SDA News
Apr 2023
April 2023

Events: Navigating the SDA Journey, NSW

Inside Good Housing's first local networking and educational event: 'Navigating the SDA Journey' held in Sydney, NSW.

Last month, Good Housing welcomed support coordinators, SIL representatives and participants to their first local networking event, offering attendees the chance to explore and discuss the intricacies of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) through an educational talk series and live Q&A session.

Titled 'Navigating the SDA Journey', the Sydney based event commenced with morning tea and mingling (but of course!) before which event-goers enjoyed an engaging line up of presentations from such guests as keynote speaker Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, and industry leaders Greg Barry, Amanda Dodds and Jo-Anne Bennet.

Proceedings began with a welcoming address by Chief Empowerment Officer, Antony Anisse who highlighted Good Housing's commitment to improving the lives of NDIS participants through modern, dignified and purpose-built SDA accommodation that supports their physical and mental wellbeing.

Good Housing Chief Empowerment Officer Antony Anisse

Emphasising the significance of meaningful collaboration between SIL providers, support workers, carers and family members, Antony touched on the ways in which Good Housing works to achieve favourable outcomes for all tenants, maintaining a tenant-centric approach to its operations from build through to home transition.

"With time, our mission is becoming more and more clear," he began, talking attendees through Good Housing's integrated approach to Specialist Disability Accommodation. "Our goal is to deliver real and measured positive impact for our tenants, so that we can continue to empower extraordinary lives."

He continued, "As an organisation, Good Housing is dedicated to continuous improvement and the refinement of our processes to ensure that we deliver on this promise, [collaborating] with key stakeholders and support providers who share in our mission, and who will place our tenants' needs above all else."

Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM

Next to the stage was renowned disability advocate, doctor and QLD State Australian of the Year for 2021, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, who shared his insights into the importance of accessible housing and the role it plays in fostering independence and inclusion for Australians with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Lauded as Queensland's first quadriplegic doctor and one of the nation's most influential voices, Dinesh began his address by sharing a heartfelt insight into his own personal journey, describing the difficulties he faced in finding accommodation and procuring the right bank funding for necessary accessibility modifications.

Reflecting on the profound importance of such bodies as the NDIS and diverse Specialist Disability Accommodation housing options, Dinesh mused, "Today I have a great sense of gratitude because I know that my home has running water, electricity and so many comforts that billions of people around his planet don't get to enjoy."

Navigating the SDA Journey

"This gives me a sense of perspective, [and never ceases to remind me of just] how lucky I am," he continued. "Everything that we have in this country - from Medicare through to the NDIS - was built because our community believes in [giving everyone] a fair go, and protecting the most vulnerable people in our community."

"Everyone should have the right to housing and a safe home," he added. "We should all have the right to live comfortably, and to be able to live a life that allows us the pursuit of happiness." We couldn't agree more!

Greg Barry and Amanda Dodds

Next to present?

Greg Barry and Amanda Dodds, who drew upon their combined expertise as SDA Services Principal Consultant and Chief Executive Officer respectively to outline the SDA approvals and appeals process, and how their organisation works to support NDIS participants on various stages of their home journeys.

Founded by Greg in 2017, SDA Services has fast established its reputation as one of Australia's leading SDA consultancy services, engaging a multi-disciplinary team of professionals to assist participants with understanding their SDA eligibility, and obtaining the required funding to live in their own SDA homes.

Greg and Amanda also introduced SDA Services' SDA Eligibility Tool: a unique digital platform that allows participants to self-assess their likelihood of accessing Specialist Disability Accommodation funding based on a series of questions, with answers scored against specific categories required to meet eligibility for funding.

Jo-Anne Bennet

Last but not least, attendees heard from esteemed Occupational Therapist and Consultant Jo-Anne Bennet who focused on home and living assessments as a crucial part of the SDA process, with reference to individual assessments, and the various steps and protocols involved in SDA home personalisation.

Referencing her work with Advanced Rehab Centre (ARC), Jo-Anne described her process driven approach to housing and support, introducing event-goers to the Occupational Performance Framework (OPF): a model of assessment addressing the factors that affect a tenants' daily occupations and living decisions to provide tailored support provisions.

Through a series of case studies, Jo-Anne highlighted the importance of mutual collaboration between advocates, support co-ordinators, therapists, carers and families in obtaining the right supports for tenants, further emphasising the importance of tenant control and choice at every step of the process.

Greg Barry, Amanda Dodds and Good Housing Chief Innovator, Sam Graiche

The event concluded with a Q&A panel led by Good Housing Chief Innovator, Sam Graiche wherein delegates discussed a range of current and emerging topics in the SDA sphere including NDIS funding, appeals, market saturation and actionable ways to improve and enhance the current framework for tenants and their families.

A heartfelt thank you to all who attended 'Navigating the SDA Journey’ in Sydney. It was a true honour and privilege to share the floor with some of the industry’s key figures and discuss the ways in which together, we can build and hone upon our work and practices to ensure better outcomes for all tenants in the SDA space.

A special thank you to our incredible speakers Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, Greg Barry, Amanda Dodds and Jo-Anne Bennett for so generously sharing your time, knowledge and expertise with all who attended! For those who missed it, be sure to sign up for the Good News to keep across Good Housing's upcoming events.

Antony Anisse, Dr Dinesh Palipana OAM, and Kat Mangamu

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