A local disability sector operator wanting to bolster its support to people living in the Cairns area with a lived experience of mental illness is among eight organisations across the nation to receive up to six months of direct business support designed to give them a competitive industry edge.

As part of its Federally funded interactive learning program, NDIS Success, the Community Business Bureau (CBB) has announced that The Junction Clubhouse in Cairns is among the successful grant recipients.

CBB General Manager, Consulting and Business Services, Jane Arnott, said: “This direct business consulting opportunity helps these organisations take what they’ve learned through our webinar series and apply that knowledge to some very exciting projects and plans they have in the pipeline.”

“We have been overwhelmed by the interest received during our first round of NDIS Success from small to medium organisations across Australia wanting to adapt and scale services, as well as larger organisations wanting to fast-track their efforts to deliver on the needs of Australians living with disability,” she said.

“Those who successfully completed the program were invited to apply for direct business consulting support to help them take their ideas to the next step of development, and the many applications we received showcased ingenuity, commitment and innovation at its finest.”

The Junction Clubhouse Director, Leonie Shawcross, welcomed the mentoring opportunity.

“The Junction Clubhouse supports people with a lived experience of mental illness as well as people with goals in NDIS for psychosocial, community participation and personal support, so mentoring by CBB is a very valuable opportunity that will help us to better support the local community,” Ms Shawcross said

“”In a relatively short space of time we have gone from having only a few staff and one program to offering multiple supports under the NDIS, and it is important for us to use this opportunity to take stock of our success and ensure we are best positioned to maintain growth,” she said.

“Within a six month period we have achieved milestones that were originally planned over a two year timeframe, and our rapid growth during the pandemic has seen our workforce double with expectations that it will double again in the months ahead.”

“We believe there is a growing need for our mental wellness experience in the Cairns area. Many people with mental illness display behaviours that need understanding, specialised training and a coordinated approach, and we want to ensure people utilise their NDIS package to its full capacity and ultimately receive the support they need.””

Physiotherapists, speech and occupational therapists, medical practitioners, and podiatrists were among an array of participants who accumulated more than 800 webinar views in the initial round of NDIS Success, gaining valuable insight into the critical steps needed to thrive and grow in the NDIS environment from a panel of expert presenters.

Dozens of organisations who completed the program were then eligible to apply for the Federally funded direct business consulting opportunity.

“The CBB team has helped hundreds of Australian service providers to operate successfully in the NDIS environment and we will draw on that experience to work with our round one winners to develop initiatives which are sure to address a number of critical service and support gaps which will ultimately be of great benefit to people with disability,” Ms Arnott said.

Round two registrations for NDIS Success are now open for organisations already providing disability services who are keen to expand as well as organisations in an associated field wanting to move into the disability sector.

Secure your interest in the next round of NDIS Success.

This program is funded by the Australian Government Department of Social Services.  CBB’s Community Development Fund is also contributing funds to the program.