Not all heroes wear capes 

Ronelle’s working hard to keep her community clean.

May 15, 2023

Ronelle is an Aruma Supported Independent Living (SIL) customer on a mission to see the streets of Nowra and Shoalhaven clean and graffiti free. With a keen eye, determination, and support from staff, Ronelle has been out and about finding the graffiti and reporting it back to the local council for removal. 

“Ronelle is such a kind and caring person. The best way to describe her is that she just wants to care for everyone. She also takes great pride in her community and wants to see the area clean and safe,” said Tess Griffin, Manager Shared Living. 

When the council got in touch to let Ronelle know the graffiti she reported had been removed, she was over the moon. Almost immediately, Ronelle headed out with staff to see the results. 

As a local who has lived in the area for over ten years, Ronelle hasn’t always had the best relationship with her community, but that’s all changing. 

Ronelle has a rare type of epilepsy that was undiagnosed for a long time, resulting in complex behaviours. Due to this some people in the community misunderstood her for those actions. Now that we understand her disability and can better support her, people are getting to know the real Ronelle,” said Tess. 

The pair began working together around five years ago when Ronelle was living in a group home that was acquired by Aruma (then House with No Steps) in 2018. Tess recounts that this was the beginning of many positive changes for Ronelle. 

“The transition to Aruma opened more opportunities for Ronelle. She could have more choice in her support and wasn’t bound to a set routine. Ronelle tells us what she wants to do, and then we make it happen,” said Tess. 

She added, “the best part of my job is seeing customers like Ronelle doing the most incredible things. She is getting involved in the community safely and positively and is so much happier for it.” 

Way to go, Ronelle. We’re glad to see you happy and thriving. 

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