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Noosa Come Together a great success

The Noosa Come Together event, held on June 11 at Noosaville Lions Park, was a stunning success with more than 6,000 locals rocking up to take advantage of some incredible live music, food stalls and rides.

All money raised from the event will be donated to the Sailability program run out of Noosa Yacht & Rowing Club for people with disabilities as well as the Disabled Surfers Association and Riding for the Disabled. The 121 Care Emergency Fund, which helps people with disabilities on the Sunshine Coast who are in distress, will also be a beneficiary of the event.

In 2016, Noosa Come Together raised $10,720 and proceeds are expected to nearly double this year.

“It was such a great event to be a part of,” 121 Care general manager, Kym Chomley, said. “What a great way to bring the community together to raise funds for some very worthwhile causes.

“The music was incredible, the food was great, there were plenty of activities from sailing to rock wall climbing and the weather was close to perfect. We were very lucky to have the support of the community we had and, as always, remain grateful for their support.”

Organiser Oz Balydon said he was delighted with the turnout for the event and the opportunity presented to help the Sunshine Coast showcase such incredibly diverse talent.

“The Sunshine Coast boasts some incredible artists and musicians and we are very pleased they joined together to make Noosa Come Together a wonderful success in its second year,” said Oz, who this year received a Queensland Day Award for his fundraising work.

For more pictures, visit our Facebook site: https://www.facebook.com/121careinc/





Mollii Suit trial to be held in Cotton Tree

A demonstration of the game-changing Mollii Suit – an assistive device for people with physical disabilities, acquired brain injuries, impaired motor skills and spasticity – will be held on the Sunshine Coast on Friday, May 26.

The Mollii Suit, invented by Swedish research institutes in 2010, prompts the body’s neurological reflexes using electrodes to send mild, low frequency signals to selected muscle groups.

The demonstration of the Mollii Suit will be held at the 121 Care offices, 33 Sixth Avenue, Cotton Tree from 9am.

Following the hour long demonstration of the Mollii Suit, Swedish physiotherapist and chiropractor, Dr Jorgen Sandell will offer a limited number of one-on-one client assessments.

The demonstration is open to 121 Care clients, carers and supporters, health care professionals and members of the public who believe the Mollii Suit may be the right piece of assistive equipment for them.

If you would like to book a one-on-one assessment, contact Kim Fullbrook from Metier Medical (the Australian distributors) of the Mollii Suit on 02 4909 8038 or email her at kimf@metiermedial.com

121 Care was the first independent disability support services organisation established on the Sunshine Coast and, this year, is celebrating 25 years of serving the community. If you would like additional information about 121 Care, contact us on 5433 9777 or see our website www.121care.org.au


Accessible beach matting for the Sunshine Coast now a reality

Last week (April April 27), Sunshine Coast Council rolled out accessible beach matting at Alexandra Headland beach making it the first Sunshine Coast beach to have the accessible matting available on a regular basis.

The matting is wheelchair accessible and also handy for those who may be unsteady on their feet such as the elderly, those recovering from illness or surgery and parents with strollers.

Below are some videos and stories on the matting.

121 Care is thrilled to have been a part of this by committing $1,500 towards the purchase of the matting as did Division 8 Councillor Jason O’Pray.

Council has committed funds to ensuring more Sunshine Coast beaches will be accessible later this year, once suitable beaches have been identified. This includes making sure there is sufficient parking and bathroom facilities for people who have disabilities.

The matting will be rolled out by volunteer lifesavers during patrols which are held each Saturday, Sunday and public holidays from the start of September to the end of April.

ROLLED OUT- After several trials of wheelchair friendly beach access mats, the fantastic initiative is now rolling out at Alexandra Headland. Here's our story.

Posted by WIN News Sunshine Coast on Thursday, 27 April 2017


Tania Sherley nearly cried with happiness.A new beach mat will be rolled out every weekend and on public holidays at Alexandra Headland surf club.

Posted by ABC Sunshine Coast on Thursday, 27 April 2017

Beach Mat at Alexandra Headland

Alexandra Headland has become the first beach on the coast to roll out permanent beach matting. www.7News.com.au#7News

Posted by 7 News Sunshine Coast on Thursday, 27 April 2017





121 Care’s 2017 Tax Appeal – it’s a win win situation

Let’s face it, most people love the chance to reduce their tax bill. At 121 Care, we can help you do just that while making sure Sunshine Coasters with disabilities can benefit.

All donations of $2 or more, made to registered charities are tax deductible. This means you can reduce your tax bill by donating to a good cause.

At 121 Care, all donations received are used for our emergency fund which helps people with disabilities in distress receive the help and support they need from receiving emergency care to the provision of mobility equipment.

