A top 5 provider of 1:1 support for people living with a disability in Victoria.
Independence Australia provides specialist supports to more than 1,200 Victorians living with a disability or other personal need.
During the past 12 months, our services continued to grow, with 59 new service users choosing Independence Australia as their new service provider as they transitioned to the NDIS in North-Eastern Melbourne. A new support coordination service was also launched, attracting 40 new consumers through service reputation.
We partnered with the University of Melbourne to expand our student placement program, hosting Social Work Masters students to provide case management services to a number of unfunded clients, assisting them to achieve their support needs.
Two new recreation camps were launched, including a ski camp for young people with spinal cord injuries and a camp for clients under the age of 30 with spina bifida. The ski camp, held at Falls Creek, aimed to improve the fitness of participants and expose them to a new sport. The second camp, located in a picturesque bush environment, provided an opportunity for campers to form new networks with others experiencing similar challenges.
The Transport Accident Commission (TAC) sponsored the SpinChat program, which presented sessions to more than 8,000 secondary school students across Victoria. The sessions, targeted at young people in the hope of preventing spinal cord injuries, feature inspiring presentations by people with spinal cord injuries. SpinChat has now reached over 50,000 students in over 300 schools since its inception in 2010. With the TAC’s ongoing support, Independence Australia aims to deliver the SpinChat program to another 12,000 Victorian students each year.
Independence Australia’s Registered Training Organisation, Field, provides accredited training and professional development programs for aged care and disability workers in the community services sector, as well as training for individuals looking to enter the workforce.
With national accreditation through Australian Skills Quality Authority, Field delivers qualifications, compliance courses and induction programs to the aged care and disability services workforce across Victoria.
Over the past year, Field has experienced significant growth, having enrolled 400 students across three qualifications for both the Disability and Ageing Support workforce. A total of 132 short courses were delivered to 1,455 students in addition to delivery of the state-wide induction program for 350 Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) residential care employees.
Field continued to strengthen industry relationships, engaging new organisations to host students for placement. A new Student Engagement Team was implemented to enhance student experience resulting in increased student satisfaction and improved retention and course completion. This teamed with growth in student employment rate post course completion, reaffirm Field’s reputation as a quality training provider within the industry.
The 12th annual Independence Australia Daddo Charity Golf Day was held on 25th November 2016 at Moonah Links Resort in Fingal, filling the fairways of the Legends and Open courses. With 144 participants and sponsorship support of several organisations, the event raised more than $50,000 to support our unfunded psychology and counselling service. The annual fundraising event continues to receive positive feedback from those involved, with many participants and sponsors returning to support the event each year.