“It’s vital that we remain member-led, so that we can have our input and be in control our own lives. I encourage all customers to become members.”
Advocate, adventurer, and community leader Trudy Gepp (pictured centre) has been an Enhanced Lifestyles customer and Board member for over 30 years. Now, as Chairperson of our Board, Trudy plays an important role in shaping our association’s future. She believes that all of our customers should become members and have a say in the services we deliver. Here’s her story.
Trudy Gepp is a long-time Enhanced Lifestyles customer, having received our services for over 30 years.
“I joined Enhanced Lifestyles because of their member-led model, which gives customers complete choice and control. This model was introduced long before the NDIS was established so customers could live life on their terms and not be told what to do by ‘able bods.’“
She’s an incredibly important person within our association, not just because of her ongoing patronage, but because she’s the Chairperson of our Board!
Throughout her time on our Board, Trudy has used her lived experience and positive attitude to lead our association through considerable change, ensuring that the customer perspective is considered in every decision.
“Having a member-led association where customers with lived disability experience can contribute at a Board level and make real change is so important to me. We can give customers a voice who might not have one otherwise, making sure they’re listened to and fully supported.”
Trudy values Enhanced Lifestyles’ dedication to honouring its roots over the years.
“It’s vital that we remain member-led, so that we can have our input and be in control our own lives. The best way we can do that is by having a strong membership base and preserving our commitment to customers leading the way. I encourage all customers to become members.”
As Chairperson, Trudy approaches challenges with a sense of calm rationality, allowing her to see potential opportunities through adversity. Enhanced Lifestyles’ leadership team and members have found her perspective and approach to be invaluable over the years. We are grateful for Trudy’s dedication and her positive outlook.
“Everything in life has a reward; you just have to look at it the right way. When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.”
Having known Trudy for over 30 years, we’ve been by her side as she navigated a rewarding career with SA Ambulance. She started out as a Switchboard Officer in 1986 before her role was modernised, becoming a Customer Service Representative in their Call Centre in 1998. While she has since retired from SA Ambulance, she truly loved working for an organisation that does so much for the community.
Reflecting on her career, Trudy’s favourite memories may be different to what you’d expect.
“My best days were when someone grumpy would ring about an ambulance bill. I’d work with them to resolve the issue, and by the end, they couldn’t be happier and were thanking me.”
Across her 35-year career, Trudy’s busy workdays were bookended by supports from our Lifestyle Attendants. They would arrive in the morning to help her get ready for work, and when she returned home after a long day of helping customers, the team would return to help with dinner, chores, and getting ready for bed. It was certainly an important element of her routine, making sure that her workdays ran smoothly.
Trudy still receives services from our Lifestyle Attendants, though her supports have since adapted to her retiree lifestyle. It’s important that Trudy gets to tailor her services to fit her schedule and preferences: she chooses where and when she wants to be supported, and she selects her Lifestyle Attendants by managing her own roster.
In addition to volunteering as a Board member with Enhanced Lifestyles, Trudy has generously given a lot of her time to other causes close to her heart. For example, Trudy ran a Kids Club at her Seventh Day Adventist Church, volunteered at Ankara Youth Summer Camp, taught Sabbath School to new immigrant children from Africa, and captained an electric wheelchair sporting team!
For Trudy, the most rewarding part of volunteering is having the opportunity to teach important life values and skills.
“It’s been rewarding to work with young kids and help them build confidence,” Trudy says.
Her time at Ankara Youth Camp has been especially impactful – not only for Trudy, but for those around her. Her willingness to “have a go” despite her disability often inspired the kids at camp to be adventurous.
“At camp, they had a motto: if Trudy can do it, so can you. The kids were amazing; they looked up to me and respected me for who I was.”
While at Ankara Youth Camp, Trudy successfully advocated for the installation of inclusive facilities. This created a more accommodating environment for campers with disabilities.
In her spare time, Trudy loves exploring the city. She often takes a tram or train around Adelaide with her husband Chris to take in the sights, visit friends, or attend a show.
As you can tell, Trudy has had a meaningful impact on many people and communities. Her career, volunteering, and Enhanced Lifestyles Board role have afforded her the opportunity to stand up for what she believes in and advocate for disability awareness.
If you’re an Enhanced Lifestyles customer, you can apply to become a member and work alongside Trudy. You’ll get to play a key role in shaping our services and future, helping to create better supports for people living with a disability. Learn how to become a member by clicking here.