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Rise People with Disability

Celebrating people Book launch at Rise Community Network

First Celebrating People Book launches

Rise Community Network has launched their beautiful Celebrating People Book 2015-16. The beautiful bound book contains stories and photos of staff, volunteers and clients.

Celebrating People

The organisation’s current vision is Celebrate People. The inaugural Celebrating People Book is a way to bring this vision to life. The book took many months to prepare. There are plans to release a new book every year to share more great stories.

Book Launch

The Celebrating People Book was launched with a small event on Thursday 23rd February. People featured in the book, along with Rise Community Network staff and board members attended.

The book was revealed for the first time, to the delight of those featured.

Rise Community Network CEO Justine Colyer thanked those who appeared in Celebrating People Book 2015-16.

We’re delighted to launch the book which represents Rise’s vision – Celebrate People. We hope this is just the start and there are many more stories in years to come.

Guests enjoyed lunch, before a special cake featuring the front photo on the book was cut.

Celebrating people book launch Rise Community Network


Rise Community Network

Rise Community Network provides services for aged care, people with disability, mental health and youth in the eastern region. Read more here.

Rise Community Network client John Pearce Milperra

John Pearce beats the odds to walk again

Rise Community Network client John Pearce is a man who doesn’t give up. And he certainly doesn’t take no for an answer.

Following six months of small turns and tests, John (70) suffered a stroke in June 2014. He was initially told by doctors that he would be bedridden for life.

Following rehabilitation and support from Rise Community Network, John has a sunny outlook on life. He is determined to keep pushing the boundaries. 

Initial prognosis

John spent several months in Shenton Park Rehabilitation Centre before being moved to Fiona Stanley Hospital. He took part in lots of physiotherapy and was determined to meet his goals.

They drained the blood out of my brain. I was on thirty tablets a day and a drip too. My whole left side was affected – my leg, arm, vision and neck. I had to do vision tests and learn to read properly. My voice has come back now. Before this I’d never had an illness in my life.

John said he had a clear goal from the onset.

Therapists always asked what I wanted to achieve and I said it was to get out of my chair and walk. They kept telling me my chances were slim. I said don’t tell me I can’t walk.

Set backs

Several modifications were made at John’s family home in Stratton. Railing was installed throughout the home and the bathroom was renovated. This allows John more independence.

Despite John powering through his daily exercises, he suffered some setbacks. He had a nasty fall while walking. This left him with a fractured bone in his left shoulder. Another time he got an infection which also delayed his recovery.


As well as individual therapy, John also attended group therapy sessions, which he found beneficial. Now, he still has more goals to achieve.

I’m down to three tablets a day. I can get my hand straight and it doesn’t hurt. I’m up to 100m of walking with the aid of a stick. I’m standing much straighter, I used to stoop and my son called me a turtle.

I can just about touch my toes. I’m determined to get my shoes on so I can walk by myself. My favourite saying is ‘if you don’t use it you lose it’.

Help from Rise Community Network

John began attending Centenary House around 18 months ago. The social centre in Koongamia provides activities and socialisation. He attends each Friday and enjoys the social activities. The staff have also seen a vast improvement in his walking. In December 2015 he was unable to walk to collect a present from Santa. In 2016, he did the same walk unaided.

From there he started coming to Milperra. This is a respite home run by Rise Community Network in Mount Helena. He attends every few months and made many friends with other guests.

I love it here, it is like a holiday home. All the staff are very friendly and there is a only small number of guests. I’ve made friends with Rosemary and Ron. It also gives my wife a break.

Rise Community Network Aged Care Coordinator Karen Wittcomb said John was an inspiration to many.

John is so positive and determined. He’s come a long way since we first met him and all the staff at Milperra are proud of what he has accomplished.

Aged Care Services

Rise Community Network runs a number of programs to assist with aged care. This includes social centres, respite and home care. For more information click here.

Justin O'Meara Smith

Rise Community Network farewell’s Justin O’Meara Smith

Last week Rise Community Network bid farewell to Justin O’Meara Smith. Justin was Divisional Manager for People with Disability. Justin will be moving on to become CEO of Interchange WA.

Goodbye Justin

Staff had the chance to say goodbye to Justin during a morning tea. Justin said his time at Rise Community network has been amazing.

I am so blessed to have had the chance to work at Rise and receive so much support.

This has helped me to grow both in my professional career and in my understanding of how we as a support organisation help people to achieve their goals and live a great life.

Great support comes from vision, values and AMAZING staff…and truly you are all amazing.

