On Thursday 8 December, after nine months of learning and developing their ideas, the Supported Living lab (SL/lab) interns ‘pitched’ to the Northcott Innovation Board.
SL/lab’s Internship Program brought together frontline staff from Northcott Accommodation services across the state. Interns attended 17 face-to-face sessions that included gaining a greater understanding of the disability sector, as well as Northcott and its customers. Five sessions were delivered by the UTS School of Design and focused on learning about and testing human-centered service design. Interns used this information and experience to address challenges faced by Northcott’s customers and staff in an effort to turn experiences and ideas into impactful aids and solutions.
To say the interns impressed the Board with their presentations is a significant understatement. The NI Board were simply thrilled with the interns dedication, insight, commitment to customers, application of their learnings and professional pitches.
“This is just so exciting!” said NI Director and Northcott CEO Liz Forsyth. “I don’t think we really knew what to expect, especially as this is the inaugural group of interns. We’ve seen and heard things today which can truly make a difference to customers living in our Supported Living services. Some ideas we can implement easily and quickly. Others will need more exploration and time, but there is some really good stuff here which will help inform changes we need to make to better our service delivery. It’s been a fantastic outcome.”
General Manager Aleta Carpenter also attended the pitches and was amazed to see how far the interns had come in the nine months. “I met this group on their first day of the program and to see those presentations today, well, I am just amazed. They’ve come so far! It’s incredible.”
NI is now planning ’next steps’ for the ideas pitched, as well as refining the 2023 internship program to make it even better next year.