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The Public Guardian last week awarded Townsville local, Kris Hood, with the Public Guardian Excellence Award for her role in supporting and advocating for clients with a disability.

Kris is a Support Coordinator at Mercy Community NDIS Services Townsville and was awarded for her ‘excellence in elevating the rights and/or aspirations of clients in disability funded services’.

Public Guardian, Ms Natalie Siegel-Brown, said that Kris is “all about the human rights of her clients and that she demonstrates empathy at every turn.”

“One particular case that highlights Kris’ dedication and commitment involves a client who was placed in supported accommodation to redevelop her independent living skills and support her to integrate into the community,” Ms Siegel-Brown said.

“Kris identified issues with her accommodation and advocated strongly on the client’s behalf. Now, the client is living in accommodation with adequate support for her needs, and she is very happy.

“Kris always ensures her clients, including clients of my office, have a voice and are never disadvantaged when coordinating their support services. She goes above and beyond on a daily basis, so I am so pleased to reward such excellent practice within the community services sector,” Ms Natalie Siegel-Brown said.

Mercy Community CEO, Elaine De Vos, said that Kris’ approach to the work she undertakes is exemplary and worthy of the utmost praise.

“Kris truly embodies the Mission and Values of Mercy Community. Her compassionate, tenacious nature reflects our commitment to give a voice to the voiceless and deliver person-centred services to some of the most vulnerable people in Queensland. We are very proud of Kris for such a significant achievement,” Ms De Vos said.

The Office of the Public Guardian is committed to advocating for the human rights of some of Queensland’s most vulnerable citizens, including those living with a disability.

However the Office of the Public Guardian cannot do that work alone, and the purpose of Public Guardian Excellence Awards is to recognise and reward those individuals and teams in the community services, health and mental health sectors who work tirelessly to promote the rights and interests of our joint clients.

Other award categories in the Public Guardian Excellence Awards recognised work across Queensland to promote rights and aspirations of people in Authorised Mental Health Services, and to reduce or eliminate the use of restrictive practices for people with a disability.

The Office of the Public Guardian protects the rights, interests and wellbeing of adults with impaired decision-making capacity, and children and young people in the child protection system.

Picture caption: (front row left to right) Sarah Willey (Team Leader, OPG Townsville), Hon Coralee O’Rourke (Minister for Communities and Minister for Disability Services and Seniors), Kris Hood (Support Coordinator, Mercy Community NDIS Services Townsville) and Elaine De Vos (CEO, Mercy Community Services).

(Back row left to right) Jodie McKellar (Regional Manager, OPG Townsville), Cr Les Walker (Deputy Mayor of Townsville), Natalie Siegel-Brown (Public Guardian), and Des Lee (NDIS Regional Manager, Queensland North).

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