121 Care was the first independent disability support services organisation established on the Sunshine Coast, celebrating 25 years of providing personalised services. In that time, we have seen the need for emergency help grow year by year.

In the last year, our emergency fund helped many individuals and families including 20-year-old B of Maroochydore.

B receives inadequate government funding placing enormous pressure on his family and his primary carer. The 121 Care emergency fund was able to ensure B received one-on-one care for four hours a week for 12 weeks.

Receiving emergency funding meant B, who is profoundly disabled, requires 24-hour care and is confined to a wheelchair, was able to enjoy being outdoors each week, visiting the beach, being taken for drives and visit the shops.

This provided much needed social interaction for B and allowed his primary carer to have a break from his full-time care each week.

Another recipient of emergency funding was Sunshine Coast mother of three G. Ms G had a stroke and was in desperate need of some short-term support for both her and her teenage children.

121 Care’s Emergency Fund was used to ensure G was bathed and fed daily, that her children were relieved of the burden of her care allowing them to attend school and that the family unit was able to stay intact as G had the support she needed.

The 121 Care emergency fund was also used this year to ensure vulnerable clients, who are often confined to their own homes because of a lack of transport and mobility, were able to have air conditioning installed in their homes. While this may seem a luxury to many of us, some forms of disability mean the individual is unable to regulate their own body temperatures, placing them at serious risk of further health complications.

Having air conditioning, and the ability to control the temperature of one room in their home, provides an important safeguard for their health and reduces the risk of potentially life-threatening h although complications.

With the Federal Government’s National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) not being rolled out across the Sunshine Coast until January 2019, we are seeing more and more people with disability in dire need of help. Without an emergency fund, 121 Care would be largely unable to offer the urgent help many of these people need.

Help us to help people with disabilities while reducing your tax liability in the process.

To be eligible for tax savings this financial year, donations must be made before June 30, 2017.

Donations can be made by:

Cheque, cash and money orders payable to 121 Care Inc. mailed to PO Box 368 Cotton Tree Qld, 4558;

By direct bank deposit or internet transfer:

Bank: ANZ

BSB: 014-650

Account: 1109-11032

Name: 121 Care Inc.

Reference: Donation and your name

This is your chance to help us, help others and to reduce your tax bill. Talk about a win-win situation.

Bringing accessibility to the beach

Sunshine Coast Council very quietly rolled out wheelchair accessible matting at Alexandra Headland beach on Saturday, April 8. It was a momentous occasion which finally meant a beach on the paradise which is the Sunshine Coast is now accessible for people in wheelchairs, the elderly, parents using strollers and anyone else who is unsteady on their feet.

Council has advised 121 Care that the matting will now be rolled out regularly on weekends and the hope is Council lifeguards will also come on board with the initiative and roll out the matting during the week as required and requested. (NOTE: the matting will not be rolled out on days when the surf is deemed to be dangerous in the interests of everyone’s safety!).

This is a huge step forward in ensuring the Sunshine Coast is accessible for people of all abilities and ages living and holidaying here and Sunshine Coast Council should be recognised for making this happen. It is understood Council is looking at other beaches and waterways on the Sunshine Coast to assess their suitability for the matting in the future.

A lot of people – individuals and advocacy groups – worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make this happen and all should be congratulated for their work.

121 Care is thrilled to have contributed $1,500 towards the cost of the matting which is now at Alexandra Headland as did local Councillor Jason O’Pray.


Staff training opportunities

At 121 Care, we strive to ensure our staff have the opportunity to access free training allowing them to upskill and to provide the highest level of care for our clients.

This is in keeping with our policy of staff receiving training at a minimum once every three years to ensure their knowledge is current and fulfills the guidelines of our mandatory funding requirements. It is also in keeping with 121 Care staying an employer of choice on the Sunshine Coast by providing training opportunities as part of our professional development strategy.

In developing our training program for 2017, we will be offering a series of classroom and online training with many courses offered at no cost to support staff who will also be paid to attend (First Aid and CPR are exceptions to this).

While not all carers are required to complete all the training on offer – some is dependent on client specific needs – the more courses you complete, the more skills you will have as a support worker increasing the number of potential clients you can care for.

Courses being offered in March will be classroom-based and cover manual handing, assisting with medications and bowel therapy training.  There will be several sessions available on each of these topics to choose from.

Full details of the training courses on offer can be found in the email Frank Deans sent earlier in February. If you would like this sent to you again, please contact Frank on fdeans@121care.org.au

Interested in further increasing your qualifications?

Higher Level Skills (HLS) funding is now available to new and existing staff allowing them to receive nationally recognised qualifications at a fraction of the cost you would normally pay.

Under the HLS funding, staff who currently hold a Certificate III in Community Services are eligible to up-skill to a Certificate IV or Diploma in Community Services.

