A message from NDS CEO, David Moody…
Over the past two weeks, NDS members in bushfire affected areas have been contacting us to raise concerns about the implications of the fires for the people with disability they are supporting, and their organisations.
You don’t need me to tell you that for many people, this summer has brought one challenge after another. And for so many of our members around Australia, the stress and danger of the bushfires has only been overshadowed by your commitment to continue supporting people with disability in the midst of the worst firestorms we’ve ever seen.
This is your focus and that’s why I’m pleased to launch the NDS Bushfire Hub – a member-only resource where we have consolidated links to a range of information, advice and supports you may need if you’re working in an area impacted by bushfires.
You may already have some of this information, but given the crisis we are facing together, we wanted to make sure we were guilty only of giving you too much information in one place, rather than not enough.
In maintaining supports for people with disability, members have also needed to ensure the safety of their staff, assets and resources necessary for business and service continuity. Yet NDS continues to receive your feedback, which is not about how you can get out of these regions, but about what you can do (and what we can do on your behalf) to make sure you can stay –– providing the vital services that people in your community rely upon.
And for many now, your role is extending beyond supporting people with disability, to their families and supporters who face the challenge of saving their homes, possessions, livelihoods and sometimes, their lives.
As your national peak body, NDS will continue to support and advocate for our members and the people you support, on ‘bushfire issues’ (I still can’t believe I have to use a phrase like that!).
We’re particularly keen to hear about the issues you’re facing as a result of the bushfires, which are making it difficult for you to continue providing funded disability services.
The intelligence you provide to NDS through our network of offices around Australia, will assist us to understand what’s working, what needs to change, and of course, to make that case for change.
And when the bushfires have been subdued by those wonderful first responders who we’re all in awe of, we’ll be working with our members to support you during the recovery. Because the work you do is important to so many Australians and must continue.
Best wishes and stay safe
For anyone needing financial assistance and advice, financial counsellors provide a professional service. They are regulated by Federal legislation and employed by not-for-profit community organisations to provide information, advice and advocacy support free of charge, assisting people in dealing with life situations involving debt and hardship, dealing with creditors and stabilising finances. The National Debt Helpline is staffed by financial counsellors and can be contacted on 1800 007 007.
Further, rural financial counsellors work with farmers, offering free and independent financial support to primary producers and non-agriculture related small businesses. The Rural Financial Counselling Service can be contacted on 1300 735 578.
People can also access information about financial assistance from the Victorian and Australian Government, and Australian Red Cross emergency grants.
Information about insurance is available through:
Support for children and young people is available through:
- Community Trauma Toolkit for workers, parents and carers
- Trauma & Grief Network for children and families
- Birdie’s Tree: Growing Together Through Natural Disasters for infants, young children and families.
Donations can be made through:
- Australian Red Cross Bushfire Disaster Relief & Recovery
- The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
- Community Enterprise Foundation Bushfire Disaster Appeal.
Many relief agencies ask people not to donate material goods.
Beyond Bushfires: Community, Resilience & Recovery
(a five year study led by the University of Melbourne)
Headway Gippsland Inc.
Headway Gippsland Inc. is a community based support organisation for people with acquired brain injury (ABI) and the other people with a disability.
Headway Gippsland Inc. works closely with other service providers, and other relevant government bodies to provide services to persons with a disability, families and carers. Where small is better and more personable.
Headway Gippsland Inc. is committed to the safety and wellbeing of all children accessing our service, including the cultural safety of aboriginal children, cultural safety of children from CALD backgrounds and the safety of children with a disability. Headway Gippsland Inc. has zero tolerance for child abuse, believes the rights of the child are paramount and they should feel safe and supported accessing our service.
We have specific policies and procedures in place to support and educate our staff and volunteers and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated seriously and acted upon immediately.
Our mission is to provide exceptional services, to individuals with an A.B.I and other disabilities to participate in all aspects of community life.
Our vision is a society inclusive of all.
Our values are:
- Participants are number one
- Empower participants
- Achieve Outcomes
- Strive for excellence
- Support our carers
- Share our knowledge
Headway Gippsland Inc. is committed to providing and actively promoting a safe environment for children.
Headway Gippsland Inc. has a zero tolerance towards child abuse, and is committed to protecting the physical, emotional, cultural and social well being of all children.
Headway Gippsland Inc. has policies in place to protect children, and all allegations and safety concerns will be treated seriously.
Headway Gippsland Inc. acknowledges that children's safety is a responsibility for the whole community and is everyone's business.
Who Do We Support?
Headway Gippsland Inc. is a community-based support organisation for people aged between 5 and 64 with physical and other disabilities, but specialising in acquired brain injury (ABI) and supporting their families and carers.
Headway Gippsland Offers
My Story Project
Headway Gippsland Inc. with support from Latrobe Community Health recently ran an 8 week program for a small group of people who have an ABI.
The program ‘My Story’ enabled participants to write their own story, telling of their life pre and post brain injury, and the impact this has had on their lives.
Kerryn Vaughan the group facilitator, put together an amazing program which assisted participants to feel comfortable to share their stories. Hours of work went into each of the stories, both at the sessions and at home and the topics were often very raw and confronting.
These very personal and powerful stories have been captured in a booklet and highlights the person behind the ABI.
Please use the link below to access the My Story booklet.