News • 18 May 2022

Gary celebrates 25 years of service with Open Minds

Gary celebrates 25 years of service with Open Minds

With an admirable 25 years of service under his belt, Open Minds Lifestyle Support Worker Gary Haddad has a wealth of experience to share.

Gary began his career with Open Minds in 1997 as a support worker.

Reflecting on his long and valued career, Gary acknowledges that Open Minds’ growth has enabled his professional development.

“In the early days, we only had one small office to work out of in Brisbane. There were no hubs or regional centres to access,” said Gary.

“I remember working alone for the first year. The great thing about having the big teams we have now is the many colleagues to collaborate with,” said Gary.

As Open Minds expanded, Gary was greeted with more opportunities.

He has enjoyed a variety of roles including Acting Lifestyle Coordinator, Case Worker, and co-facilitator of adventure-based programs and learning activities.

Gary has worked through significant change across the industry, bearing witness to reform such as the introduction of the NDIS and the Project 300 Initiative (P300).

“P300 was a standout moment in my career,” said Gary. “It was a time when 300 people were exited from three long stay mental health facilities across Queensland into community living.”

One thing that hasn’t changed for Gary is his passion for helping clients achieve their goals.

“I love helping clients to get out of their comfort zones,” said Gary.

“It doesn’t matter how big or small their achievements are, it’s all progress,” he said.

Gary has set some goals for himself, too - one of which he has already achieved.

Gary recently became a trainer and is relishing the opportunity to pass on his skills and knowledge to future generations of support workers here at Open Minds.

As a keen musician, Gary also aspires to travel to the deep south of Mississippi.

“What could be better than sitting on a porch, jamming with a traditional bluesman?” Gary asked.

Open Minds Chief Operating Officer, Kate Johnson, recently met with Gary to celebrate his milestone achievement.

“Gary has done incredibly important work supporting our clients for the past 25 years. I thank and commend him for a stellar career,” said Kate.

For more information about a career with Open Minds, please visit our website.