For staff who do not hold a Certificate III (in any industry), this is your opportunity to enrol in the new Certificate III Individual Support-Disability. Upon completion of this, you will then be eligible to enrol in the Certificate IV Disability or a Diploma of Community Services.

Under the HLS funding, the student contribution fee is just $5.00 per unit towards a qualification, plus the enrolment fee. The enrolment fees are as follows:

  • Certificate III Individual Support-Disability – $65.00
  • Certificate IV Disability  -$70.00
  • Certificate IV Ageing Support -$90.00
  • Diploma of Community Service -$80.00

If you are interested in this opportunity to increase your qualifications, please contact Frank on fdeans@121care.org.au or call 5443 9777.

FREE National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Sessions


The number of people on the Sunshine Coast living with a disability, and who are entitled to government funding, is expected to double in the next few years under the introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Sunshine Coast-based charity, 121 Care, will host a series of information sessions in March on what the introduction of the NDIS will mean for those on the Coast living with disabilities.

While the NDIS has been rolled out across much of Australia in the last 18 months, it will not come into effect on the Sunshine Coast until January 1, 2019. However, the evidence suggests that those who have access to quality information about the NDIS are able to make a smoother transition to the new system than those who do not.

The information sessions, to be held at libraries throughout the Sunshine Coast, will examine the ways in which the NDIS operates, eligibility for the new system and what the next steps are.

“There has been a lot of concern among with people with disabilities, their families and carers about what the introduction of the NDIS will mean for their funding,” 121 Care General Manager Kym Chomley said.

“It is likely though, that many more people will be eligible for long-term funding under the NDIS for the provision of support services. We have seen the NDIS rollout in other parts of Australia and we have seen what has worked well with the system and what clients need to be aware of.

“Like all things, the more information individuals have, the more empowered they can be.

“The Federal Government has given an undertaking that no individuals will be worse off financially under the NDIS. We want to ensure people on the Sunshine Coast living with a disability know how to enter into the NDIS and get the most out of it to ensure they have all the support they need and can aim to live a life which is enriching and joyful.”

Free NDIS Information Sessions
Library Date Time
Coolum Library Thursday, March 2 2pm-3.30pm
Kawana Library Saturday, March 4 10am-11.30am
Maroochydore Library Thursday, March 9 10.30am-noon
Maleny Library Saturday, March 11 10am-11.30am
Caloundra Library Thursday, March 16 10am-11.30am
Beerwah Library Thursday, March 23 10am-11.30am
Nambour Library Saturday, March 25 10am-11.30am


The reason so many people are concerned about changes to their funding models is because the funding is used, among other things, to pay support staff to help them get in and out of bed, meal preparation, bathing, dressing, social interaction, shopping. These are things those without a disability take for granted.

“The more planning people with disabilities do before the NDIS is introduced, the more likely they are to get the funding they both need and would like,” Ms Chomley said.

“121 Care is encouraging people with a disability to start planning for the NDIS as soon as possible. This allows them to be clear on what they need and allows their service providers to help them get it.”

NDIS funding will be available to Australians with a disability, who are aged 65.

Bookings for the sessions are essential and can be made here: https://library.sunshinecoast.qld.gov.au/Whats-On/Legal-and-Finance/Disability-Support

If you would like more information on the NDIS or the information sessions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 5443 9777.

What to do if you receive a Centrelink debt notice

centrelinkYesterday the Canberra Times ran a story about a new round of Centrelink debt notices expected to be issued in coming weeks to some people on a Disability Support Payments.

We understand receiving a debt notice can be extremely stressful. However, we are encouraging recipients of these letters to not panic.

If you do receive what you believe to be an incorrect debt notice, we strongly suggest you to take advantage of the resources being offered by the Queensland Council of Social Service here QCOSS website.

Below is the Canberra Times story.

Noel Towell

The Coalition government is to target families, pensioners and disabled Australians with its controversial Centrelink “robo-debt” campaign, Parliamentary documents show.

The mid-year economic forecast tables published last week shows the government has booked savings of $1.1 billion clawing back overpayments of the aged pension and another $400 million from the disability support pension.

The tables also show the government believes it can retrieve another $700 million from hundreds of thousands of Australian families who receive parenting payment or have been paid the benefit in the past.

The moves could bring up to four million more Australians into the sights of the data-matching program, which uses an automated system to match information held by Centrelink and the Australian Taxation Office and calculate overpayments.

Centrelink’s parent department, Human Services, confirmed on Tuesday that its data matching technology would be picking up any income from investments, business or real estate declared to the ATO, usually in annual tax returns going back many years, but not to Centrelink.

A departmental spokesman said the activity, which could lead to debt collectors being called in or even criminal prosecution, was “normal”.

