Workplace inclusion delivering mutual benefits

Gaining employment has been a positive change for Myhorizon Participant Brett Karklis, thanks to an inclusive and diverse workplace.

Brett has achieved his goal of finding part time sustainable employment in his local island community with Straddie Brewing Co on North Stradbroke Island, empowering him to push past his barriers.

Working at the Brewery has turned Brett’s life around where he is now learning new skills, making new connections, and earning a living – all important factors to being empowered and improving wellbeing.

Co-owner of Straddie Brewing Co, Kylie Taylor has welcomed Brett onto her staff and values his contribution to the team, “Brett is a diligent worker and takes immense pride in both his work and our venue. He is always punctual and reliable.” Said Kylie.

“When Brett first started with us, it was at a time where we really needed someone at short notice to step in and help clean and prepare our newly opened restaurant and bar at Dunwich. Brett was a trooper and got stuck in with me each day, five days a week.”

As an inclusive and diverse employer, Kylie have seen first-hand the many benefits that hiring someone with disability can bring to a workplace such as reliability, loyalty, and high productivity.

Brett’s Employment Coordinator at Myhorizon, Anne Blakeway, has been the driving force behind matching Brett up with the right employer and supporting him weekly to help manage his workplace relationships and offering him encouragement.

“It’s really rewarding to see inclusive employers like Straddie Brewing Co giving Participants like Brett an opportunity and supporting and accommodating his needs in their workplace. It’s a great example of how diversity in the workplace can deliver great benefits for both employers and employees with a disability.” Said Anne.

Learn more about our Employment and Training services.

Building staff skills to support our Participants

At Myhorizon we pride ourselves on ensuring all our staff are well trained in order to provide excellent support to all participants, focusing on their individual needs.

Recently we have concentrated on upskilling our staff in the Lifestyle division, ensuring they are competent in understanding the specific needs of participants in the areas of Ventilation, Enteral Feed and Epilepsy.

For all training requirements there are two parts the staff complete. They first attend a workshop in their specific area of support. Our lovely RN Kyra then meets with each staff member to ensure they understand each participant’s individual specific needs and are competent in providing the correct support for that participant.

These training initiatives have been a great way to explore and build on each staff members’ skills so they are able to perform to the best of their abilities. Thanks to great RNs like Kyra, staff now have the best understanding possible of the specific needs of participants.

Alicia & Jacinta lend a helping hand

There are many benefits to volunteering in your local community, and for our Wynnum Lifestyle participants, Alicia and Jacinta, they love lending a helping hand to those that need it most by volunteering at the Redlands Community Centre in Capalaba.

Alicia and Jacinta kindly volunteer their time every Friday at the Centre, where they pack emergency relief packages full of basic meal necessities, and also restock shelves and complete a variety of other tasks.

These Emergency Relief Packages are just one way the Redlands Community Centre provides support to those that need it most. They also provide a number of valuable ‘one-stop-shop’ community focused services which assist people experiencing a crisis in a way that maintains dignity and encourages self-reliance.

Not only have Alicia and Jacinta contributed to a worthy community cause, but together they have developed excellent team work skills, expanded their social group and learnt various skills they can utilise in day to day life.

“It’s fun packing bags and I like talking to all the staff members there” says Alicia.

For more information on the many ways you can volunteer with the Redlands Community Centre, visit:

Kasper is cooking up a storm

When it comes to food and cooking, Kasper, a participant from our Logan Lifestyle Centre, is constantly thinking up new ideas for what he can create in the kitchen.

From wraps and burgers, to cakes and sweets, Kasper’s newfound love of cooking is at the top of his list of things he now enjoys.

After many years of suffering from severe food intolerances, a recent health procedure has meant that Kasper can now enjoy a much wider variety of foods, allowing him to get creative and explore new recipes that are a little more exciting than his previous bland diet.

Nowadays, you will find Kasper outside using the BBQ with Jean Claude, or in the kitchen with Tia (his Support Workers), cooking up a storm, and building his Daily Living skills.

Lifestyle’s Executive Manager, Belinda Thompson, is passionate about ensuring participants have hands on opportunities to grow their skills and reach their goals.

“It’s about empowering individuals to explore all the things they enjoy and nurture their interests and develop their competencies”, she said.

