Staff profile: Tanya Baricevic, Service Engagement Coordinator
So, who are your heroes? It is a simple question, but Tanya Baricevic does not answer immediately.
Then she says: “My hero is me.”
She explains: “I’m not egotistical, but I am very aware of what I have been able to overcome.
“I recognised that I had the power I needed, and I used it.”
Is Tanya talking about her change of role, in January 2019, to Service Engagement Coordinator with AQA? Not specifically, for she has held jobs in the past that were equally testing – for example, 15 years ago, when she worked as a policy analyst and project leader for the Victorian WorkCover Authority.
She hopes that her clients at AQA see themselves as heroes too. She agrees that it is good to admire other people, but she believes it is important to see the greatness inside yourself.
Tanya knows what it is like to overlook that greatness within. And she knows how much failing to see it can cost.
At the end of 2007, she left WorkCover. About the same time, she left her marriage.
“My son was then nearly five, and I had my daughter. I had some personal challenges,” Tanya reveals.
“I didn’t have a good sense of self-worth.
“I realised that the decisions that we make affect our children.
“And that led me to a completely different pathway through life.”
Tanya dedicated the next five years to caring for her son and daughter full-time, and to recovering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
In 2013, when she was ready to take on paid work again, she trained in Home and Community Care and signed on as a support worker, assisting elderly people.
“I wanted to be a support worker because I felt that, having known vulnerability, I could help people who were vulnerable,” she says.
In 2016 she switched to AQA, which had offered her stable hours with just two nearby clients.
Two years later, and having spent more than four years in personal care, Tanya decided she was ready for another step – and a position in the AQA office.
“I thought the skills I had learned at WorkCover could be useful in this industry. And I thought I could add much more, because of my life journey,” she says.
“It worked out fabulously. I was able to do a lot of good work.”
Tanya spent 2018 as Service Partnership Coordinator – managing the care agreements that AQA sets up with clients.
In her new role this year, as Service Engagement Coordinator, Tanya will be developing agreements for new clients.
“The exciting bit is being part of the set-up,” she says, “and to be creating quality documentation for our staff to work with.
“Having worked as a disability support worker makes a huge difference. I know how much information you need in support plans.
“If we miss a step, or if we are inaccurate, things can go wrong.
“The more a client opens up to me, the more information I can supply to our staff.”
Away from work, Tanya says she spends a lot of time with her now teenage children. “I’m almost like a teenager myself when I’m with them,” she says.
She has developed an interest in mysticism, and names among her favourite movies the 1998 dark comedy Practical Magic, with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman.
Her favourite series is The Vampire Diaries, which she watches on Netflix.
“I just love the way that show deals with the dark side and then shows the light side,” Tanya enthuses.
“It shows that everything has a dual element to it.”
Author Ian Baker is a content writer for AQA.
AQA is registered with the NDIS to provide a range of services including Support Coordination, Peer Support, and Personal Care Services. We use a lived experience approach to help you start and implement your plan to achieve your personal life goals, find and connect with appropriate services, and help you with preparing for your plan review as it comes due. We also provide Pre-Planning and Troubleshooting as a free service to our community. You can contact us here, or phone AQA.