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Image of fundraiser Chris in a wheelchair outside. Next to him is a BBQ with some local councillors. They are dressed in all blue, with funny fancy dress items, like a feather boa and giant wigs/hats

Chris breaks down disability barriers by organising “Big Aussie Barbie” for PCFA

Chris has cerebral palsy and has been inspiring people far and wide by breaking down disability barriers. This week, he organised an amazing event “Big Aussie Barbie” in support of PCFA (Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia). Did you know more than 3000 men die of prostate cancer in Australia every year?

Event Preparations

Amanda O’Brien (Team Leader People with Disability Services) and his amazing team of support workers, have worked tirelessly to make this event a success!

They helped to put the plans in place and visited the local supermarkets to get food donated for the big day. Amanda supported Chris to write emails inviting the local press. He even sourced all the raffle prizes, and put together a music playlist for the day!

Collage of images from Chris's BBQ, including him making a speech.

The Big Aussie BBQ

Rise were delighted to see so many staff, clients and friends come together to help realise Chris’s fundraising dreams. Even the wet weather couldn’t put us off!

The Deputy Mayor, Dave Lucas and Local Councillor, Patty Williams also attended, and were truly inspired by his efforts.

Chris made a heartfelt speech on the day which he wrote himself,

It’s not often people with disability get opportunities like this. This is a very worthy cause and a good excuse to come together for a BBQ. Special thanks to Amanda who has helped me the most

Help Chris Fund raise!

You can help Chris reach his target by donating here

Find out more about Rise’s NDIS Services

Computer skills workshop

NDIS Market Day and Rise’s Computer Workshops

This week, our Mental Health Team attended the NDIS Perth Hills Trial Site Market Day held at the Midland NDIA office. This day welcomed many Psychiatric Hostel residents and many NDIS clients from a number of different service providers in the trial area.

We had a booth at the Market Day along with many other organisations promoting community groups and wellness. We used our booth to promote our fortnightly Basic Computer Use Workshops and the services Rise provides to all of our amazing clients.  This course is going to be a real help for people who are supported through the NDIS, as they will now need to be able to access their plan and supports through the NDIS MyPlace website and portal.

The day was fun packed with lots of information, food, free pre loved clothing and activities such as hand massages, meditation and sewing!

Bethany Comley, Peer Support Worker

Exciting times, as our Cockburn Office construction kicks-off!

Construction 2

Some one having fun with a sledge hammer! Demolition has commenced.

As I am sure you are aware Rise, with the aid of LotteryWest, have purchased new premises in Cockburn.  This office will become a base for Rise services (particularly NDIS-WA) in the surrounding areas as well as offer a base for complementing service providers to operate.  After what seems like a lifetime it’s great to see that work has finally commenced on its construction and fit-out.

We are looking at completing this project in approximately two months,  and in the meantime, I will provide updates of the progress.

Service has already commenced in the area, so if you believe we can assist you, please call Sarah Patterson on 6274 3700.

Simon Robbins – Corporate Services

Constructin 3

‘What no office!?’ Demolition complete and concrete cutting 50% complete.

A photo of Jill happily swimming with a floaty in the pool

Jill takes to the pool like a duck to water

Jill was always scared and not comfortable to access pool many years earlier with male staff mainly. Our new team member, Paola, knew exactly how to help.

Paola and Jill took time to build confidence in a few trials in the pool with great success! Jill is now so happy to access pool with no fear and enjoys floating in pool.

NDIS helped Jill to access this and is looking forward to more hours in the pool and a range of other fun activities.

rise network staff event

SummarRise is launched

Rise staff came together this week to enjoy the inaugural SummaRise and mid-year event at Midland Town Hall. The event kicked off with updates from the Leadership Group followed by a delicious lunch and an entertaining general knowledge quiz complete with obligatory from MC for the day Justin O’Meara-Smith.

SummaRise is the new name for our internal communications forum. This is an opportunity for staff to hear from members of the Leadership Group and ask questions that they may have about the organisation.

