Text size Small font size Normal font size Large font size

rise network

Computer skills workshop

Basic computer skills classes now on

Our Mental Health team will be holding fortnightly Computer Training Workshops. These classes are free of charge for eligible participants to attend.

We will teach you how to:

  • Use email
  • Use the internet
  • Connect to WiFi
  • About popular internet sites
  • About virus protection
  • How to navigate online
  • How to use Word

Classes hold up to six participants per workshop. Please be aware that to participate, you must be able to bring along your own laptop.

To see if you are eligible, simply complete a registration form and send it back to us or  for more information, contact Bethany: Bethany.Comley@risenetwork.com.au or call 0417 928 071.

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


National Volunteers Week Volunteers Lunch 2016

Celebrating National Volunteer Week

To celebrate National Volunteer Week this year, our Human Resource Team hosted an Appreciation Lunch for our wonderful and dedicated volunteers and our amazing staff who work alongside them.

National Volunteer Week took place from 9 to 15 May 2016, with the theme “Give Happy, Live Happy”.

What is National Volunteer Week?

Established in 1989, National Volunteer Week is the largest celebration of volunteers in Australia and provides an opportunity to highlight the role of volunteers in our community. It also gives organisations like us the chance to say thank you to the more than 6 million Australians who volunteer. More than 6 million Australian volunteers give happiness to others each year. And research says that that those volunteers are happier as a result. 

Fun, games and delicious food

The event was full of laughter with fun games, delightful food and plenty of funny stories. A big thank you to Nita, Caitlin, Sharlene, Andrea and Jason who assisted me throughout the event, everyone had a wonderful day.

National Volunteer Week volunteer lunch guests dress up

Rise volunteers dress up Board Chair Anna Alderson along with CEO Justine Colyer at our Appreciation Lunch

Kathryn Greenwood, one of our volunteers who attended the lunch said:

 I am a volunteer at Wahroonga and must say how enjoyable the Appreciation lunch held this week, it was great to catch up with other volunteers too.

To all our wonderful volunteers, another big thank you and we look forward to another great year ahead!

Take a look at some of the photos from the event in our gallery.

Thilini Wijeratne
HR Officer
rise mid year event invite

Rise colleagues: join us at our upcoming mid-year event!

We’d like to invite Rise staff and colleagues to our annual mid-year event which will take place on Thursday 16 June at Midland Town Hall.

The event will begin with our newly named communications forum: SummaRise. This is your opportunity to ask questions, give feedback and hear updates about the organisation from our Leadership Group. This will be followed by lunch and a quiz.

For more details, view the event invitation here.

Places are limited, so please RSVP early to avoid disappointment. RSVP to nita.maritz@risenetwork.com.au.

people enjoying decorating the gum nuts

Sunflower Sunday brings happiness to families

When Therapy Focus, one of our partner organisations, asked us to come along and join them at their annual Sunflower Sunday in April, we jumped at the chance.

The event was held at the Point Walter Recreational Camp on Sunday 10 April. The event was aimed towards families and children of all abilities and there were lots of activities planned which would enable everyone to take part and have some fun.

Our team from People with Disability headed up by Justin O’Meara-Smith arrived on the fortunately dry day armed with art and craft materials ready for the families and attending to create something wonderful.

Justin O'Meara-Smith ready to get creative at our Sunflower Therapy Focus stall

Justin, ready to get creative at our Sunflower Therapy Focus stall

Some of our clients had painted gum nuts in a variety of bright colours. The gum nuts were to be the focal point of our stand – the families and children would turn them into gum nut people.

Gum nut people created at the Sunflower Therapy Focus stall

Gum nut people created at the Sunflower Therapy Focus stall

Families put their creativity to the test whilst decorating our gum nuts at our Sunflower Therapy Focus stall.

Families put their creativity to the test whilst decorating our gum nuts at our Sunflower Therapy Focus stall.

Everyone we met reported that they were having a great time as there was so much for everyone to see and do.

Congratulations Therapy Focus for another wonderful Sunflower Sunday ‬celebration and thank you for letting us be a part of it. It was so much fun meeting the children and families you support.

Colouring pencils and books

Share the Dignity help young women get creative

We were over the moon to receive a lovely donation of colouring books and pencils from Share the Dignity WA.

This type of therapeutic activity supports our young women to take time out to relax and focus on something other than the crisis that they are going though and at the same time, lets them to be creative.

Back in January Share the Dignity donated sanitary products for the young women we support and in February, announced us as one of their ‘charities of choice‘ in WA – read about that here.

Rise Youth Program Manager, Dawn McAleenan, said

We would like to say a big thank you to Share the Dignity WA for continuing to support Kira House with their generous donations.

Lotterywest funding helps Rise to prepare for critical incidents

In 2014, bush fires caused a critical incident for some of the people we support. The fires highlighted the need for plan which would help us to better manage incidents like this should they occur in the future. Valuable funding from Lotterywest has enabled us to develop and put in place this plan.

We manage a range of properties which provide valuable support in the Perth Hills and Eastern Suburbs – an area prone to bush fires. These include:

In January 2014, 56 homes were destroyed in the Parkerville fires. The fire was quickly classified as a critical incident, requiring the mass evacuation of five supported accommodation homes, two respite homes and a client (and her family) living in a home leased to her by us. Sadly, this home was destroyed.

The people in the supported accommodation and the respite homes could not be taken to the State evacuation centres as they had special requirements which are not met by these centres.

Whilst we were able to source accommodation, medication and bedding for these people, the mass evacuation highlighted that we could do it better to ensure everyone’s safety and to enable us to continue to support these people and our other clients during this period.

To achieve this, a Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Plan was needed.

We researched funding that was available. Other than Lotterywest, there were no grants or funding available. Rise was incredibly fortunate to be able to seek and obtain partial funding from Lotterywest to create this plan.

This funding enabled us to engage a sector expert to develop the plan and we then were able to complete and hone the plan to meet the organisation’s requirements. The framework of the plan is currently being implemented, with an aim to have it in place by July 2016.

A huge thank you to Lotterywest for helping make this happen and for helping ensure the safety of the people in the Eastern suburbs and Perth Hills in the event of another fire or disaster.

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