New NDCO Program Manager for Western Australia

We welcome the new program Manager Patrick Moran to the role. Patrick has worked within the disability employment sector for 11 years and across this time has held a variety of roles from frontline service provision through to contract management. Prior to discovering the disability sector Patrick worked as an Event Manager with Sheraton Hotels across three states for more than 10 years. In July of this year Patrick was appointed to role of Managing Director, EDGE Employment Solutions after serving as Deputy Managing Director for 2 years.

Patrick holds a Diploma of Tourism and Event management, a Graduate Diploma of Business and a MBA. Patrick and his wife have two young children 3 and 4 years which he says helps to keep things in perspective.

Patrick is passionate about the rights of people with disability to access quality supports and services and he enjoys an active relationship with the industry peaks as he lobbies for policy reform. In the three months since taking on the role of NDCOWA Program Manager Patrick and the team have busied themselves with setting up business plans for the 14/15 period. 'There is plenty to do' he says 'we need to ensure that we are delivering great outcomes for stakeholders across all three regions'. 'In this tight fiscal environment the NDCO activities of collaboration, cooperation and coordination become paramount in order to support providers in maintaining and improving services for people with disability. In recognising that there is still much work to do Patrick is careful not to overlook the great outcomes that have been achieved over the last couple of years 'Success as NDCOs really comes down to engagement and commitment from your community partners, we are very fortunate to be working with great people and will continue to build on these existing relationships and develop new relationships as we go forward'.

Lastly Patrick wishes a warm welcome to Shannon Tann an Australian Defense Force Indigenous Veteran to the NDCO WA Advisory Committee.

Are you aware of:

Australian Indigenous Education Foundation (AIEF).

The AIEF Scholarship Program opens doors for marginalised Indigenous students to access high-quality education in culturally inclusive environments, giving them the tools and confidence to take full advantage of the opportunities before them.

Aquinas Crowe

Australian Disability and Indigenous Peoples' Education Fund (ADIPEF)

For many people with disabilities from both indigenous and non-indigenous backgrounds, education can go a long way to not only developing their skills but also their self-esteem and the pride of their family, friends and community. For many, a small financial grant will enable them to undertake a course. This education fund is about helping people complete or undertake courses and programs through providing small grants.

Aquinas Crowe featured in the NDCOWA newsletter April 2012 received a small grant from ADIPEF to assist his studies during 2012. Aquinas an award winning film maker from Fitzroy Crossing; link has just completed his latest project filming the 50 year celebration of the Djugerari Remote Community School located 125km from Fitzroy Crossing.

First Peoples Disability Network (FPDN)

Wendy Wright briefing Sam Ward.
On September 24th Damian Griffis, Executive Director of FPDN, convened a meeting of the West Australian Management Committee at People With Disability (PWD) offices in Nedlands.

Sam Ward, who is a member of the WA Management committee, was unable to attend the meeting due to her wheelchair breaking down.

With this in mind, on Thursday, Wendy FPDNWA coordinator briefed Sam on matters arising from the meeting:

  • Decide on a name for the WA group, develop a constitution and seek incorporation;
  • Michel Simpson and Glen Jones were elected to the FPDN national board;
  • Explore what support PWD can offer; and
  • Jillian and Caris from The Centre for Cerebral Palsy updated the group on the Message Book (a resource for service providers working with Aboriginal families).

Wendy and Sam both emphasised the great need for advocacy in aboriginal service provision. Sam wishes to study on line and is currently updating her IT. They talked of facebook and how important it was to them in breaking down isolation.

Damian will return to WA in December to facilitate a planning day and give a keynote speech at the Pathways 12 conference in Fremantle on December 3rd.

Individual Placement and Support (IPS)

The implementation of the IPS model in WA gained significant momentum as the West Australian Association for Mental Health (WAAMH), recently obtained further funding from the Mental Health Commission to continue its leadership of this important state-wide project.

Philleen Dickson, IPS Project Lead for WAAMH, has been instrumental in the take up of the IPS model by Mental Health and Disability Employment Services in West Australia. To date 3 metropolitan sites and 1 remote site are implementing IPS with a further 3 metro and 1 rural sites either entering the Expression of Interest stage or the Implementation phase. Philleen will give a keynote speech at the Pathways 12 conference in Fremantle on December 3rd.

Philleen Dickson. Dr Geoff Waghorn delivering the IPS Trouble shooting session: From implementation to service delivery.

Pathways 12 - Navigating New Frontiers

From December 3rd to the 5th the Pathways 12 conference will be held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle. Members of the Tertiary Education Disability Access Network WA (TEDAN WA) an affiliate of Australian Tertiary Education Network on Disability (ATEND) are busy organizing the conference.

