Coffee With…Leah Anderson: Annecto






Describe your work/role as the South East Regional Manager at Annecto

Annecto is a not-for-profit social purpose organisation. We provide advocacy and practical assistance for adults and children with a range of cognitive, physical and social abilities, and their families to realise their full potential. Through collaboration, communication and asking the right questions, we make a real difference to individuals and families to build relationships and connections within the south east region of Melbourne.

We are focused on assisting individuals to achieve their goals, dreams and aspirations, in the context of a commitment to human rights and individual-focused capacity building. We work in partnership with consumers of our services (including care recipients, their families and support networks) and their communities to bring people together through ‘Circles of Support’. By working in partnership with individuals and families we bring people together, offering integrated community initiatives, care and support. Our services are all about strength and inclusiveness.

What sort of work were you doing prior to starting at Annecto?

Community development and social inclusion projects across the Eastern region.

What excites and motivates you in your role?

I have a fantastic working environment and a team who strive for better outcomes for disadvantaged communities. The idea of an inclusive society and valued roles for all people provides an exciting and also exhausting platform for me to continue working towards!

What strengths do you see in the Eastern Region of Melbourne Community that Annecto works with?

I have had the privilege of working with many different cultures within the Eastern region and feel that there are many learning opportunities to support development of understanding as a community towards other cultures and their practices. In particular,  consultations with Afghani community leaders and Afghani Australia Association (AAA) confirm an increasing need among the community’s elders for home-based care. While a high cultural value is placed on elders remaining at home (living with son/daughter-in-law), younger Afghanis are experiencing a difficult tension between family/cultural obligations and income/career demands. Many elders live with disability/chronic conditions related to experiences prior to living in Australia which contribute to the complex care needs. Cultural and family expectations along with language and limited system familiarity issues present significant barriers to accessing supports.

What kind of a cuppa do you brew when you sit down at your desk in the morning?

Unfortunately – I am a terrible barista  so l don’t brew anything. The wonderful baristas at my café make my latte to perfection. I am an avid coffee lover.

If you could change one thing about the world right now, what would it be?

The lack of compassion I observe in other humans! I would love to understand and work with those who don’t feel the need to understand and empathise with another person’s circumstances.

If you weren’t working at Annecto right now, what would you be doing?

I would love to volunteer and support development of programs for marginalised groups to participate meaningfully in their communities through education, skills training and creating friendships and relationships outside of their immediate cultures.

We acknowledge the Wurundjeri people and other peoples of the Kulin nation as the traditional owners of the land on which our work in the community takes place. We pay our respects to their Elders past and present.

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