Operator answering calls

Many staff are now answering calls from their homes.

15 May 2020

Michelle could be the friendly voice you hear if you are calling Access Canberra for advice on anything from COVID-19 restrictions to vehicle registrations.

She is part of the Contact Centre as well as COVID-19 Helpline call team.

Michelle, who has been answering Canberrans’ calls for four years, finds her work rewarding, particularly when she can help Canberrans or empower them to do transactions online.

“When I teach them something new, people are really thankful,” she said.

Call trends on the COVID-19 line indicate that many Canberrans have been seeking advice on travel, visiting family, friends and aged care facilities, and the arrangements for schools during the pandemic.

As many Access Canberra services and transactions go digital, people have also been seeking assistance to register, renew or transfer their car registration, get numberplates delivered or arrange contactless vehicle inspections through the Hume Motor Vehicle Inspection Station.

Michelle acknowledges there have been many changes for Canberrans and for staff as the ACT Government adapts to delivering services during COVID-19.

“Like many Canberrans, I have been unable to visit family and friends or visit my favourite place in Canberra, the National Zoo and Aquarium,” she said.

“Things are different in our call centre too.

“Many staff are answering calls from home, we have social distancing in place in the office, and many new procedures have been introduced as transactions go online or we support people over the phone.

“It has been a challenge to adapt to these new procedures at short notice.

“We have had a few tough calls. I just stay calm as I understand that it is stressful times.

“Taking the time to better explain information can take some of the stress out of the situation.”

Michelle reminded the community that the people behind the phone are Canberrans just like them.

Everyone in the Contact Centre was working hard to provide information and support, while also balancing their personal responses also to COVID-19, such as supporting family and friends.

“We are always doing our best to help the public and we really are all in this together,” she said.

“We really appreciate patience and kindness from callers as we try to get through these challenging times together.”

More than 45 Canberrans are working each hour to answer calls across the COVID-19 Helpline and on the Access Canberra main line.

If you need information about COVID-19, you can contact the helpline on (02) 6207 7244.

More than 450 transactions are online or over the phone today:

For the latest information on the COVID-19 response visit the COVID-19 website.

All Canberra

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