries or find missing ancestors, there are also times for great and gruesome things that come with researching the past, they have been able to find new family members, return lost letters, discover sad stories that shed light on difficult times, find war heroes, double-identities, scandals, unseen photographs of ancestors, and of course, convicts.

If you would like to get in touch you can find them via their website: www.bornandbredhistoricalresearch.com.au

Contact them via e-mail: enquiries@bornandbredhistoricalresearch.com.au OR

Simply, give them call on 0413 118 146 (Lee) or 0402 682 329 (Phoebe).

You can also find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Lifestyle Assistant

Jodie Howell – Director

Step in Jodie Howell, your very own lifestyle assistant. With the motto let us take care of your “to do list”, Jodie has you covered when it comes to getting things done. We all know a few people who could use a service like this, I know I personally could.

Lifestyle Assistant is a spin-off service from New Home and Commercial Clean. The business Jodie originally started six years ago.

As someone who grabs the bull by the horns, Jodie is used to identifying needs in her community. Jodie was working in a real estate agent six years ago, when someone walked in to ask for the recommendation of a cleaning company to clean display homes. That night Jodie went home and registered a business. Just like that she was cleaning those display homes the very next week. Eight weeks later, Jodie quit her job at the real estate agency and was working full time in her own cleaning business. Two month later, she hired her first employee.

Six years later, Jodie now has several employees and cleans everything. From houses and offices to industrial worksites and even a church, in and around Geelong.

New Home and Commercial Clean is all about service. Having that extra touch that makes your home look and feel well presented.

“…we will even straighten your towels. We just want you to have that breath of fresh air feeling when you come home and feel completely relaxed.” Jodie pointed out. I even asked if she would fold the end of the toilet paper roll into a triangle, and if that’s the way you like it then that’s what she would do.

The full service philosophy is how the concept of Lifestyle Assistant came to mind. “There is always something that needs to be done and people are just too busy.”

Paired with a go-getter attitude, experience in industries like hospitality and a crazy network of contacts, Jodie can pretty much get any task done. She isn’t just the perfect person to have as a lifestyle assistant, she also absolutely loves doing it.

Jodie explained that it started with a client who wanted to get a barbecue and ceiling fans. But didn’t have time to look. “I went out and got three quotes, prepared a pros and cons list for each and presented it to the client.” So along with her team keeping your house clean. Jodie is now sourcing artwork pieces, gift shopping, unpacking groceries as well as planning and coordinating events.

I actually caught up with Jodie prior to a networking event she had a hand in organising. Lifestyle Assistant is not limited to corporate events and can be there for any moment you want an extra eye or pair of hands, including birthday parties and even weddings. Jodie will be there working in the background making sure things run smoothly so you can simply enjoy yourself. Plus, if the need for a last minute dash anywhere should arise, she has it covered.

Jodie is definitely excited about the future of Lifestyle Assistant and allowing her clients to spend more time with their family and friends. All the while helping them get to the bottom of their “to do” list.

For more on Lifestyle Assistant or New Home and Commercial Clean services and to see all the fabulous things Jodie is doing you can head to her social media profiles:

colourful facebook icon New Home and Commercial Clean Colourful Instagram icon Lifestyle Assistant

Dan’s Bakery

Daniel Dean – Owner

Dan’s Bakery, located in the stretch of shops on Vines Road, reminds me of the reason so many people say they love the smell of freshly baked bread in the morning. Walking inside was a pretty mouth watering experience as I watched them putting out their fresh breads and cakes for the day. Admittedly while secretly eyeing off the selections deciding what I was going to have.

As I was doing this I enjoyed the banter that was going on between Stuart, one of their employees and the butcher from Goodall’s Quality Meats, two doors down. These days it’s so easy to be distracted and do everything by the digital world. It was wonderful to have that community feeling and see the relationship between two small businesses. Later on I would find out that Goodall’s Quality Meats is also the supplier of the meat that goes into their delicious crispy, golden puff pastry pies and sausage rolls.

After waiting a moment until all the tasks were done I sat down with Daniel Dean, owner of Dan’s Bakery and his partner Megan. I was also lucky enough to meet their gorgeous five week old son, Percy. Megan sweetly saying that he has become quite the attraction among the regular customers.

Where it all began

Dan started off by telling me a little about where his passion for baking first began. “When I was in my teens I worked at Woolworths. On each shift I would do a couple of hours in various departments, one of those being the bakery and I really enjoyed it.” So much so that Dan decided to do his apprenticeship.

The road to Dan’s Bakery

Over the years Dan has relocated between here and Queensland a couple of times all while gaining experience in a variety of different bakeries, such as Bakers Delight and Weiser’s Bakery down Pakington Street. Then in February last year, with some level headed input from Megan, Dan made the decision to open Dan’s Bakery. He admitted that he had previously never seen himself as a business owner. But when the opportunity presented itself, Dan got really excited about having the ability to explore his creative freedom.

The life of a baker

Most of us have a pretty good idea of the fact that being a baker means very early mornings or in Dan’s case, early nights.

A typical day for Dan means getting to work between 10pm and 12am. The morning we met however, Dan said “I slept in until 2am. Which is why some of the cakes weren’t out yet when you got here.” Clearly met with some completely understanding giggles from myself.

