Peter Vine has been a face around Moruya for 40 years and locals say, "everyone needs a Pete in their lives".
He is a kind and committed bloke who had a chuckle when asked how he has kept it together after working in the disability support industry for almost 20 years.
He said it's his relationship with clients and forever learning about their intricate needs that keeps him devoted to the job.
Mr Vine loves to crack a joke or two, as he builds a rapport with clients and then works with them so they can achieve a full and happy life.
He is a support worker for the Eurobodalla Shire Council and works with a range of clients across a broad spectrum of disabilities, some he said were very complex.
From people with different physical disabilities, the aged and frail, and others with mental illnesses like schizophrenia.
For many years he has been passionately working with the Independent Living Skill Program, supporting people with an acquired brain injury.
"Clients could be people who have had a motor car accident or traumatic head injury," he said.
"We support them to be able to live independently."
It's a humble feeling for Mr Vine when clients reach a level of independence.
"I worked with one client for 12 years, who now lives independently with support," he said.
A career highlight was when he was awarded a prestigious authenticity award by Anglicare.
Many agree, during the bushfires the true colours of people in the community shone. Mr Vine was one of those people who pitched in to help and put others first.
"There were four clients in a group home; I got the call saying everyone was looking after their homes, and they didn't know anyone else who could help," he said.
Mr Vine had his boat packed ready as bushfires threatened the town: "I was going to go under the bridge and out on the water if the fire came."
He put his hand up to help at the group home.
"Part of my job was to keep them occupied and take their minds off the fires that were raging around, while there was no electricity," he said.
"It was a challenging time. I didn't know I was going to be there for three days and nights straight."
You won't last in this industry if you don't look after yourself.Peter Vine
Mr Vine thrives off small things he is able to do that make big differences in people's lives: "If I can make one person smile, I am a lucky guy - that is my buzz."
"Being able to support people to lead a life that's a lot better than what they have had," he said. "It's extremely rewarding."
Supporting people who are mentally or physically challenged is not for everyone, Mr Vine says.
"It is challenging, but the rewards outweigh everything tough that's involved," he said.
"You won't last in this industry if you don't look after yourself. Mentally and physically it can drain you - it's imperative you look after yourself otherwise you will wear out."
When Mr Vine clocks off from work, he unwinds in the ocean or tends to his bonsai trees
"It's a form of meditation for me," he said.
"To switch off from work and de-stress, you will find me on or under the water.
Mr Vine also engages in mental health sessions the council makes available to employees.
"I need to make sure I am mentally 100 percent, so I can give 100 percent," he said.
"It's important to look after yourself first."
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During his time in the industry, Mr Vine worked through the introduction of the The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and saw an influx of support services that became available.
Since the NDIS, Mr Vine said there was a focus on "clients having the freedom of choice".
"Once upon a time, there were only a handful of service providers, now there are so many," he said.
"Now families can pick the best service provider and support available for their particular need, which is a huge change that's really good."
Mr Vine loves Moruya and plans to stay in the disability services industry for as long as he can.
"It's such a friendly, welcoming, family community," he said.
"Everyone is so helpful - it's a lovely town."
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