This biennial conference was last held in Perth in 1998. The P12 organising committee and various sub-committees have been working hard to ensure the success of the conference and provide a program of keynotes and breakout sessions that engages new frontiers.

We were delighted when Dr. Sheryl Burgstahler agreed to speak on the application of universal design to technology, learning activities, physical spaces, and student services.

Rather than focus on adapting things for an individual at a later time, universally designed learning environments are created to be accessible to everyone from the beginning. (Universal design of Instruction.) See link for further information.

The members of TEDAN look forward to seeing you at Pathways 12.

Busselton Employer's Sundowner

The Capes Employment Development Group invited employers to a sundowner at the Geographe Bay Yacht club on the 5th of August 2014. Fourty plus employers and agency personnel attended the event to hear presentations on the social value and economic viability of employing people with disability.

Natalie Thomas presented on her experience of successfully employing 15 people with disability. Natalie stated that employers need to be adaptable at times but the rewards are personally fulfilling and financially beneficial.

Ron Ng has done significant research into the financial viability and values associated with employing people with disability. Ron presented a compelling argument to employers regarding the financial and social benefits of a diverse workplace. In short, disability is good for business.

The evening concluded with the launch of the Busselton version of the booklet, "Employing People with Disability". This booklet includes summary information covering the main aspects of disability employment from the employers' perspective. Included are testimonials of successful employment placements and also a listing of local supporting agencies.

Speakers in photo above are: left to right, Natalie Thomas (Formerly Bunbury Farmer's Market), Ron Ng (Geographe Education Support Centre) and Prina Shah (Chamber Of Commerce and Industry).

How to access financial support for students with disability through Centrelink

Students at 16 years with disability, who are studying, may have access to the Disability Support Pension, the Pensioner Education Supplement and the Mobility allowance. All of these payments are assessed on the Students assets and not the families' assets.

Disability Support Pension - You may receive Disability Support Pension if you are:

  • aged between 16 years of age and Age Pension;
  • meet the residence requirements; and
  • meet the income and assets tests for your situation

Pensioner Education Supplement - Helps students with the ongoing costs of full-time or part-time study in a secondary or tertiary course. You may receive Pensioner Education Supplement if you are:

  • studying in a secondary or tertiary course;
  • already receiving a pension or payment; and
  • studying full time in an approved course, undertaking approved activities or in some circumstances, part time.

Mobility Allowance - You may be eligible for Mobility Allowance if you are:

  • are aged 16 or over;
  • cannot use public transport without substantial assistance because of disability, illness, or injury; and
  • Need to travel to and from your home to look for work, do paid work or voluntary work for a charitable, welfare or community organisation, or participate in study or training. Study or training can include secondary school, tertiary studies, trade and vocational courses.

You can still qualify for Mobility Allowance if there is no public transport where you live.

If you are not sure of what entitlements' are available or how to find the information you require, there is a way to access easily through the Human Services Website, Once you have accessed the Human Services website, click on Centrelink, then Payment finder, and then select one or more options from each row that best describe your circumstances. Then, choose 'Read more' to see a list of suggested payments to investigate further.

Kalgoorlie Education Support Centre Parent Information Night

Thursday evening the 4th of September 30 parents attended an information night hosted by the Eastern Goldfields Education Support Centre. Twenty disability support agencies participated in the information sharing process.

The NDCO stall provided a focal point for the evening with a celebrity teaser, a large board of photos of celebrities that all have disability. Attendees were offered a prize to select at least three celebrities and indicate their main disability.

Chris Buccilli (DSC Regional Manager), Lucy Nixon, (Ed Support Principal) and Dale Arthur (NDCO). NDCO stall.

Careers Abilities EXPO

The Careers Abilities EXPO is an annual event exposing students with disability, parents, carers, teachers and teacher assistants to the services available in the areas of further education, employment, social inclusion, equipment, transport and entitlements. The EXPO aims to lift aspirations through highlighting career stories that demonstrate perseverance, supports available and the can do attitude many young people with disability demonstrate.

The keynote speaker Rebecca Dewar inspired many in the audience with her opening address telling the story of her journey from school into further study and open employment.

New NDCO for Region 28 Northern WA

Cyndy Johnson.
Welcome to our newest NDCO in WA. Cyndy Johnson joined the team in September 2014 as the NDCO for Region 28 (Northern WA), covering the Kimberley, Pilbara and Mid-West.

Cyndy brings to the NDCO role 30 years of experience in managing: Department of Education VET programs for Education Support Students, Disability Employment Services, Mental Health Employment Services, Aged Care facilities, Community and Youth Services and State Manager of the WA Deaf Society.

Cyndy has been a sitting member on several disability committees including WAAMH subcommittee, Centrelink Mental Health consultative committee, NDS Employment Services Subcommittee and ACE WA.

As an NDCO, Cyndy has a vision of equality across all aspects of living for people with disability.

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