Norfolk Island celebrates new disability support workers

3 March 2021

Around 30 Norfolk Islanders with disability now have access to NDIS support, thanks to national disability service Life Without Barriers providing training for Island residents to become disability support workers.

The seven new support workers will be recognised in a graduation ceremony to be held at Government House on Wednesday 3 March 2021.

Life Without Barriers Executive Lead Disability Engagement Chris Chippendale said that although people with disability on the Island recently became eligible for the NDIS, at that point there wasn’t the availability of qualified disability support workers to provide the level of NDIS services like personal care and support to access the community.

“We were contacted by the Australian Government and worked with the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and the Department of Social Services which provided the funding for us to offer scholarships for five local people to complete the training to qualify to be a disability support worker. A further two Island residents heard about this and arranged to do the training themselves.

"Life Without Barriers then worked with the National Disability Insurance Agency to help establish the scheme fully on Norfolk Island. We also worked closely with other Norfolk Island agencies, including Care Norfolk, Anglicare, NI Connect and Asuria to complete the project. “It was a wonderful collaborative effort between community service agencies” Mr Chippendale said.

“Not only has this meant that our graduates have an employment opportunity in an exciting career, but 30 people with disability now have access to unprecedented NDIS support.

“We congratulate everyone who is graduating. All seven people are really dedicated to supporting people with disability and helping them participate in the community and reach their goals. I wish them all fulfilling careers in disability support.”

Mr Chippendale said that the new disability support workers have already achieved some great outcomes, with one NDIS participant being supported to realise their goal of getting their drivers’ licence, and another getting a job as a kitchenhand.

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