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Traditional crafts supporting kids with disability

Traditional crafts from Rita’s cart at Myhorizon Capalaba are still proving a popular retail item with locals these days, and are funding new resources for kids with disability.

Rita Morris, a long-standing member of Myhorizon, still contributes her time and energy into the not-for-profit organisation where she has set up her own cart at the Community Centre on Runnymede Rd selling her crafty wares all for a good cause.

Rita has raised nearly $2000 just from her craft cart alone which was able to fund a new early childhood motor development program now used by Occupational Therapists at Myhorizon’s Ian McDougall Centre. The new tool allows therapists to provide both an in-depth assessment and training of gross and fine motor skills for children from birth to 5 years of age.

“This new resource not only gives our assessments more credibility for families to receive their NDIS funding, but also allows our therapy team a more consistent way of measuring a child’s developmental milestones and identifying the additional support and skills they may need”, says Ruby Ryan, an Occupational Therapist at Myhorizon.

Rita generously donates all her craft’s profits back to the Myhorizon’s Early Intervention programs to help kids with disability access important programs and resources, giving them more learning opportunities and supports they need to reach their potential.

“In the early days, there weren’t any programs around to support kids with a disability, but now there is more opportunity for children with a disability to get the support they need from services and programs like the ones offered by Myhorizon’s Early Intervention team” says Rita.

Rita speaks gratefully about Myhorizon for the support they have given her son Christopher over the years who has a disability, and wanted to return some of the support and generosity through fundraising from her crafts, kindly donated by herself and other members of the Redlands community.

“I’ll never be able to pay back Myhorizon for what they have done for Christopher over the years. This is my small way to give something back to the organisation”, says Rita.

You can find Rita’s Cart at Myhorizon Community Centre, Runnymede Rd, Capalaba, at the entrance to The Bush Pantry Café, where you can browse her selection of handmade items, novelties, and children’s clothing, open 8.30am till 2pm Monday to Friday. For more information on Myhorizon’s Early Intervention services, click here.

Surf’s up for David

The sun, surf and sand is what makes the Queensland beaches a major attraction for most of us. For many individuals with a disability however, it isn’t always a simple activity to access the beach safely, let alone the surf.

Well the Disabled Surfers Association of Australia (DSAA) is changing that and bringing smiles to people with all disability of all ages and taking them surfing in a fun, friendly and safe environment.

Let’s Go Surfing Day is organised by the DSAA at various times of the year all around Australia, and brings together participants with a disability who are keen to get back into the water, and a dedicated group of around 50 volunteers per event who physically support them to achieve this.

David Gunn, a Myhorizon participant receiving support from our Ashmore Lifestyle team, recently took part in Let’s go Surfing Day on the Gold Coast. David, who acquired a brain injury 25 years ago, was an avid surfer from Ballina as a young adult, and had since not been back in the surf. With the encouragement of David’s Lifestyle support worker Rex Middleton, David was able to experience his love of the beach and the surf once again.

“After getting David out of his wheelchair, and into a special beach chair designed for the sand, we pushed him to the edge of the water and with the help of the amazing volunteers we were able to lift David onto the surfboard and down to the water.

There were around eight volunteers who carried David past the initial breakers, and turned him around in the water, with more volunteers lining the shore. Once David was pushed onto a wave, he started surfing towards the beach. It was pretty awesome.” Said Rex.

With a ratio of around 12-15 volunteers per each participant, there are plenty of DSAA volunteers at an arm’s reach to keep the participants on course, and assist the participants to get back onto the board if they are to fall off.

“David had three turns and the second time fell off his board, but he was fine with it. He was helped back onto the board and had a third go and loved it. He says he’d definitely love to do it again.” Said Rex.

David’s mum Alana also encouraged the experience, as David grew up living near the ocean and spent years in the surf, and she knew he would enjoy the activity.

“I think it’s important for David to know that he isn’t locked in to a situation, and he can do different things. I was overwhelmed and grateful to David’s Support Worker Rex for initiating this idea. I had no idea an activity like this was available for David, and when Rex spoke to me about this idea, we both really felt that David would benefit from an experience like this, so I’m very appreciative.” said Alana.

Let’s go Surfing is open to anyone with a disability with events running on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast. For more information go to

To find out how Myhorizon can build a lifestyle that is right for you, speak to our friendly team today on 1300 MYHORIZON or 07 3824 7007, or reach us via our contact form.

Ben making strides under the NDIS

With many participants awaiting the introduction of the NDIS from 1 July in south-east QLD, there are some already reaping the benefits of this new disability funding scheme.

Meet Ben, a playful and energetic 6 year old boy from Cornubia, just south of Brisbane. Ben was diagnosed with autism when he was two and a half years old. Originally from Bowen, a regional town in North Queensland, Ben’s family decided to move to Brisbane in early 2017 so they could access more supports and therapies needed not only for Ben, but for the entire family.

Ben is currently receiving funding under the NDIS which pays for his various therapies including occupational and speech therapies, an essential part of Ben’s weekly progress.

When speaking to Ben’s mother Kim, it’s immediately evident how passionate Kim is about getting the support and tools Ben needs.