Updates and recognition

CEO Justine Colyer introduced the forum and gave an update of Rise’s new Vision and Values which will be officially launched later in the year. She also welcomed new Board Members and thanked staff for their continued hard work and support. Justin O’Meara-Smith followed with an update about the People with Disability team, more of which can be read here in our recent blog post. He also introduced Sarah Patterson, Operations Manager for our new Cockburn Hub, and gave an update on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Leadership Group prepare to give their updates

Leadership Group prepare to give their updates

Helen Dymond of Aged Care gave information about the Home and Community Care (HACC) eligibility guidelines and congratulated Rebecca Ewen on her recent win at the ACSWA Aged Care Awards.

Helen Dymond congratulates Rebecca Ewen on her award win

Helen Dymond congratulates Rebecca Ewen on her award win

Mental Health and Youth manager Penny Webb talked about the growth within the Mental Health team as we become more active in NDIS trial sites. She acknowledged the work of the Youth team in building partnerships with organisations to offer enhanced services including Ryde which helps young people to learn to drive. She also thanked corporate volunteers and supporters BHP Billiton for their help in refurbishing Kira House, our Safe House for young women and recognised Lorraine Drew’s Youth Worker award win at the end of last year.

Corporate Services Manager Simon Robbins thanks his team for their hard work

Corporate Services Manager Simon Robbins thanks his team for their hard work

Chief Financial Officer Polly Klante recognised the development of new tools and processes which are helping the organisation to be more efficient whilst Director of Corporate Governance Brendan Marrion highlighted the opportunity for staff to gain help from Rise in leading a healthy lifestyle.

Corporate Services Manager Simon Robbins thanked the Property team for their hard work in managing an increased number of properties. And last but by no means least, Sean Loke told of the improvements in digital marketing and communications with a new website being launched this year and ever improving reach and engagement on our Facebook, Twitter and Instagram channels. He also gave special mention to the Project Management Office who work tirelessly to ensure internal projects stay on track.

Prizes galore!

A fabulous lunch from Donato’s Event Catering followed and then Justin took the floor and was a entertaining MC for the afternoon’s activities. A quiz, games and a raffle filled were next up with lots of chocolate based prizes won. Quiz team, the aptly named ‘Brendan’s Babes‘, were the runaway winners and were pleased to collect their selection of rewards for their triumph.

winning quiz team with their prizes

A big thank you to everyone who helped to organise and run the event and also to everyone who came along to enjoy it.

swimming pool people with disability

In Your Neighbourhood

With individualised funding from Disability Services Commission and the launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), people with disability and their family and other supporters have never had more flexibility, choice and control over how, when and where they use their funding to help them to achieve their goals.

With this greater flexibility in mind, our People with Disability team undertook a six month review of our service and supervision structure asking one simple question: ‘If we were to design our service from scratch to embed flexibility, choice and control and implement great supports, what would we keep and what would we change?’

On reviewing the opportunities and challenges an early decision was to create an integrated approach by removing programmatic (or funding) silos within our division. Simply put, rather than have four funded programs (Supported Accommodation, Individualised Services, Leisure Focus and Respite), led by different staff, we would establish one functional team, the People with Disability Team.  Importantly this recognised that people with disability do not live a life defined by funded support or line-items, they live a life defined by who they are as a person and what they choose to do.

Once the team took this approach it presented principles to guide how our services could be designed to help people we support live a good life.  These principles included:

  • Ensuring we understand the holistic needs of the people we support. Who is in their life, what is important to them, what they are hoping to accomplish, and what we can do through day to day support to help them achieving long term goals
  • Establishing localised neighbourhoods where services are coordinated and delivered within the homes and community of the people we support rather than by supervisors in a distant office. This enables localised decisions based around the people we support and put in place in the community in which they live
  • Better communication with the people we support, family, carers and staff by providing a Neighbourhood team leader as a single and local point of contact, and importantly someone who is part of their community and an active part in the design and monitoring of their services and support
  • Localised supervision, training and support for our front line staff that is part of day-to-day services. This means we put the people we support at the centre of decision making, give them quality services, strong links with the local community and focus on their goals and outcomes

The Neighbourhood model helps us to connect people with disability, their family and other supporters with their local community because we are part of it!

We know outcomes are more meaningful and sustainable when they are achieved in the homes and communities of the people we support, and now we have a service and structure that helps us to achieve it.

