Tanu, Residential Team Leader

"Every day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth, keeping me engaged and inspired."

Tanu was the winner of our 2022 Cappello Values Award which offered him the opportunity to travel to Italy for the Forensicare Conference, further expanding his professional knowledge and skills.

I believe everyone deserves access to quality care and support, regardless of their abilities. My drive comes from the profound impact we can make in the lives of our residents, helping them live with dignity and achieve their goals. My passion stems from seeing positive transformations and moments of joy that emerge from our collective efforts. 

My journey at ACSO began as a casual Forensic Residential Support Worker, where I traversed across the North-West and South-East regions, immersing myself in the diverse needs of our residents. From there, I progressed to a part-time position at an ACSO Residential House, eventually landing a full-time role as the Advanced Program Worker across the North-West Region. Currently I’m Acting Team Leader, which has been an amazing opportunity.  

The best part about working in our team is the deep professional relationships I’ve forged with my co-workers. We’re not just colleagues; we’re a tight-knit community built on mutual respect, trust, and a shared commitment to our mission. 

One thing that surprised me when I started was the level of creativity and adaptability required in my role. Every day presents new challenges and opportunities for growth, keeping me engaged and inspired. 

As an Advanced Program Worker, I work alongside my team leaders to deliver the Residential Services program. My role is akin to that of a tour guide, navigating different operational processes and procedures while being a positive role model in times of change. I would say it is a privilege and an honour to be a part of someone’s story, especially if the role I play in that story is to support and improve the quality of life 

ACSO’s tagline, “understand the story, support the change,” deeply resonates with me. It reflects our commitment to listening to the unique experiences of each individual we support while actively working towards positive transformations. 

Outside of work, I enjoy being active – whether it’s hitting the gym, learning to play golf, or playing other sports like rugby and volleyball, or simply spending quality time with loved ones to recharge. 

And there’s more to me than just my professional life. I take immense pride in my Samoan heritage, having grown up between Samoa and New Zealand. My passion for helping others realise their goals began during my time as a mentor for Pasifika students at Victoria University Wellington. 

Moving to Melbourne after graduating with a Bachelor of Political Science and International Relations was a leap of faith, but ACSO embraced me with open arms, offering opportunities for growth and development. Being nominated and awarded the Cappello Values Award in 2022 was a highlight, affording me the chance to travel to Italy for a Forensicare Conference and further expand my professional horizons. 

But none of this would have been possible without the unwavering support from my co-workers who have been with me from the start and throughout my journey. I cannot thank them enough. The work we do is rewarding but it sometimes impacts our mental health and I have been blessed to be surrounded by a supportive team as well as team leaders and our program manager.