Monthly Archives: March 2011

Exciting ‘stuff’ is happening…

Hi All
I have spent the best part of a year working on what this site was going to feel like, what kind of information we wanted to put up and how we could get lots of helpful links happening.

On Australia Day 2011, I took a deep breath – and pushed the button allowing the site to go live! Then I sat back and and held my breath!

Over the past 8 or so weeks, we have had 1000 visitors, several hundred from our Facebook account and our Twitter site.

I have developed lots of ideas for the website, and the time has come to give my baby to someone who actually knows how to create magic online: his name is Bill Journee. Bill is going to tweak and add and create new ‘stuff,’ and in a couple of weeks you will notice the changes.

In the meantime, continue to send in your ideas, look through and enjoy what we have developed.

And remember to enjoy your world.


Getting ready for the next 10 to 15 years

This is the second report on our recent Organisational Planning Day. It is the most exciting experience to be in a room full of people who are looking forward with hope and enthusiasm!

We framed the discussions around: What does Flexi need to prepare now, in order to be prepared to meet the next 10 to 15 years. There was heaps of discussion and I have grouped it into the main themes but it is in no particular order.

Whole of Organisation: What we need to be focussed on:
Advocacy for people with disabilities
Promote public awareness and effective networking with other organisations
Continue the plans for The Village – this is what families want into the future as well as:
Working towards alternate accommodation options.

We need to continue support to people with Mental Health issues through:
Continue to promote the service to the community
Support staff to improve their Mental Health education
Develop respite accommodation opportunities

Parents and Carers of our Service Users would like us to facilitate better information on:
Legal requirements – health directives, financial planning, Role of the Adult Guardian
Legal documentation – who makes decisions, Wills, plans for future needs
Legal representatives to go to for advice
Get information about support groups

We need to be proactive in our ISP’s and ensure we have conversations with parents about:
Increased support to families and service users during times of crisis
Increased opportunities for community activities
Emergency plans and information sharing

We need to better address the needs of post school adults.
Transitions: greater life skills, living independently, career planning, challenging skills to develop further,
Ensure skills aren’t lost, further schooling opportunities, opportunities to build self esteem and confidence,
Maintaining relationships, supporting day planning and social interactions and an independent social life
Real work opportunities for service users – with “real” career or activity progression planning

Our service users are aging. We need to:
Ensure cross-skilling in Aged Care training
Facilitate research into the needs of people with disabilities who are ageing.

Parents of children with disabilities look tous for support in:
Early intervention with a focus on prevention (with greater support at period of diagnosis ie childhood)
Greater community education around disabilities

What we don’t think we can achieve or change right now BUT we will continue to Lobby for it!
Increased Transport availability for community access
more medical facilities in the Burdekin
Suitable accommodation for independent living
Council to ensure shops develop suitable access allowing accessibility for wheelchairs.

So there you have it. Lots of hard work went into this and we will be guided by these goals over the next year and then we will check our progress in a years time!

Dreaming and Scheming into the Future!

We had a great day on Wednesday at our organisational Planning Day! With almost equal numbers of parents, service users, Board and staff we spent the day looking at what we can achieve in this next year.

I am going to include some of the stuff we came up with here – so you can see how we went about the process and what came from the brainstorming…

Firstly, the President Ian Shepherdson gave an overview of how the Board operates – their structure and their meetings. Board members also attend our Centre Team Meetings so they can see the kinds of planning detail and problem solving that we all get up to. Ian also explained to everyone present how individual Board members do audits across the organisation, and how they audit and check on my performance. I think everyone thought that bit was interesting!!

Then I took everyone through the performance indicators that had been developed last year – and reported across the pieces of work that are now Finished!

Development of a model of service based on Strengths Based Theory – Flexi Model of Service – which will be posted as soon as we have sign off from parents and service users.

Focus on Friendships – across the organisation we are looking at ways we can support, keep up and create social networks across this community and the whole of the world. We have some great ideas how to do that too – so watch this space!

Accommodation Options – We now have two fully supported (24/7) houses and have commenced the last arrangements for The Village. This is not the end of our work. There are many folk who might choose other housing options in the community and we need to plan to help in that transition period – even if that is of several years duration.

Developing the Team included the appointment of our Team Leaders – Have a look at the tabs on this site for what they do -Young Adults, Children’s Team and Mental Health Team.

Permanent Staff – We have had two calls for people who are interested in working full-time (35hr a week) and we have since appointed all those who met the criteria: Maturity in the role, experience, ability to quickly form positive supportive relationships, clear understanding of boundaries, skills and most importantly, a passion and a pride in the profession of being a Disability Specialist.

The whole team underwent a TON of training last year. From broad training on the huge field of disability, clinical presentations, person centered planning, family focussed support, general support, Boundary Training and communication skills.

THEN we started planning the real work for this year – the fun stuff:


Creating smooth linkages between Intake and Assessment, ISP’s development (Individual Service Plans), Activity Planning, LF (Lifestyle Facilitator) involvement, quality audits and then reviews. Promoting buddy shifts for additional support/training and rotating LF’s more often,

Focus on Support to Families: Information on funding, training, and turning 18 information, more weekend activities/respite, legal, financial, Public Trust, Centrelink and Adult Guardian information for parents and service users.

Develop a Transitions Program – specifically for last years of school and entering the workforce and living independently. Program to operate during the week funded through a mixture of block funding and service user charges. Mix of volunteer activities, work experience, employment, social activities, lifestyle skilling in a meaningful environment with age appropriate links across the community. Interestingly, we had already started the VERY early planning around a Transitions Program – which will get a snappier name!!

Emphasis on skills maintenance and skills development across all activities.

Healthy Living Program across all program areas – a mix of diet, healthy exercise, sports and games activities, cooking skills. Flexi has already drastically reduced the level of activities around food (morning teas, lunch at Maccas, cooking cakes etc)

Everyone wanted to know about The Village! We continue to get HEAPS of support for it – an exciting update from the Board will be available soon.

Lots of great ideas:

Transitions Program – this was repeated from the Looking Inwards session! Interesting huh?

Sports and sporting activities – this has commenced as a regional approach with a partnership between Flexi, Lifeline NQ and Community Inclusion. We are also involved in some local fun at the soon to be completed PCYC (Police and Citizen’s Youth Club) and See below.

Networking across other agencies and communities eg Accessing Townsville, Bowen, Charters Towers and Ingham (communities in common) activities and occasions, as well as to run courses on self development, self esteem, s*xual health and relationships.

Creative pursuits, art and craft and cooking classes

More weekend activities across the region: Supporting Friendships, travel and social networking, makeup, discos and karaoke nights!!

Flexi Holidays including cultural opportunities, concerts and sports in other cities, weekend camping and short trips away.


What an intense start!! My job is now to work out what we can do now – what we need to plan for – and what money I need to find!

Part two: The next 10-15 year plan….
To be out online next week…. this one is REALLY exciting!