Justin O’Meara Smith

Divisional Manager – People with Disability

Minister Donna Faragher presents Simon Robbins with Lotterywest grant

Rise announces new Hub South of the River

We are delighted to announce that, with generous support from Lotterywest, we have purchased a brand new office in the Cockburn-Kwinana area. This will enable us  to deliver our services in many areas South of the River. This is exciting news for us given we have historically been based in the East Metro and Hills area.

The building gives us room to grow so, in the meantime, we are sharing the space with other organisations, such as Therapy Focus, who offer different types of services which complement ours. This will provide a much better experience for people who need support.

Ministerial visit

We were excited to welcome Minister for Planning; Disability Services Hon. Donna Faragher to present our Corporate Services Manager, Simon Robbins with the Lotterywest grant today at our office in Middle Swan. Some of the partner organisations who will be joining us in the new Cockburn Hub attended the event as well as Rise Board MembersLeadership Group and staff.

Take a look at the photos from the event here.

The building is about to be fitted out in the Rise style and there will be an official launch and opening in August.

We can now say we are truly metro wide!

Justine Colyer


NDS Conference booth

Rise at the National Disability Insurance (NDS) Conference

Last month we were very proud to sponsor the National Disability Service (NDS) Conference at Perth Convention Centre.

As well as some of our Leadership Group attending the session throughout the two days, we had a booth at the event and chatted to many people about the services we offer and how we can help.

Our CEO, Justine Colyer, said

I felt very proud to be part of NDS during the conference. It was fantastically well organised and run with professional and engaging public speakers coming from over East to our own backyard. The conference also featured many people with a disability who are leading the way in everything from small business to advocacy.

Thank you to everyone who came over for a chat with our team and to the team themselves who did a great job at the booth and really enjoyed themselves.

NDS Conference booth

Akesa sitting down and smiling at camera

National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) funding gives Akesa a more active and enjoyable life

One of the people we support with Aged Care services, Akesa Rakai, receives funding from the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS). Here is Akesa’s story.

Originally from Fiji, Akesa lost her leg following a fall in 2013. As part of the NDIS support provided by Rise, our Aged Care Support Worker started meeting Akesa at her local pool fortnightly to help her whilst she swam. Akesa enjoyed it and found that she benefited from it – so much so that she now swims weekly.

Akesa in swimming pool holding onto side and smiling at camera

Akesa says:

“Being with the NDIS has changed my life a lot. I am more independent now which makes me really happy. I don’t have to rely on my family to help all the time and that means they can get on with their own lives.”

Here at Rise, we are thrilled that Akesa is benefiting so much from her NDIS funding and is able to be more active and independent as a result.

To find out more about our NDIS services and how we can help you, visit our dedicated webpage.

Image of Rise website homepage

Our new, mobile-friendly website goes live!

If you’re a regular visitor to our blog, you may notice that it now looks different. That’s because we have launched a brand new website.

Our new and improved website is accessible, which means that it is built for people with visual difficulties (you can adapt the font size and background colours). In addition it is responsive, easily viewed on a mobile or tablet as well as a computer, with the pages adapting to fit whatever device you are using.

What else is new?

We’ve made it easier for the user to find out more about and understand each service area better with lots of external resources and glossaries.

People with Disability glossary webpage

There is also a brand new fundraising section called how can I help? which offers a range of opportunities for people to get involved with supporting Rise. You can find out about putting on a fundraising event using our handy guide, purchase a gift such as a school uniform or a driving lesson for a disadvantaged young people or get a team of budding colleagues together for a Corporate Volunteer day.

Image of Rise webpage for fundraising, donations and volunteers

Another new addition to the site is the events section. This is where we will promote the events we are holding and attending. These could be conferences, morning teas for volunteers or visiting a local community day with a Rise stall.

Helping you find the information you need

We’ve also introduced a new National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) area, which provides information about NDIS and NDIS My Way. It explains what NDIS is, helps you to find out if you are eligible for NDIS and tells you about our NDIS services and locations.

Rise NDIS webpage showing each area we can help with

Why not head over to our home page here and check out our new look. We hope you like what you see and will be able to find what you’re looking for.