Rachelle 'Rae' Hobbs
In her 'normal' role, Rae is a project manager for Territory Families' youth justice centres, which provide welfare response during cyclones and floods.
"We're used to getting evacuation centres up and running quickly, but COVID-19 really came out of the blue," said Rae.
When the pandemic hit, the CEO directed Rae and her team to focus solely on welfare response, providing psychological first aid and quarantine support to people affected.
The team worked up to 12 hours a day, seven days a week – at the airport, working through the mandatory quarantine process with the Australian Federal Police and helping people understand the quarantine requirements.
The team even brought in their own personal items for people going into quarantine, like yoga mats, books and gym equipment.
"People are resilient, but when they get into stressful situations and feel like they can't cope, our team was there to help and listen and talk them through it," said Rae.
Rae and her team went well above and beyond to help people affected during the pandemic. Like their assistance for a young family who were coming to the NT and had to quarantine.
"The start dates fell badly for their relocation, so we talked to them about what they needed to do, helped them find accommodation for quarantine and when their freight turned up, our team was there to collect it," she said.
Or the French national who was desperate to get home and had spent all his money on several flights but had to quarantine. Rae, who can speak French, helped him quarantine then coordinated assistance from other agencies to help him get home to France.
Rae said COVID-19 had a big impact on everyone, but she enjoyed the team work across agencies.
"It was great to collaborate with the Australian Federal Police and Public Health—everyone worked together to get the job done and help people through the situation. It was fantastic."
Last updated: 23 June 2020
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