Over the past two years Coronavirus has highlighted the importance of cleaners in our community, and the recent Thank Your Cleaner Day provided an opportunity to recognise their efforts.

Chifley College's Shalvey campus in Western Sydney has gone one step further, presenting its five Ventia cleaners with trophies to show their appreciation.

Rebecca, Mona, Achol, Suzan and Rosie provide essential cleaning services to the school as part of Ventia's NSW Whole of Government Facilities Management Services contract.

Mona is the school's Cleaner in Charge and has worked for Ventia for almost 10 years at various educational facilities in Western Sydney.

She moved to Chifley College just over year ago to reduce her commute - she lives across the road.

Mona said she and her colleagues were pleased to receive such tangible recognition from their school.

We were all proud and it made us feel good to be appreciated.


Appreciation of our cleaners

Mona said Covid had changed the way cleaners were viewed.

"Before we felt like people took us for granted, but now they realise what we do and without us, they'd have to do it.'

"The staff at the school thank us, so we're pretty lucky."

Mona arrives at Chifley College at 5am to prepare the school before the day starts, and returns in the afternoon once the students have left to do things like mopping and vacuuming, to ensure it's ready the following day.

Covid has profoundly changed the way we live, so to provide an extra level of safety and reassurance to parents, teachers and students, Ventia enlisted Rosie to clean touch points, such as glass, doors and handles, during school hours.

Mona said one of the hardest things to clean is chewing gum on carpet, which takes a lot of scrubbing and vacuuming.

Despite that, Mona said being a cleaner was a satisfying role.

Sometimes when you walk into a room you want to cry, but once you've cleaned the room it's the satisfaction of doing it and they don't have to do anything as it's ready to go.

Area Supervisor Ray Petersen said it was wonderful to see the women recognised by the school for providing excellent customer service.

"Due to Covid, it's been pretty tough on everyone, but they pushed on and got it done," Ray said.

"The principal really values our cleaners, as does Ventia, and I'm so pleased to see them recognised in this way."