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All Posts By

Bryley Savage

Main Content

Notes from the Parents/Carers Workshop – 12 July 2019

What is really good about Windarring

The Staff:

  • are caring, approachable and responsive.
  • always listen to me
  • have an equal relationship with everyone
  • are invested in ensuring that the service is always good
  • are gold: empathy, sympathy and care


  • is local, accessible and familiar
  • enables clients to develop strong networks in the community
  • provides the opportunity for the development of friendships
  • projects an aura of safety, security and belonging
  • supports clients to form friendships and enjoy activities with their peers
  • establishes a routine for each clients
  • provides the opportunity for clients to get to know many people in the community
  • Provides support through each life stage

Windarring is our Community

Point of Difference

Windarring could strengthen its governance by implement a range of ways for clients, parents and families to have input into the Board. These include ensuring:

  • the AGM is open and is a celebration
  • there is broad representation from the community on the Board
  • meetings are open occasionally
  • meetings are rotated throughout the locations
  • other mechanisms to feed into Board decisions including:
    • Through Service Delivery subcommittee
    • Parent Meetings at each site
    • Parents sitting on the subcommittees
    • Cultivation of input by children and grandchildren – youth involvement


Intake at Windarring

When the Intake experience at Windarring is magical:

  • the process is adapted easily to meet our needs
  • we felt comfortable to the environment
  • information/induction kit for potential new clients
  • there were no delays. We were straight on bus next day.
  • the Staff were good
  • the physical environment felt happy, active, welcoming, could see other clients enjoying themselves and engaged
  • new parents are matched with existing parents early to talk through and service and support
  • Parents come and spend time together like a Parent Contact Group


The Intake experience would be mediocre if:

  • the planning process is complex and makes us feel blind (e.g. when we were straight from ISP to NDIS, making a plan was way more complex
  • we don’t know if services are good or not
  • there is no handbook to show: 1:1, group, other and services e.g. that Windarring understand that caring/developing people with intellectual disabilities is COMPLEX, not just about attendant care and that services foster decision making, sef care, acceptable behaviours, personal safety, problem solving.
  • the client’s individual needs are not meet including the need for group interaction and development


The Intake experience would be misery if:

  • there was insufficient information to access programs
  • being unsure of services is scary


Services at Windarring

The service experience at Windarring is magical when:

  • phone photos of participants achieving goals are sent to parents by staff
  • holidays and weekend activities are included e.g football
  • activities are age appropriate
  • clients are with their friends doing what other people do
  • staff who do something innovative and exceed expectations especially in 1:1 opportunities
  • staff use phone photos and SMS to ensure communication
  • staff demonstrate sensible flexibility
  • staff communicate with other services to make things happen
  • trust is built up
  • services are energetic and personalised
  • staff are engaged
  • service is secure
  • clients feel supported and acknowledged
  • activities include initiatives such as daily diary, silent morning tea
  • staff have the opportunity to grow and learn
  • change is budgeted for, transparent, shared, supported, participatory, reviewed, measured.
  • families are included in service planning
  • there are photos of staff
  • general observations are treated seriously
  • evidence of diverse participation by parents/families/communities
  • volunteers are engaged


The service experience at Windarring would be mediocre when:

  • staff training in general is needed
  • service doesn’t take account of 1:1 supports adequately
  • communication is haphazard between service and clients
  • there isn’t good guidance from the top
  • staff always look like they may burn out
  • progress isn’t systematically documented – formal, informed, history, tracked regularly, discussed amongst staff


The service experience at Windarring would be misery when:

  • terminology about clients is not age appropriate e.g. children
  • communication skills of staff don’t meet the needs of clients e.g. sign language
  • staff are not trained
  • dominant participants are allowed to bully more vulnerable participant
  • ignorance of individual needs/situation – causing further misery
  • change is imposed, not explained or understood.


Plan review

The Plan Review at Windarring is magical when:

  • a pre-plan is done with information on the likely costs for the next plan
  • the parents are supported to translate their needs into NDIS language
  • Windarring staff come equipped with new ideas, new goals e.g. weekend activity
  • the expertise of Windarring staff is utilised
  • bring strong information to the planning meeting
  • bring an advocate to plan review
  • good supporting information and care notes are provided
  • reports are reviewed
  • there are regular (monthly) statements
  • there are 3 monthly reviews of plan
  • support Worker has knowledge of the client needs and this is transmitted to other carers and families
  • client profile outlines needs, abilities, medical, interests


The Plan Review at Windarring is misery when:

  • quarantined money is not spent is then removed by the next review
  • keeping track of discrepancies is almost impossible
  • the service is not responsive to individual needs
  • the advice and service mentoring is inconsistent
  • NDIA Plan written in a demeaning way
  • incorrect or inaccurate invoices don’t help with preparation for the reviews

Face and places art exhibition, Kyneton

Face and places are works on canvas and paper by Peter Hird, Brendan Olsen and Hayley Arjona.

Held Monday 12 August until Thursday 22 August 2019 at the Kyneton Town Hall.

Peter’s paintings are figurative, they are portraits of various people including family, famous musicians and actors. Brendan’s paintings are concerned with landscape, natural elements and issues relating to the environment.
Hayley’s paintings are oil on canvas and are portraits of Peter and Brendan.

