News • 12 Dec 2023

Tarlee recognised as Outstanding Employee at Excellence Awards

Angela Tillmanns, Group Board Chair, (standing on the left), Tarlee Awhitu, Support Worker (centre), David Withers, Group Board Director (right).

At the 2023 Staff Excellence Awards, Tarlee Awhitu was the winner of the 2023 Open Minds Outstanding Employee Award for her dedication to mentoring new starters.

In 2016, Tarlee began mentoring new starters during their orientation to ensure they were supported and comfortable in their new role.

“I have been providing on-the-job training for other Support Workers, this involves introducing them to our clients.
“I knew I always wanted to be a Support Worker because I genuinely like helping people, both clients and my co-workers,” Tarlee said.

Tarlee was nominated by her Care Leaders and co-workers for the award but didn’t know she’d been nominated until her leaders informed her of the news.

“When I found out I had been nominated it was a huge surprise and I was filled with pride,” Tarlee said. “To go on to win the award was something even more special.

“I feel like I have accepted the award on behalf of everyone in my team because we all do an awesome job.”

Tarlee has proudly displayed her trophy and framed certificate in a place of honour on her mantlepiece in her home so that guests can see it.

The Awards ceremony took place at the Brisbane Convention and Exhibition Centre on Thursday 9th November.

Tarlee loves seeing clients flourish and it brings her great joy when they’re happy and achieving their goals.

“Not everyone is lucky enough to have a job that leaves them with a smile on their face every day.

“I encourage all my friends to be Support Workers and I don’t have to do much convincing as they see the smile on my face when I’ve been working!”

Tarlee worked at Open Minds from 2008-2015 and after an extended holiday returned to the organisation again in 2016 until present as a Support Worker in the Logan and Ipswich areas.

Learn more about a career with Open Minds or how to become a mental health support worker.

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