Apart from cooking, Kasper has also been running a car washing business for the last few years, with a growing client base of staff and visitors at the Loganlea Community Centre every Tuesday.

Why not drop in next time you’re in the area for a quick wash or even a full detail. Kasper can cover just about any car cleaning needs you have!

For more information about our Lifestyle services and locations, contact us today.

Staff Spotlight – Bell Thompson

We are thrilled to have Bell Thompson join the Myhorizon team as our new Executive Manager of Lifestyle. We took some time to get to know a little more about her….

Q. What other key roles and organisations have you worked in prior to Myhorizon?
I have worked in the disability industry for 17 years. My experience spans from a Disability Support Worker, Support Coordinator, Service Coordinator, Service Manager and Business Development Manager. Predominantly I worked for Guardien Group, for almost 10 years and prior to this I worked for Autism Queensland (where I started as a very young support worker).

Q. What inspires you to work in the disability sector and what do you hope to bring to your new role at Myhorizon?
I am inspired by the opportunity to make a positive impact on a person with a disability’s life. I believe that every day is another chance to do something that could make a big difference in the life of an individual. I might be a little naïve but my mission is to help build awareness in hopes of subsiding the stereotypical mindset of society and build a more inclusive and positive community for people with disability. I would like to build upon a collaborative and partnership approach to service delivery and support the Myhorizon team as I am understanding that our work is unique and at times challenging. I strongly feel that our team members are the heart and soul of the organisation and as a leader it is my intension to look after those who look after our clients.

Q. What is something people may not know about you?
I am a die hard AFL fan, who supports Carlton Football club. It would be an understatement to say this is a passion, but rather a lifestyle. Carn’ the blues!!!

Joel’s Happy Place is in the Garden

There’s a famous Chinese proverb that says “If you want to be happy for a lifetime, be a gardener”. For Myhorizon Employment and Training participant, Joel Speakman, he has found his happy place, working towards a career in horticulture and gardening.

26 year old Joel loves working outdoors, and joined Myhorizon’s Horticulture team doing work experience before gaining paid employment with Shedland Garden Nursery.

Michelle Robertson, owner of the Shedland Garden Nursery, employed Joel for 18 months right up until she closed down her business, and was impressed by his attention to detail and strong work ethic.

“Joel constantly performed well and soon became an integral and valued team member. He made a positive difference to our daily business operations every single day he was employed.” Said Michelle.

“As an employer, I found nothing was ever a problem for Joel. He was flexible and reliable, particularly when asked to do extra hours on a shift. Joel was always respectful and had a very polite nature”. Said Michelle.

Joel’s reliable and flexible work ethic, together with the right opportunity provided by employers such as Michelle, saw Joel recently move into a new paid job with Capalaba Nursery as a Nursery Assistant.

Joel’s Employment Coordinator, Jodie McIntosh, is passionate about matching the right employer with the right candidate, supporting Joel who has now started work with Capalaba Nursery only 2 days after finishing at Shedlands .

“It’s about opening new doors and opportunities to people who have so much to offer. The benefits work both ways, not only providing paid employment and new skills for our candidates, but also providing our local businesses and employers with recruits who bring a new energy, outlook, and work ethic”. Said Jodie.

For more information on Myhorizon’s Horticulture and Employment and Training services, Contact us.

Community Donations Help Kids in Need

A Thank you Morning Tea recently held by local charity group Care Kits for Kids Qld Inc., brought together volunteers and local groups to acknowledge their support in helping children in need.

The event was held at The Christian Church in Carina, where volunteers and supporters were praised for their generous donations, all helping to provide comprehensive and free Care kits containing clothing, educational needs, toys, books, blankets and toiletries to children who need it, all year round across Queensland.

Myhorizon were just one of the many donors over the past year, contributing much needed packing space within their Wynnum Lifestyle Centre for the kits. Myhorizon’s participants were also eager to lend a hand, helping to collate and pack over 3000 kits in the past 16 months.

“We know first-hand the positive impact donations and local support has to a community project, and so we were delighted to be able to contribute to such an important cause. Having our participants also help out, gave them a new sense of purpose and confidence in their capabilities.” Said Rod Kennedy, Myhorizon’s Lifestyle Executive Manager.

One of the founding volunteers and President of Care Kits for Kids Qld Inc., Christine Rafter, is grateful to all the volunteers and donors who continue to support their endeavour.

