Category: Charity

A smiling black man wearing a cloth hat in a wheelchair looking at us with a positive expression

Reflecting on a shortfall

Given that our application for a grant from the Pine rivers and Samford Community grant saw us secure $5,500 rather than the $10,000 that we applied for, we are currently reflecting on how to cover the shortfall.  Don’t get us wrong, we are incredibly grateful for the grant monies we received.  There was a huge number of applications, so we know we are very fortunate to have received the monies that we did.

$5,000 of the monies we received will be used to pay for a critical programming expense.

Here are the few matters we need to raise funds for:

(i) Professional indemnity and public liability insurance cover ($1460);

(ii) Animation ($3,000); and

(iii) Digital subscriptions ($540)

The above items are important but not critical.  We will explore ways to cover these important expenses.

A circle of cut out figures with joined hands, a metaphor for a community.

Caught up with Tolga Okar – SpeakMyLanguage (Disability)

Gary recently got up with Tolga Okar of the SpeakMyLanguage (Disability) social enterprise.  A group looking at the unique challenges faced by Australians with disability who are Culturally and Linguistically Diverse.  It was a terrific coversation covering a number of exciting topics.  

The platform’s team are very conscious of the intersectionality of prejudice, discrimination and isolation that can confront some members of the Australian disability community.  So that a person with disability, who speaks a language other than English, who is a person of colour can face three levels of prejudice.  Rather than try to replicate the important work of existing community groups and social enterprises we want to connect to those groups and look for ways to collaborate with them.  We are also very concious that the Advisory Board is very white and speak English as our first language.  

Our hope in connecting to and speak my language is to find a way to collaborate together and perhaps to co-mentor some members.  We would also be thrilled to add a CALD person to our Board.

Computer key - blind person

Setting up our Communiteer profile

We recently attended the Communiteer Not-for-Profits: Information Session (facilitated by Jayna Huang) explaining the features of the terrific platform for Australians not-for-profit social enterprises and setting up the profile of institutions on that platform.  

Since then, we have been working to put our platform up onto Communiteer.  We have already provided some feedback to the Communiteer team.  We are incredibly excited by the prospects of how Communiteer could complement the operation and the outcomes that will be archived by our platform.  We can seen it being a great way to connect to socially aware corporations and volunteers.  

We will keep our community informed of our progress and will share the links so that you can connect to us and volunteer your expertise and time.   

Determined young man with prosthesis trying up Nordic walking while spending actively his weekend

Sidney Myer Foundation

We recently lodged an express of interest in the Sidney Myer Foundation scholarship.  This would buy-out some of Gary’s time from Griffith University and AHRECS.  This is our third attempt at this large philanthropic scholarship.  We know it is highly competitive and so are grateful to be able to apply.  In fact, this is the last year where we will be eligible to apply.  So everyone please send positive thoughts in our direction.

If we are successful,  this will be a massive boost to the platform.  It also means that Gary stops trying to juggle three endeavours to the chagrin of family and friends.  This EOI is part of our ongoing efforts to raise the funds to set up and operate the platform.  If we are unsuccessful, this won’t delay the launch of the platform, but if would make it harder.  

Do you know an Australian with disability?  If so, encourage them to complete the short form below.  If they have any questions, they can reach us at [email protected] or by phoning 0436480769.  We are a not-for-profit service led and guided by Australians with disability.  

A patterned graphic containing the words "you ARE ENOUGH"

We are delighted to be working with Sukhi Arora

We have been listed as a not-for-profit with the employment service Seek.  This allows us to list volunteering opportunity online with them.  We are incredibly fortunate to have Sukhi Arora volunteering with us.  He has considerable experience in the social enterprise, community service and business spaces.  He is currently assisting with behind the scenes work with Gary.  

The platform is now greatly benefiting from the work of a few volunteers.  We are excited by this contribution and work, which is powering our progress towards launch, which we plan to do formally in December around World Disability Day.  

If you are interested in doing some volunteer work with the platform, send us an email to [email protected]  There are currently several spaces where we are looking for volunteers, everything from experienced business people to serve as mentors for our members through to talented artists to produce cartoon images.  We would be thrilled to hear from you.

A cartoon of a female carer rolling a woman in a wheelchair how long a windowed corridor in a city airport.

Reviewing the free and discounted stuff we are eligible for

The listing of the platform with Connecting Up means that we are eligible for a number of software, services and hardware.  We are currently reviewing the exciting list to determine what items would be helpful for the establishment and the immediate operation of the national not-for-profit service r the Australian disabled community.

Registration with Connecting Up was part of the process for the Google sponsorship.  We are incredibly grateful for this opportunity and the global technology industry should be congratulated for their support for the not-for-profit sector.  It wasn’t an easy or straightforward process there was great online support and this scheme was incredibly encouraging and supportive.

Our sincere thanks to the platform’s volunteer, John Blandford for the idea and helping us for the process.

Selective focus.Text MAKE MONEY EASILY on color paper with paper clips and push pin on a black background.Business concept idea.

Disability entrepreneurship and benefits

We are extremely fortunate to be receiving pro bono legal advice from MinterEllison, an amazing and generous legal firm.  Based on our experience with the pilot test, we are currently seeking their advice on the ways in which we can legally help members avoid the worry of how their money-generating endeavour will impact their pension or other benefits.

The reality is the income from a monetised hobby, a gig-based micro-business or a small business can be inconsistent and unpredictable.  The fact that someone earns a certain amount in one month does not mean that they will earn the same amount in subsequent months.  We don’t want this to be a disincentive from establishing and operating a new endeavour.

We will keep this community informed of how this discussion goes and if we have a solution for members who are concerned about their benefits.

Cerebral palsy colorful word on the wooden background with stethoscope

Terrific support from some software services

We are delighted to report that three software services are showing their support by giving us special pricing and access to other supports, because of our not-for-profit status and our social objectives.

These services are:

(i) Box
(ii) Mailchimp
(iii) Digital Lift (

These are services that provide excellent applications and online services that we regularly use.  We definitely recommend that members of the platform’s community check out the services and consider them for your own needs.