Four South Australian charities wanting to enter the booming disability sector or expand their existing services offered to people with disability are among eight organisations across the nation set to receive a competitive industry edge.

As part of its Federally funded interactive learning program, NDIS Success, the Community Business Bureau (CBB) has announced that the successful South Australian grant recipients are Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS), Baptist Care SA, Clubhouse SA Inc Diamond House and Anangu Ngangkari Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC).

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.”

In welcoming the mentoring opportunity, Baptist Care SA Senior Manager, Disability Pathways, Lisa Farrell-Smart said: “We’ve forged this collaboration with CBB to increase the impact and extend the reach of our disability services. We want to identify and pursue growth opportunities in regions such as Mt Gambier, Port Lincoln and Gawler/Barossa. More people will benefit as a result”.

“Our business plan, which we are developing with the support of CBB, will consider the provision of ‘on the ground’ support to clients using support workers from their local community. We’ll also look at a ‘telehealth’ service using video and phone technologies that draw on the experience of our Adelaide-based staff”.

“Baptist Care SA has significant experience in working with Aboriginal people. We plan to use this opportunity to expand our service to this client group, including both those who have a plan in place and those who may be eligible, but do not yet have funding in place”.

The announcement was welcome news for Director Kim Smith from Clubhouse SA Inc Diamond House who said: “Our intention is to explore the opportunity of a Community Wellness Hub in Adelaide’s western suburbs to provide support services that include improved daily living skills, Mental Health First Aid, guided peer support groups, art and drama therapy, Active Ageing Exercises, Resilience Training and more for NDIS participants, our own members and the general public.”

“We believe that there is a strong and growing demand for this type of venue in the Port Adelaide area and we are excited at the opportunity to map out the steps needed and explore funding opportunities that can assist make this become a reality.”

“This proposed venue and services would be truly unique in the local market, so it is important for us to take a well-considered approach and best understand how it can be a sustainable venture that delivers real value for the local community. Being mentored by experts within the CBB team will put fresh eyes over the concept of a Community Wellness Hub and focus our resolve to have a robust business plan in place for this project.”

ANTAC spokesperson Elisabetta Panzironi said: “At the moment ANTAC works as a non-registered NDIS provider of Aboriginal culturally specific services with individuals. Our decision to work towards becoming a registered NDIS provider is a direct result of increased demands from the community, with a growing number of individuals and families wanting us to provide support funded under the NDIS scheme.”

“Our biggest challenge in the registration process is making sure we have right policies and procedures for the NDIS programs. We would like to gain an in-depth understanding on what is needed in different areas, such as fee charging and invoicing.”

“Service provisions within the NDIS do not specifically consider the cultural needs of First Peoples and we believe we can offer this through individual and group-based activities designed to promote healing and reconciliation.

“NDIS funding will allow a greater number of people to access our services to enhance their social and emotional wellbeing, because they will be able to participate in culturally sensitive workshops, face to face counselling sessions, centre based activities and cultural events, including yarning circles, art and craft activities, men’s and women’s groups and youth groups.”

Sharron Williams, Chief Executive Officer of Aboriginal Family Support Services (AFSS) said the organisation was now working with the CBB team to become a registered NDIS provider as part of an expanded focus.

“There is a growing need within Aboriginal communities to help people with disability to successfully achieve NDIS funding and then use their approved plan to receive the individualised support needed. We firmly believe we can draw on our depth of experience to add real value to this concept.”

“Our focus is to offer the South Australian disability community a truly person centred and culturally responsive service that understands and respects the complexities and importance of the supports we can provide within an Aboriginal context, and increase utilisation of NDIS plans by Aboriginal participants.”

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.