It was a very sad day yesterday when several hundred people attended the Catholic church at Walgett to pay last respects to Don Lillyman, without doubt one of the finest men I have ever known and whose passing comes as a tragic loss for the Walgett community.
Don's nominal role as Promotions Manager did not do justice to the range and scope of the activities he undertook - Don was a central figure in many community activities and one of the few people able to build and maintain strong bridges amongst the various groups that make up the town. His contribution to Aboriginal culture and heritage is reflected in the large amount of Indigenous art offered at the café. Don co authored a dictionary, recognised as the finest contribution to Aboriginal language, that helps keep 2 dialects alive.
His encouragement to use local knowledge and culture as a path to success meant many people have also been able to achieve personal success.
Don used a wheelchair but he had no disability in my eyes. Don didn't see colour or race, had friends amongst young and old and helped many others labelled as disabled to share in his vision for an integrated and thriving town.
Last year Café 64 was the nations "Champion Small Business". I got to hold up the trophy and say a few words (the stage didn't have wheelchair access and Don was never one to seek the spotlight) but this was Don's award and a symbol of the recognition he should receive for a tremendous life.
Don sent a picture from his hospital bed and there's no doubt that he knew his time was short. His words sent with the picture were: 'tell everyone to keep the Café going".
We will all miss Don's spirit, good nature and humour - I know I do.
My condolences to his mum and dad, to his children and grandchildren.
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Making a tough job tougher!
Making a tough job tougher
It isnt easy to get a decent job and its harder to do so if you have a disability.
NOVA employs around 190 people, an effective and experienced team who are able to draw upon a staff of highly skilled trainers and a support program honed over almost 30 years and tens of thousands of participants....
Your Work There was never any doubt in my mind that I would work. My dad told me I would work and there wasn't ever a suggestion that my future held an alternative option....
Not so bad! Taken from: Today's Guardian at 4.09pm Tuesday 7th November 2017:
In a world full of discouragement there’s always a space for good news....
The NDIS mantra is 'choice and control'
To be valuable, choice needs to be informed.
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Choice & Control
The NDIS slogans around choice and control demonstrate the importance of consumer involvement in both the choice and control of supports they need.
However, in order to be valuable, choice needs to be informed by accurate data such is this: http://www....
Last week (14-16) it was my privilege to attend the 1st World Supported Employment Conference in Belfast, Northern Ireland.
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Quality and the Stars Quality and the Stars
There have probably been few people more openly critical of the Disability Employment Service (DES) Star Ratings than me.
The Stars, ranging from 1 to 5 are supposed to give some insight into whether a service is a poor or high performing program....
Attended the Disability Employment Australia (DEA) forum in Canberra. THis is a regular get together that offers disability employment services tha chance to be kept up to date from our funding body and also listed to expert speakers on topics associated with the goal of seeing as many people as possible find and keep suitable employment....
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A corner turned?
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The pernicious idea that 'quota's' might be the solution for disability employment continue:
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The number of placements made has seriously improved - up 31% in 2015 and a further 14% in 2016, NOVA operates at at rate of placement better than 150% over 2014!
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Famous last words!
O.K. - sorry that you need to cut and paste: http://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace-relations/100-million-payday-for-1anhour-staff-with-disabilities-20161216-gtcius....
Not sure if this will be my last blog post for 2016 but just in case, a quick look back at 2016:
Best ever year for total number of placements
Best ever year for long term employment outcomes
Best ever year for Apprenticeships and Traineeships
Best ever year for Transition to Work outcomes
Best ever year for media coverage
Best ever year for 'Focusonability'
Best ever year for Transition to Work (TTW)
How about 2017?
Looking good, so stay in touch and have a terrific holiday, be safe and hopefully Santa will bring you all that you wish for....
Choice is only of value when it's informed (written about this here previously)
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The NDIS held out hope and promise to people with a disability, the opportunity to exercise choice and control and was heralded as the answer to the prayers of our most disadvantaged and vulnerable citizens....
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Best Show on TV Morning All
Sorry you need to cut and paste: http://www.sbs.com.au/ondemand/video/802326595536/focus-on-ability-film-festival-2016
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