“My biggest goal for Ben is to have him improve his communication skills, but also for him to ultimately be happy in his own skin, however that may look” says Kim.

Kim was referred to the Early Intervention Team at Myhorizon’s Ian McDougall Centre by a friend and hasn’t looked back.

“Coming to Myhorizon was the best thing I ever did. Geraldine, Kylee, and the staff have been wonderful. Myhorizon is more than just a centre, they actually care. There’s nothing that they won’t go out of their way to help me with” says Kim.

Myhorizon’s occupational therapist visits Ben’s regularly at his school to provide him with therapy in his own school environment. “This makes things so much easier for us” says Kim.

“It’s sometimes hard to know what is typical 6 year old behaviour, and what is autism. One day you’ll have a good day, and the next day may not be so good, but he is definitely making progress. He is becoming more social, more coordinated and generally more settled in his own skin” says Kim.

“Myhorizon even manage my NDIS funds for me. I give them the bill and they take care of it which takes a load off my shoulders because I don’t have to worry about invoices or people getting paid” Says Kim.

When asked what advice she would give someone currently working through their NDIS planning, Kim recommends that being specific with your requirements and being prepared is key for your NDIS meetings.

“Arm yourself with information and look to organisations like Myhorizon to walk you through what you need to do” says Kim.

For any NDIS advice or more information about our various services catering to all life stages from birth, right through to adulthood, contact Myhorizon on 07 3824 7007 or leave an email enquiry for us using the contact form on this website.

Life’s a picnic!

Myhorizon’s Social Enterprises team have been busy recently, packing food items for Sirromet’s Day on the Green’ picnic hampers.

With the growing popularity of the music festivals now held regularly at local Sirromet winery at Mt Cotton, there’s also been a growing demand from festival goers to pre-order a gourmet food and wine hamper with their concert ticket.

Selected Myhorizon Social Enterprises staff who have completed their Certificate I in Food Handling weigh, pack and seal a selection of cold meats, and other antipasto items for the special hampers which are then assembled by Sirromet. The hampers also include other delicious goodies such as cookies, wine and our very own Bush Pantry bottled water.

“Projects like these provide a great employment opportunity for people with disability, and it’s great for them to be able to contribute back to the local community too” says Social Enterprises Production Manager, Donna Holden.

Our Social Enterprises staff will typically prepare food items for 120 hampers per event.

If you would like to learn more about our Social Enterprises, including opportunities for employment or partnership arrangements, please contact our Social Enterprises Team on 07 3824 7007 or leave an email enquiry for us using the contact form on this website.

A great display of leadership

The Lifestyle team at Myhorizon are showing a strong display of collaboration across our various sites, where once a month a group of nominated participants meet together as true leaders in the newly formed Participant Advisory Committee (PAC).

This committee was formed by participants, for participants and is a genuine opportunity for those exhibiting qualities of leadership, creative thinking, and initiative to be nominated by their fellow committee members and be a part of a forum that provides them and their peers with a voice.

The committee currently meet at either the Myhorizon Springwood, Ormeau or Ashmore office on the Gold Coast, and have a formal discussion to provide feedback and generate new ideas on the way Myhorizon delivers its Lifestyle Service to them and fellow peers, and the wider community. They then help implement these improvements at their respective branch locations.

When asked what qualities make a great leader and an ideal member of the committee, the participant leaders chime in with attributes that speak to ‘commitment’, and ‘being a good listener’, all important qualities of a strong leader recognised by the entire group.

Recently, Participant Committee member, Antonia Bray, was the driving force behind a fundraiser held at the Springwood branch. Antonia thought it would be a great idea for the participants and staff of Myhorizon to support a worthy cause and so coordinated a ‘Day for Daniel’ fundraiser which is aimed at educating children about safety and support for young victims of crime.

Antonia managed everything from the event registration right through to promoting the event with posters and flyers, and arranging for all taking part to dress in red for the day. Together with the support of the other participants, Antonia and the team raised $150 for the worthy cause.

The Lifestyle team at Myhorizon are passionate about participants having this opportunity to make their own decisions and directly influence their own lives in a positive and meaningful way.

“We are finding this new initiative is working extremely well as a strategy for positive behaviour management” says Key Worker, Colleen Bleathman.

“These participants own the process and the outcomes of these meetings, and many of the ideas they come up with are really clever and relevant.”

For more information on Myhorizon’s Lifestyle service, simply call our Lifestyle Team on 07 3824 7007 or leave an email enquiry for us using the contact form on this website.

(Photo: From left to right: Participant Advisory Committee members – Julia Wojciechowski, Antonia Bray, Jason Korostovetz, Stefan Kanserski, Reese Poelstra, discussing their ideas for Myhorizon Lifestyle services.)

An empowering opportunity for Nick

Delightful Myhorizon participant, Nick Kreutzer, has had his sights set on working in the hospitality industry for a while now, and has recently commenced working at Capalaba Sports Club.

Going to work and helping the restaurant staff with a variety of different tasks is what Nick says he enjoys most within his new role, as well as learning new skills. He even says he would love to be the Manager one day.

