Maxine Reid has plenty of stories to tell from her 15 years working as a receptionist at Uniting Care Ballarat.
But winning the Ballarat Foundation Administrative Professional of the Year Award in 2017 left her speechless.
She didn’t know her colleagues had nominated her for the award and didn’t read the program at the breakfast where the winner was to be announced. She was shocked when her name was read out.
“I couldn't speak, I was so overwhelmed. There were a lot of things I wanted to say but I was silent,” Ms Reid said.
Ms Reid has faced many challenges throughout her 15 years working on the front line of a community organisation that assists vulnerable people. She admits she has met countless interesting people over the front desk, many who have made her smile.
“I think the most gratifying thing is if someone comes in and they are very upset, you can explain the options they have, they can see the case workers, come out and say thank you and smile. Sometimes someone will come back and say thank you and bring a flower out of the garden,” she said.
“A man came in one day and frightened me a bit. He used to come in quite a lot. We knew each other by name. He would come in for a shower. One day he put a dead snake on the counter in front of me and said ‘look what I have got’. I was lucky I am not frightened of snakes. He said he had it in his back pack for about three days and was going to eat it. He used to hang his socks over the heater to dry when he came in too.
No two days are the same. You always get something different every day.Maxine Reid
Ms Reid said she was proud to be a part of an organisation that helped vulnerable members of the community.
“There is a lot of help out there for people who may not realise it isn't around. People just need to know about the services, that is the biggest problem,” she said.
Nominations for the 2018 Administrative Professional of the Year are open until Friday.
A panel of Ballarat leaders will judge the applications and finalists will be interviewed by the panel.
The award will be presented at the Administrative Professionals Breakfast on Friday May 4, to celebrate the administrators that keep businesses across Ballarat running smoothly everyday.