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First Nations participant receives life-changing disability support

Through our Direct Employ service, Veronica was able to directly employ a Support Worker from own her clan.

Building Community
Jane is standing in between two First nations men. Everyon is looking and smiling at the laptop which is sitting on a wooden outdoor table.

With over 50 per cent of First Nations people living in regional and remote areas, access to the right disability Support Workers is becoming increasingly challenging.

Due to the growing Support Worker shortage in these communities, the Carer Solutions team have been working hard to advocate on behalf of First Nations participants, to ensure they can access culturally appropriate support, regardless of where they live.

Last year our team travelled to Milingimbi (also known as Yurrwi) which is approximately 500km off the coast of Central Arnhem Land in the Northern Territory. We made the long journey to onboard NDIS participant Veronica, to our Direct Employ service.

Our unique service has enabled Veronica who is living with cerebral palsy, to directly employ Janita, a member of her Yolngu clan, as her Support Worker.

With Milingimbi having a population of around 1,400 people, where English isn’t even a first or second language, it was extremely important for Veronica to receive culturally appropriate support from someone she trusted and who understood her cultural needs.

She had previously been sent support workers from overseas who didn’t speak her language or respect her cultural values. A family member had to provide unpaid support which resulted in carer burnout. When Veronica’s family carer was unavailable, it meant that Veronica went without support altogether.

After hearing about Veronica’s situation, our Founder and CEO, Jane Morrell knew that Carer Solutions’ Direct Employ service was the solution Veronica so desperately needed.

“We were approached by The Miwatj Health Aboriginal Corporation when they heard about our Direct Employ model. Finally, they had an option which enabled Veronica to directly employ someone from within her own clan and receive dignified support from someone she was comfortable with,” Jane explains.

This meant that Veronica could finally receive culturally appropriate support from someone she already had a connection with. It also provided much needed relief to Veronica’s family member who had taken on the role of her unpaid carer for far too long.

“We are delighted that our unique service model and our extensive relationships with government and on-the-ground health providers made this happen, but it needs to happen more.”

Jane says giving individuals like Veronica and their families choice and control over who works with them, needs to become the “norm, not the exception”.

“I am excited to see what impact our Direct Employ service can continue to make across Australia – especially in regional and remote communities, where they urgently need access to innovative services like ours.”


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