Nick’s supervisor at the Sports Club, Troy Morton, who also happens to be his Disability Support Professional at Myhorizon, has praised Nick’s proactive and enthusiastic approach to his new role at the Club.

“Since Nick has been working at the club, he has improved his skills in listening, eye contact with people, and also his increased confidence, and the feedback I’ve had from Nick’s co-workers here at the club has been extremely positive” says Troy.

The supportive team at the Club enjoy having Nick as part of the team and value his contribution and positive energy. The Capalaba Sports Club is known for its strong community spirit and has been providing support to the local community for over 30 years.

Myhorizon Wins Australia Day Award

The annual Redland City Australia Day Awards were held last night (Tuesday 23rd January 2018) at Alexandra Hills Hotel where Myhorizon were honoured as winners of the ‘Community Organisation Award’.

Each year Redland City Council recognises residents and community organisations through these awards where they acknowledge members and organisations in our community who have made outstanding contributions to promote the welfare and wellbeing in the Redlands.

Myhorizon has been part of the Redlands Community since 1981 and today supports more than 2000 people with a disability, with a passionate and dedicated team of over 240 staff.

The prestigious award was graciously accepted by Myhorizon CEO, Joe Gamblin on behalf of the entire organisation.

“This award is a wonderful recognition of the leadership at Myhorizon over many years and the contribution made by all the staff. It is great for the organisation to be recognised in this way and it is a strong reflection of goodwill and acceptance of people with disability within the Redlands community.” said Joe.

Myhorizon sincerely thanks the Redlands community and all who took the time to nominate the organisation for these awards, and congratulate all the other worthy nominees and winners on the night.

(Photo: Myhorizon CEO, Joe Gamblin, and Redland City Mayor, Karen Williams)

Myhorizon announces Wayne Clarke as its new Chair

Local disability services provider, Myhorizon, is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr Wayne Clarke as the new Chair of its Board of Directors.

Dr Clarke joined the Board in March 2012 and has held the position of Vice President over the last 2 years, and recently succeeded Louise Dudley as President and Chairman.

Victoria Knight, HBE employee at Myhorizon, and Dr Wayne Clarke, newly appointed President and Chair of the Board.

Spending much of his early career as a Speech therapist, Dr Clarke has worked with people with disability for many years and completing a PhD in the speech of cerebral palsy children has given him a strong understanding of working with people with disability. Dr Clarke has also worked for a number of non-profit organisations in executive roles, more recently for the Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute in Sydney, and Mental Illness Fellowship of Qld through which he has gained a strong sense of the importance of community values.

 “My view of disability and the role of organisations like Myhorizon is to try and prevent the disabling aspects of disability so that people can grow and lead a positive life and look for education, employment and other services.

“The wider community may not be aware just how many people there are with disability. We need to try to bring them out to be active members of our community and promote a general acceptance by everybody. They all need support in one way or another and as a community I believe we all have a responsibility to support them.” Said Dr Clarke.

It’s a timely message leading up to International Day of People with Disability, celebrated on 3 December. This is a United Nations sanctioned day that promotes inclusivity and celebrates the achievements and contributions of people with disability. It is an opportunity for our community to make positive changes to the lives of 4.3 million Australians living with disability.

A strong example of this year’s theme of empowering people with disability, is the collaboration and job ownership displayed by the HBE team at Myhorizon. Victoria Knight (pictured with Dr Wayne Clarke) is one of many employees who says she enjoys working at Myhorizon because she likes to come and get her jobs done and be with her friends. Myhorizon’s HBE employees work on a variety of mailing and packaging contracts for well-known businesses in the local area such as Sirromet Winery, as well as other businesses requiring similar services.

In addition to the mailing and packaging services offered by Myhorizon at their newly built Centre on Runnymede Road, Capalaba (next to Indigiscapes), they also provide a range of high quality services, all designed to support the ongoing needs of people with disability.

“The investment that has been made in Myhorizon’s new facilities and services is not just about preparing for the launch of NDIS next year, but also about having a modern facility that can be used by everyone in the community.

“You have members of the community coming in here, you’ve got people with disabilities helping in the café, and providing services back into the community. The fact that there is a facility that can provide you a good cup of coffee and you know in doing that you are supporting the community effort, really is important.” Said Dr Clarke.

 For more information on Myhorizon’s full range of services, click here.

NDIS rollout plan for Sunshine State released

The wait for the NDIS phasing schedule in Queensland is finally over.

In a statement by the relevant Ministers for the Commonwealth and Queensland State Governments this week it was announced that a bilateral agreement had been signed that will see the NDIS commence in Brisbane, Redland City, and on the Gold Coast in 2018.Some regions will gain access as early as July this year.

Under the signed agreement, more than 15,000 Queenslanders with disability will enter the scheme in the first year, more than 16,000 will join in the second year, and over 60,000 in the third.

With this exciting new landscape looming for disability service users and providers across the state, Myhorizon has been busy preparing our clients for the upcoming changes.

For more information about the NDIS and how we can assist you, please contact us on 07 3824 7007 or get in touch via the contact form on this website.