The day starts with getting all the ingredients ready to make the batches of bread dough. By the end Dan has generally made, from scratch, just under 50 loaves of bread, a total of 100 pies, pasties and sausage rolls, around 30 varieties of sweets and six savoury selections. “…depending on the weather. I sell a few more pies when it’s colder.” Dan clarified. 

What is the best seller at Dan’s Bakery?

Before I could even finish the question, Dan waves his hands down saying, “Vanilla slice!” Followed closely by the plain meat pie. Sounds like the perfect lunch for most.

Dan himself admits he is a savoury man. His staple breakfast item is their Hawaiian pizza. “Well I could eat them all day really.” He concluded.

Megan is more like myself and has a sweet tooth, saying she likes to go for the jelly slice. But there is something to be said for a fresh Vienna loaf.

So what does the future look like for Dan?

Dan is hoping to build the business up so that he can implement new product making techniques and share the load a little more.

“I would like to eventually open at another location. Now with Percy here, if we could make it into a family run business, then that would be great.”

If reading this has made you hungry and you would like to pay a visit to Dan’s Bakery. You can find them at 95 Vines Road, Hamlyn Heights.

You can also follow all their yummy creations on

Facebook and Instagram

(Daniel Dean, Megan Biggs and baby Percy pictured above)

Access Your Supports

Ralph Menchise – Director

This month we caught up with Ralph Menchise, Director of Access Your Supports to share a little about the amazing things their team is doing in the Geelong community.

Established in 2016, Access Your Supports aim to provide support services to eligible participants of the NDIS. Access Your Supports has also formed a partnership with The Treehouse Geelong, which is a support group for families living with Autism. Ralph gave a special mention to their Director, Lisa Hamling and the incredible support she has brought to the team.

How did the idea of Access Your Supports come to life?

Ralph always had a desire to run his own business. After spending more than 20 years working in organisations across areas such as aged care, mental health and disability. He had a pretty good idea of exactly what he wanted to do.

Ralph revealed, “The real push to make it happen came when the NDIS was finishing its trial and moving to a full scheme roll out across Australia.”

Equipped with a good client list and an aspiration to make a difference. Ralph reached out to three friends to join his team and after completing some formalities, Access Your Supports was in business (from home).

“I set an annual quota of clients I wanted us to assist and we reached that target in two weeks.” Highlighting a gap Ralph had already felt existed. Two years later, Ralph now has a 67 strong team of support coordinators, therapists and peer mentors. Working from their office located on Yarra Street.

Like Canny Group, Ralph values that family feeling in the workplace, “We have grown purely from internal referrals and I think everyone on my team is pretty great.” 

What does Access Your Supports aim to achieve?

With a team of occupational therapists, psychologists, speech therapists and support coordinators to name a few. The aim of Access Your Supports is to match the individual with the right program. This is done through the use of therapeutic and creative programs. These programs are designed to build on skills, such as fine motor, individual confidence and in their own time. It’s person centred practice.

One such as their Creative Minds Program. Here they are able to attach therapy to the individual as they complete a ‘passion project’ exploring things they enjoy, such as drawing.

Whether it’s the Creative Minds, School Readiness or any of the other program they have to offer, the Access Your Supports team work together to build on weaknesses to create achievements.

To date their work has seen them assist more than 700 families in the Geelong community.

How do you feel Access Your Supports have been received by the Geelong community?

Ralph says the feedback they have received so far has been incredible, “It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know our purpose is being achieved and making a difference in the lives of the clients we work with.”

He attributes their success to his team and their genuine dedication to finding the best services for clients and their families. Something he finds himself saying to many of the families is that, it really is very person centred practice and always in their best interest.

What are some of the highlights of your journey so far?

It’s easy to imagine that this line of work would get quite emotional at times. So we wanted to know if there were any moments that really stood out. Ralph said that he had lots of stories and they included both children and adults that they had helped.

In general though, helping adults get back into the workforce and off welfare. Or seeing kids come to them with limited social skills and walking away with confidence in their lives is really satisfying.

A story Ralph did share was of Harry*. A 12 year old boy who was a major Doctor Who fan and loved board games. Harry would not leave his room and was afraid to attend school. Michael (pictured above left) was his peer mentor and together they worked on completing his passion project. He built a detailed model of Corio Village. Over the period of a few months and a boost to his sense of accomplishment, they built on his social integration in varied environments. Harry is now back at school, in a smaller group setting.

Michael and Ralph were both so proud of how far Harry had come along in a short amount of time. As well as the impact this has had on Harry and his family.

What is your vision for the future?

The future looks bright for Access Your Supports. Ralph is currently working on expanding to East Melbourne with an ambition to go state wide.

With a thriving business in his hands, Ralph is conscious of keeping it that way and managing the growth of the business. “Maintaining the personal approach is really important to me. I don’t want it to get so big that I lose that.”

Then without any prompting, Ralph let slip that he was so thankful for the support he receives from the team here at Canny Group. “It’s such a relief as a business owner to not have to worry about the financial side of things and to know that everything is done to a high standard.”

If you would like to get in touch with Ralph and the team at Access Your Supports, you can find them here.


(Michael Menchise and Ralph Menchise pictured above)