Justin O'Meara Smith

Next chapter

Justin told staff he was excited about the next chapter of his career.

I am so excited about the next chapter in my career knowing a goal has been reached – being a CEO of a values and service based organisation.  Interchange WA is a great organisation and I am very proud to be joining their team.

People with Disability division

CEO Justine Colyer said Justin would be missed:

Justin is greater than the sum of his parts; he was so much more than just the Divisional Manager for People with Disability – he was just about the best kind of colleague to have.

People with Disability Manager Supported Accomodation Karan Cinquina said Justin was a big personality.

You always knew at the end of a meeting if he said ‘just one more thing’ that you were bound to be there for another hour!

Divisional Manager Aged Care Helen Dymond will be overseeing the People with Disability division in the immediate future.

Valentine's Day and Creative Arts by Rise

Valentine’s Day crafts at Creative Arts by Rise

Guests at Creative Arts by Rise are creating Valentine’s Day crafts this week. The crafts will be shared with friends and family to mark the day.

Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is celebrated as the day of love all over the world. February 14th is the day people show each other how much they love them. The tradition of Valentine’s Day dates back to the 5th century.

Valentine’s Day crafts

Guests at Creative Arts by Rise are creating art for the occasion, including heart-shaped gifts. The activity will be run over the whole week so everyone can have a turn. Seasonal craft activities run each year and include:

  • Valentine’s Day
  • Easter
  • Mother’s Day
  • Father’s Day
  • Christmas Day.

Creative Arts by Rise

Creative Arts by Rise is the former Creative And Therapy Activities (CATA). Activities and therapies are provided across a number of suburbs to people of all abilities in a safe and supportive environment. CATA merged with Rise Community Network in 2016. You can read more about the merge here.

Rise Community Network Youth services school holiday activities

School holiday activities a treat

Activities run by Rise Community Network’s Youth Services proved popular in the January school holidays. While school may be back, the memories will last a lifetime.

A number of different activities were held over the long break. These included indigenous wood burning and a Christmas stocking decoration workshop before Christmas. Youth Program Activities Coordinator Skye Groenveld said:

The Christmas Stocking decoration workshop was three days before Christmas. We had some beautifully decorated items. The young people also got a couple of presents to put in the stockings too!

Rise Community Network Youth Services school holidays activities

January school holiday fun

Following the Christmas break, Youth Services ran Water Bomb Blast, which gave the youth a chance to soak the staff. Youth worker Leslie bought in his musical equipment and facilitated a rap song workshop. The young people were encouraged to use their voices to make a group song. Leslie then tweaked the voices to make some crazy sounds.

Rise Community Network Youth Services school holidays activities

Getting physical

For the remainder of the month, the activities were very physical. Activities included:

  • Go Karting
  • Bayswater skate park
  • Fair Game – traditional sports with a twist
  • Kalamunda Water Park

Youth Services

These school holidays activities are just some of the way Youth Services interacts with youth. All activities are free with lunch included. For more information about Youth Services click here.

Rise Community Network

2016: A year of celebration at Rise Community Network

As we look back at 2016, Rise Community Network are so proud of what we have achieved this year.

Here are some of our highlights

We have so much more to give in 2017…watch this space and have a happy new year!

Image of attendees at the Nobel House garden, with their hands up excited for their new garden makeover.

Nobel House gives thanks to CBRE Cares make over project

Did you know, CBRE recently made over Nobel and Pioneer Disability home gardens?

Last month, we posted an article about CBRE (the world’s largest real estate company), who have a fabulous philanthropic mission to support the wider community.

Nobel House celebrates garden makeover

On Friday 9th December, Nobel House hosted an official opening event for the garden on a beautiful summers day. The garden looked picturesque and the chooks were very happy with their new home.

Image of new garden, accessible wooden walkway and flowerbeds

Attendees included residents, guests, their families and support workers. Justin O’Meara Smith (Divisional Manager, People with Disability at Rise) also came to give thanks to Emma Walsh at CBRE who organised the volunteers and makeover. CBRE’s Managing Director Lloyd Jenkins was also in attendance.

Justin O’Meara Smith commented

Rise have been providing services for 30 years. But, what has happened at Nobel goes well beyond what we can provide ourselves. We recognise and thank the staff at CBRE. We thank the leadership of Lloyd and the hard efforts and amazing talents of Emma. Also, the 100 odd staff that came to help us.

The makeover was also a great opportunity for the residents and guests at Nobel House to be involved in a project too. This demonstrates exactly what a person with disability is capable of, and we are very proud.