Faces and Places is an exhibition featuring the work of two local artists, who work in paint and have unique stories to tell. Both Peter Hird and Brendan Olsen attend studio sessions in Kyneton with Arts facilitator and disability support worker Hayley Arjona via their NDIS plans and Windarring. This has been a weekly opportunity to for all parties to explore creativity, develop new skills and styles whilst engaging in the local art scene.

The culmination of this collaboration is a display of works rich in content, concept and expression. This show enables the artists to share their works with the local community in Kyneton, a community which nurtures diversity and fosters inclusion.

A special thanks to the Kyneton Town Hall for providing the space and assistance for this project.

Independent train travel

Luke, Jessica, Shanah and Emma from Gisborne have been independently using the community bus to get to the station and independently travelling on train to Woodend.

They were met by staff and other participants Issy, Tim and Michael who usually travel by train every Thursday. Well done team! Your hard work has really paid off.
Everyone also enjoyed walking a dog from Pets Haven in Woodend.

Really chuffed at our guys continued achievements.

Justin, Team Leader Gisborne

What is Zero Tolerance?

Zero tolerance

Zero Tolerance is an initiative led by NDS in partnership with the disability sector.
It assists disability service providers to understand, implement and improve practices which safeguard the rights of people they support. Built around a national evidence-based framework, Zero Tolerance is:

  • a way for organisations to understand actions they can do to prevent and respond to abuse, neglect and violence of people with disability
  • a clear message that abuse, neglect and violence are not okay
  • a way of thinking about abuse as a human rights issue not a disability issue
  • an organisational and personal commitment to act on:
    – anything that makes a person with disability be or feel unsafe
    – anything that doesn’t support a person’s human rights
    – anything that we could be doing better
  • a collection of resources to educate and train staff at all levels to understand their responsibilities in preventing and responding to abuse
  • a way of working collaboratively within and outside the disability sector to prevent and respond to abuse

Windarring fully supports the Zero Tolerance commitment.

It is a commitment to recognise, raise and respond to any deviation from the human rights of people using disability services. It is a personal and Windarring commitment to always have our eyes open and always be doing better to support rights.

NDIS National Day of Action

NDIS Make it work

Congratulations everyone for supporting our clients, parents, carers and families to be aware of the National Day of Action.
At all of our sites and across Australia there were morning teas and other events to ensure that together we would make the community aware of ongoing NDIS issues. David Moody, Acting CEO of the peak body who represents our sector called National Disability Services said today:

“NDS looks forward to the release of disability policies by the other major parties in sufficient time to allow NDS and our members to consider them prior to the Federal Election on 18 May” said Mr Moody.

“Disability service providers remain committed to making the Scheme work and absolutely believe it is the right reform for Australia.

“NDS’ focus as the national body for the non-government disability service providers has been to get the NDIS on track.

“We are calling on a future federal government to do this in a collaborative way, working with NDS and our members, people with disability, disability advocacy groups, state and territory governments and the National Disability Insurance Agency.

“Together we can make sure the NDIS delivers on its promise,” he said.

Things on the wish list include:

  • Achieving a strong disability services sector, a policy which will require significant new funding for the sector to support its future development and growth, to meet demand for quality, innovative services; and
  • Improving research and evaluation support, a policy which NDS considers must be underpinned by data in a form that enables providers to make better business decisions.

Joseph Smith – Story of Great Achievements

Jospeh Smith - shopJoe Smith is a driven and positive young man who attends Windarring Disability Services in Castlemaine. He is involved with various projects and activities around Castlemaine and the greater North-Western Victorian region.

Joey is engaged in regular supported employment with Windarring Urban Mushrooms, which supplies locally grown mushrooms to cafes and supermarkets around Castlemaine, Kyneton, and Bendigo. Joe is key in the picking, weighing and packaging of mushrooms. He also assists with the creation of mulch which is then sold through another one of his job responsibilities: the Windarring Bric-a-brac shop. Joey works several days each week at the shop, including Saturday mornings. His roles include customer service, product stocking, sorting goods and getting in new stock. He can often be found helping out customers with a smile. One satisfied customer was so impressed with Joe’s service that she bought him a take-away coffee.

Joe is a keen drummer, a talented guitarist and singer. He drums for the Bendigo Scottish Marching Band taking on the role of lead drummer at the Castlemaine ANZAC commemoration ceremony. Joe performed on guitar and vocals at Open Mic nights at local venues in the past year. He is currently working on ‘Sultans of Swing’ by Dire Straits to perform at his next show! He also volunteers part-time at a local music store, ‘My Old Guitar’. He is very passionate about his music.

Joseph - mushroom farmingAn extremely talented ten pin bowler, Joe has bowled for the Australian national team in the Paralympics. He often scores over 200 points and practices several times a week. He has also recently picked up playing pool as a hobby and can often be found competing on local pool tables.

Joey is a great success story of Windarring and a strong example of community integration. He is an enthusiastic contributor to the Castlemaine and surrounding areas. For such a young man he already has a long and impressive list of accomplishments.

Keep on keeping on Joey!

Living At Windarring


Learn the skills and
build your confidence
to one day be able to
live independently.

NDIS Victoria Disability Central Victoria


Do some training, get
qualified and make
some friends at the
same time.

NDIS Victoria Disability Central Victoria


Get involved with your
local community
through our range of
job options.

NDIS Victoria Disability Central Victoria


Join our fantastic arts
and recreation
activities with a great
group of people.