“Throughout Covid-19 we have continued to provide our Care Kits, and this is only possible with our wonderful team, especially our volunteers who sort and pack the kits every week. We were able to pack and distribute 3,400 Care Kits, quilts, or special orders from Myhorizon’s Wynnum premises, offering practical needs, hope and love from our community to children in crisis or care. Thank you to Myhorizon for your support.” Said Christine.

To find out how you can donate to Care Kits for Kids Qld, go to


(Photo 1 – L to R: Rod Kennedy – Myhorizon Lifestyle Executive Manager; Christine Rafter – President Care Kits for Kids Qld; Di Farmer – Minister for Employment and Small Business of Queensland at the Thank you Morning Tea.

Photo 2 – Community Donations included in the Care Kits for Kids)

Mybreak from Myhorizon

Life is all about living new experiences and creating memories… that’s why we’re thrilled to launch our new Mybreak program, creating unforgettable short-term holiday experiences, tailored to you!


What is Mybreak all about?

In a nutshell, as a participant you get to enjoy a short holiday break with likeminded friends in a beautiful location.

You and two other participants will experience a fun, adventurous (or relaxing) getaway with the full support of a qualified Myhorizon staff member.

Stay at a resort close to all the action on the Gold Coast or an agreed location as chosen by you and your group.


How are your breaks funded?

Although holidays themselves aren’t technically funded by the NDIS, the supports involved are. The good news is, you are able to utilise your Short Term Accommodation (STA) funding from your NDIS Core Supports to pay for your accommodation, and food.

As a unique feature of Mybreak, your local transport is also covered and your STA funding will only be charged for the time you are on your break (not 24 hour blocks like most other providers), leaving you saved funds towards your next break with us. Your only out-of-pocket expense are any activities you choose to participate in while on your mini holiday, just like you would do any other time.


What activities are possible?

We want to tailor these experiences to what you love to do, in a caring, empowering and safe environment. Here are just a few exciting ideas:

– Spend a day out at MovieWorld, Seaworld, or Outback Spectacular

– Go Whale-watching for a day or feed the dolphins

– Enjoy a water sports activity or a lunch river cruise

– Spend a day out at the Zoo

– Play mini golf or lasertag

– Go fishing or enjoy a relaxing bushwalk

– Soak up the sun and waves at the beach

– Enjoy a night out at Dracula’s or sing your heart out at Karaoke

– See a live band or go out dancing

– Relax in the pool or try out the waterslides


For more information on our Mybreak program, contact us today.

Almost $3000 Raised to Fight Animal Cruelty

Did you know that 30,000 dogs end up at an RSPCA shelter every year? That’s 82 dogs every single day. Many of these precious pups are victims of cruelty, bred to turn a profit, or abandoned by humans they loved unconditionally.

To help fight against this animal cruelty, Jean Jensen and Anne Blakeway, from Myhorizon’s Employment & Training team, recently took part in RSPCA’s Million Paws Walk, reaching their goals and walking over 40 hours combined with their pooches, Molly and Rosie.

With help from Myhorizon staff, they raised $2808 for this important cause. “We wanted to raise funds to support the RSPCA and ensure these dogs get the love and care they desperately need”. Said Jean.

“A big thank you to those who have donated and supported our efforts. Next year we plan to do a Team Event and raise even more money for such a great cause.”

Joe Gamblin, Myhorizon CEO, said he was immensely proud of the contribution staff have been able to make to this worthy cause. “Every year many Myhorizon staff participate, as well as a number of other community organisations, all raising valuable funds and volunteering their services without thanks or payment. Well done to all”.

Kerry’s green thumb

Avid gardener and Myhorizon participant Kerry Dodds, has been busy as a bee at our Alexandra Hills Lifestyle Centre, planting and harvesting a range of home-grown vegetables in the Sussex Street gardens.

The gardens were recently filled with good quality soil, where Kerry is now able to tend to her raddish, lettuce and bok choy, watering them daily and keeping the weeding under control.

Growing, picking and then selling these vegetables to the staff and to the Myhorizon Fruitbox initiative has given Kerry a sense of self-pride and independence, where she even purchases more seedlings for replanting.

What an empowering way for Kerry to give back to her community in her own way.

Click here to find out more about our Lifestyle services.