Skip to main content

Lisa puts heart into safety and support programs

Lisa Roach with Always There mascot Ollie at ArtBeat 2023.

If you are a Gold Coast Health staff member, you will have done the Speaking Up For Safety (SUFS) Program and would know the Safety C.O.D.E.

The program has been mandatory training since its inception seven years ago, in which time more than 19,500 people have completed the training delivered by volunteer facilitators.

And there for all that time, organising behind the scenes, has been Lisa Roach. Assistant Project Officer with Medical Services and Clinical Governance, Lisa started with Gold Coast Health when the Professionalism Programs were implemented.

SUFS is one of three programs Lisa helps organise, alongside the Always There Peer Support Program and the newly renamed Our Professional Values (formerly Promoting Professional Accountability).

Lisa supports more than 20 SUFS trainers and the peer responders for Always There. She also assists with triaging the responses to the OPV portal.

She has coordinated more than 800 sessions for SUFS for more than 19,500 people and is always promoting all three programs where she can.

Lisa has a background as an administration professional and came from outside the health industry, though she gained experience as a carer when she looked after her late grandfather, who suffered from dementia.

Lisa says it's a dream job.

“I’ve been at the introduction of each one of the programs, and I’m proud of them, and it is a journey I’ve loved being on,” she said. “I feel a lot of gratitude for the position that I am in and the feeling that I am making a difference," she said.

“To have these programs do what they do and to be able to be there for the staff, I think it just promotes what we stand for, which is our Always Care philosophy and our aim to provide world-class health care always.

“I can see the difference the programs make, particularly the Always There Peer Responder Program, which is peer support for anyone who has suffered any kind of incident in their lives and needs someone there to support them at any time."

Always There originated in Mental Health Specialist Services in 2017 and spread to the rest of the health service. It includes a team of volunteer peer responders who can respond to requests for support at any time. The mascot of the program is Ollie, the English sheep dog.

Lisa said the programs were invaluable for supporting our staff.

“We come here to do a job. Whether you are a clinician or admin or professional staff – you are providing someone with care in this organisation. The programs are one aspect of proving the same level of care to our staff,” Lisa said.

If you think Ollie bears a striking resemblance to the Dulux dog, you would be right. Lisa’s husband works for Dulux and she procured the stuffed toy from the company. It has gone on to become an iconic face of Always There. Any area of the health service can request for Ollie a short visit to boost morale.

Playing a key role organising the programs puts Lisa in a position to admire the efforts of volunteer facilitators and responders.

“I would love to praise the wonderful facilitators that do this job, because they do this work above and beyond their already very busy work life, and they don’t get paid extra,” she said.

“They do it because they see the need for culture and for change and to make Gold Coast Health a safer place. I have that same passion.”

Last updated 24 Nov 2023