But the policy has been beset by errors and has been hugely controversial with many of those targeted for debt recovery saying they are being hounded by debt collectors, or threatened with jail, for money that they do not owe.

Elderly Australians have already begun contacting Fairfax to say they have been received letters generated by the data matching program.

After weeks of concerted protest against the robo-debt campaign, Human Services Minister Alan Tudge Tudge agreed this week to make some modifications to the letters, which he insists are not debt letters, but pledged to push ahead with the campaign which the government says will add $4.5 billion overall to the budget bottom line

But he has not satisfied the program’s many critics who want it shut down until the high rate of bogus debts being generated can be addressed.

The data matching effort so far has been concentrated overwhelmingly on mostly young people who have received the dole or Youth Allowance, although evidence is emerging that students have also been hit heavily.

But the supporting tables to the government’s mid-year financial and fiscal outlook, published on Thursday by the Parliamentary Budget office, reveal that Coalition policy is to massively extend the data matching effort to the more than 2.5 million age pensioners and about 800,000 disability support pensioners.

The papers also reveal that the government believes it will slash spending by $400 million on the disability support pension and $700 million on parenting payment.

Centrelink spokesman Hank Jongen said that people caught in the data dragnet would first be asked to clarify their position.

“It is important to note that these measures only pick up those cases where the information declared to the ATO is different to that declared to Centrelink,” Mr Jongen said

“In the first instance people are simply asked to either update or confirm their details.

“The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook measures are intended to extend the current compliance activity for non-employment income, assets and investments e.g. income from financial investments, business and real estate that has been declared to the ATO.”

Equip yourself with this app


The free Equip Myself app – developed by the Western Australian Independent Living centre – basically transformed my iPad into a virtual, world exploring assistive technology. This is done by touching tabs at the top of the app which include some true stories, a virtual world and an independent search function that accesses the National Equipment Database.

 The app, which can be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play for both Apple and android mobile devices respectively, was developed by a team of people including some with disabilities, healthcare professionals and digital design specialists.

 To start using Equip Myself, you will need to set up a user profile so you can request more information which is directed via email to, in this case, LifeTech which is the former Independent Living Centre in Brisbane.

 By filling your profile in, you will automatically be directed to your closest Independent Living Centre based on postcode and state. The Equip Myself app is very easy to use and through accessing the search function, you can find a list of products and suppliers.

To your profile, you can add support people, service providers, occupational therapists or anyone else you want to include in your quest to discover assistive technology. This will be particularly useful when it comes to discussing the different options presented to you.

Alternatively you can browse the items showcased in the app by category including home, work, leisure and sports and mobility. For example in the home category it includes bathroom, bedroom, entrance, garden, kitchen, laundry, living room and study. You can touch anyone of these and then it breaks down into subcategories to assist narrowing your search.

 It includes pictures of the assistive technology which is great and can save you time finding a product.

The Pros: It’s free and a breeze to use; you have access to a fairly extensive database which I imagine will only increase over time.

The Cons: I have quadriplegia and the database for my purposes could be more specific and extensive; it is a very new app so one would imagine over time the database will grow.

My advice: If you need access to assistive technology, is to download it NOW and start using it; I very much doubt you will be disappointed.

– Steve D, 121 Care Management Committee Member




Help us find D’Wayne some tape recorders


This piece of equipment may seem charmingly retro to many but for Sunshine Coast’s D’Wayne, it is a lifeline to the world he cannot see. And it is a lifeline which is in alarmingly short supply.

Beerwah’s D’Wayne, 26, was born blind and autistic and his tape recorders are a way for him to connect with the world through sound. Each day D’Wayne takes out his tape recorder and literally, records his day. Each night, his mum transcribes the tapes from the day so D’Wayne has an audible record of what he has done.

D’Wayne also uses tape recorders to listen to his large collection of tapes.

However, D’Wayne and his family are running out of tape recorders and are looking to stock up now while they may still be able to.

While switching to an iPod or an android phone may seem like a smarter way to go for D’Wayne, new technology is not something he can embrace easily because of his autism. People with autism generally experience difficulty with social interaction and communication and are most comfortable engaging in repetitive behaviours.

However, D’Wayne’s practice of recording his day means he wears out old tape decks pretty quickly. The family has enough for the next few months.

Given D’Wayne’s autism, the type of tape recorder he is familiar with operating is a standard 23cm by 14cm and takes normal tapes.

If you have a tape recorder with these dimensions, D’Wayne and his family want to hear from you. Obviously, donations would be preferable, but the family is able to pay a small sum for any tape recorders which fit the bill. Blank tapes will also be most welcome.

If you can help, or suggest where D’Wayne may be able to source some old-time tape decks, please email social@121care.org.au or call us on 5443 9777.