Check our Jarrod below – who took an active role and interest throughout the Nobel House garden transformation. He was a fabulous helper!

Image of Jarrod with his thumbs up in the new nobel house garden


In our appreciate, we awarded CBRE with some certificates of appreciate for all the volunteers, and this trophy!

Image of Justin O'Meara Smith handing Emma Walsh of CBRE the appreciation trophy.

Emma Walsh, from CBRE commented,

Thank you for trusting us, and allowing CBRE to come in and makeover your gardens. Also, for the incredible hospitality of Dasher at Rise. A lot of our staff have never encountered working with people with disabilities before. However, it was such a moving experience. We actually took more from the project than we gave, working with such an awesome team. On behalf of CBRE, thank you for you what do for our community.

Dasher and her team did a great job on hosting the event, with lots of food, drinks and family photographs to celebrate our new garden.

Once again, many thanks CBRE from everyone at Rise Community Network.

How can your company help Rise?

You may wish to support our youth program to empower young people. Or help our people with disability become more independent.

If you are interested in supporting Rise in a similar capacity to CBRE, click here for more information.

The Shire of Kalamunda’s transition of NDIS services to Rise

The Shire of Kalamunda runs the Peter Anderton Centre, which offers a range of support to clients over many years. On 28 November 2016, the Shire decided to transition its NDIS services for people with disability provided at the Peter Anderton Centre to Rise.

Shire President Andrew Waddell said,

We want the best for our people with a disability, and we’re conscious of the impact transitioning clients to the NDIS environment has had. It makes more sense to have a dedicated, fully resourced and leading service provider, like Rise, with significant exposure and experience in delivery NDIS programs, to do this.

Rise works in partnership with The Shire of Kalamunda

The opportunity for Rise to assist running the group activities for people with disability, means that the clients can continue to access the Peter Anderton Centre with familiar faces, as part of their activities. There is also the opportunity for these people to use their NDIS funding to make exciting new choices, due to our new involvement.

Justin O’Meara Smith, Divisional Manger – People with Disability at Rise stated,

Rise hopes to continue the good work provided by the Shire. We will focus on meeting with the people and families they have supported for many years. Our intention is to listen and learn about what is important to them.

Rise are looking forward to this new and highly rewarding opportunity, which has been made available through the NDIS

Rise NDIS Services

To find out more about our NDIS Services, check out our dedicated webpage.

Group image of Rise Network staff and clients attending the International Day for people with Disability

International Day for People with Disability

What is International Day for People with Disability?

“Celebrating International Day of People with Disability (IDPwD) is a collaborative effort between schools, workplaces, businesses community groups and individuals. The aim is to help break down disability barriers and celebrate abilities”.

Rise Community Network attends the NDS WA Lunch, in celebration of International of People with Disability

The 2nd December saw us celebrate International Day for People with Disability….and it was huge!

Image of giant colourful letters on a stage which read, "IDPWD".

500 people came together to have lunch and hear about the fabulous achievements of a panel of Paralympians as well one woman’s campaign to have disability feature in mainstream advertising.  Her seven year old son with Down Syndrome became the star of a number of clothing campaigns.

Rise filled two tables, taking people with disability and staff along to enjoy the event.

Rise Board Chair, Alf Lay said

It’s fantastic to be here on such an important day for people with disability, especially with the announcement that the National Disability Insurance Scheme would be rolled out under WA State Government administration.  This will give some certainty to people looking forward to receiving NDIS support in the future.

NDIS Services at Rise

Head over to the NDIS page of our website, to find out how Rise can support you further. 

Image of the astroboys in their wheelchair, covered in purple, green and yellow coloured powder.

Team Astroboy get colourful at Perth’s Color Run

The Happiest5k on the planet!

The Color Run was founded in the USA in March 2011, to promote healthiness, happiness and individuality. There are only two rules

  1. Wear white at the starting line
  2. Finish plastered in colour!

Astroboys participation

Our dedicated support workers took the time over the weekend, to treat our “Astroboys” to an action-packed day, of throwing colourful powders at each other!

Amanda, their team leader commented.

It was awesome. The boys especially enjoyed the part where they got to high five the other participants. They really got into the spirit of things, and smiled the whole way. However, it did take 4 hours to clean the wheelchairs afterwards, as they were covered in colourful paint!

See the video here!

Rise are delighted the boys enjoyed their day, and proud we are able to offer them “a welcoming place to belong” as one of our new values!

How can we support you?

Click here to find out how Rise can support you further with our NDIS services.