CoAct - Community Activation

Impact Report 2015

Member Impact

Local Heroes
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In June 2015 we introduced the CoAct Local Heroes program. It's an initiative which recognises excellence and highlights the outstanding work that is being done within our communities.

Each CoAct member nominated a Local Hero, with the nominees recognised at Parliament House during our national conference in June 2015.

Our inaugural Local Heroes include:

Dismantle (Pat Ryan) nominated by Bridging the Gap

Dismantle is leading the way in connecting young people into education and work using the bicycle ..

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as a tool to break down barriers.

The program focuses on boosting self-esteem, learning tangible skills and connecting them to a positive future.

Young people who are disengaged with mainstream schooling are referred to the program. Dismantle teaches them bike restoration skills, while Bridging the Gap upskills them with a Cert I in Work Preparation. The outcome is that 75 per cent of participants are actively involved in education, training or employment six months after they complete the Bike Rescue Partnership Project.

The Education Department of WA has described the project as "one of the most effective engagement programmes running in the south metro region, and we are looking forward to continuing the good work for the benefit of Perth teenagers."

Hikmat Shah nominated by SSI

Hikmat came to Australia in 2010 seeking refuge from the persecution and violence he and his family experienced in Pakistan.

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In Karachi, Hikmat was a businessman, employing thousands of people across a variety of businesses, including a social enterprise that supported underprivileged women in rural areas with employment and regular income.

He is working hard to establish himself again as a businessman in Australia and SSI's Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative is facilitating links and networks to support Hikmat and his entrepreneurial skills.

Shaz Harrison-Shaw and her 'Need a Feed' program nominated by Access

Shaz Harrison-Shaw had a vision to provide a food parcel service to struggling local families.

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Need a Feed and with the help of a team of volunteers Shaz provided food parcels, bakery items, fresh fruit, vegetables and drinks to 100 local families in need. Since then Need a Feed has created several strong partnerships which have developed over time, these partner organisations connect Need a Feed with families in need of food support. Need a Feed also passes on excess food, both fresh and non-perishable to various neighbourhood centres and organisations who support those in need, working together as a team to help more local families in need. Her vision for the future is to not only feed thousands but millions of families in need.

Paul Singh nominated by ACSO

Paul is responsible for coordinating ACSO's business partnership with Project New Dawn and its two lead corporate partners, BP and Bunnings ..

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program that addresses homelessness and unemployment by providing safe housing and paid employment opportunities for individuals who do not have a place to call home or a paid job to make ends meet.

Paul's passion and determination in assisting the most disadvantaged in our communities is evident in all aspects of his work. He coordinates a small dedicated team to identify suitable accommodation, recruit new house tenants, and work with our corporate employer partners to provide ongoing paid employment as well as provide ongoing mentoring to all house tenants through weekly house meetings and additional in-work support at each individual's workplace. Paul works with participants to build self-reliance, independent living skills and resilience. In the last five months, Paul and his team have assisted eight very long-term unemployed and homeless individuals to secure safe housing and a paid job. A further 20 accommodation and paid employment placements is planned for completion by the end of 2015.

Sue Salthouse nominated by Advance Personnel

Describing her introduction to the disability sector as "arrival by surprise", Sue Salthouse was 45 when she fell ..

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from a horse in the Snowy Mountains and embarked on her life of 'new opportunity' in a wheelchair.

Committed to social justice, Sue's immersion in the world of disability advocacy provided a new perspective on how to work on behalf of people who feel powerless.

Considered a 'warrior for women', Sue's work with disability and women's organisations has spanned grass-roots leadership and capacity building through to ensuring women's rights in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities are realised.

A trained teacher, Sue now focusses on women's rights and recognition of disability. Sue is Consumer Co-chair of the National Disability Insurance Scheme expert panel in the ACT and is determined to ensure that all people with disabilities have accessible housing, economic security and are enabled to make an equal contribution to society.

Kerry Hodgson nominated by IMPACT Community Group

Kerry was nominated as Impact's Local hero by her work colleagues as a prime example of someone

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Kerry was originally referred to Impact under the PSP (Personal Support Program) for depression. Kerry overcame a number of personal barriers and enrolled in a Cert II in Business to increase her confidence. Cert III qualifications followed and she hesitantly accepted a traineeship role with Impact. She has grown exponentially in the role over seven years and is now part of Impact's mental health team. Her life skills and experience has helped many clients with a severe and persistent mental illness secure employment and training to live, grow and prosper. Her unwavering dedication, compassion and easy going nature allows her to connect with anyone and for us epitomizes what IMPACT is all about and what we want to portray to our community.

Tricia Brunt nominated by MTC Australia

With four children and her parents to support, Tricia was determined to make a positive change in her employment prospects and enrolled in the ..

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New Enterprise Incentive Scheme (NEIS) to start her own business.

NEIS helps unemployed people become self-supporting by establishing and running their own business. Despite the many challenges and stages of doubt through the process, Tricia is a shining light of success, creating the prosperous international freight forwarding business, United Pacific Freight (UPF).

Tracey Sassall and Gail Isedale nominated by Workways Australia

Tracey and Gail were both School Learning Support Officers who were working with children with Autism.

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To ensure the children they worked with had the best possible school experience, they developed an e-learning resource pack and educational program that assisted the children to more effectively participate in their schoolwork, and transition through education and into employment. As a result, the pair created Angels for Autism to allow schools, parents and community members access to the resources so that children and young people with Autism could be more effectively supported to navigate education.

Many daily routines can be difficult for a child to complete independently and because of this, they require support. Tracey and Gail have now developed a home base program that allows families, community members and specialists to help children visually in their day-to-day routines.

Tim Ryan nominated by MS

Tim has lived with MS for the past seven years. He was on the cusp of being drafted into the AFL Melbourne Football Club in 2002 when he suddenly ..

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discovered he was experiencing an episode of double vision.

A diagnosis of multiple sclerosis soon followed along with other symptoms effecting his mobility, balance and fatigue levels. This dynamic young man in time felt well again and returned to work, coaching school age children in a variety of sports, which he loved.

His attempt to return his normal 'invincible' self was short lived when he realised he could not run or kick a football any longer. Cleverly Tim diversified his professional life and changed roles to a high profile role with an international airline carrier requiring less mobility and continues his passion for sport, when he took up wheelchair basketball.

In Karachi, Hikmat was a businessman, employing thousands of people across a variety of businesses, including a social enterprise that supported underprivileged women in rural areas with employment and regular income.

He is working hard to establish himself again as a businessman in Australia and SSI's Ignite Small Business Start-ups initiative is facilitating links and networks to support Hikmat and his entrepreneurial skills.

David Barbagallo nominated by Community Solutions

Endeavour Foundation was established in 1951 when a group of parents set up school on the veranda of a ..

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Queenslander home, refusing to accept that their children with intellectual disabilities could not be educated.

Today Endeavour Foundation is one of Australia's leading disability and community support providers, throughout Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. As a keen advocate for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Endeavour Foundation welcomes the changes which will deliver greater choice, control and independence to people with a disability. They embrace the opportunity to provide a holistic and diverse range of services nationally. They provide a comprehensive range of innovative and person-centred disability, health and wellbeing, training and employment services.

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