Photo of a set of suburban houses
Housing is important to everyone. As the NDIS rolls out it will bring with it some new and exciting opportunities for housing and accommodation for people with a disability. Under the NDIS you will be able to access funding to assist you to live independently, whatever that means to you.  You can also access funding for a support coordinator to assist you to set up the housing arrangements.

The NDIS can provide funding for you to access safe and accessible housing. This may mean you continue to live at home with your parents or family or it could mean accessing funding to work with someone to set up your own home sharing with others, or on your own. For example last year The Age newspaper had a story about a group of three woman in Geelong who had pooled their NDIS funding to rent a house together, and have their choice of support worker present.  There are many different options and every person’s needs and the way they want to live can be different.

But navigating through all the different choices and options, and planning for the future, can be difficult. To help you with this Merrimu’s Family and Carers Committee will be running a series of Accommodation forums to provide you with information on this process. The first forum will be held soon, with our first guest speaker. Stay tuned for more details and let us know what you would like to hear about, or if there are any speakers you would like to see!

Chantelle, a person we support, at the Ballarat Centre
Want to work with us and work with adults with a disability and their support people to achieve what is important to them? We are currently advertising the role of Service Coordinator at our Ballarat centre.

The Service Coordinator will have a willingness to grow and develop service options as Merrimu’s Network of services develops. The successful applicant will be dynamic and creative and thoroughly enjoy the challenge of strategic issues, at the same time as being able to pay attention to the detail required in developing and enhancing relationships and drawing new support programs into an operational setting.

The role will oversee the day to day operations of the service to ensure that the relevant support services are delivered in a manner consistent Merrimu’s Policy and Procedure Guidelines, Organisational Values, the Victorian Disability Service Standards and relevant Occupational Health and Safety requirements.

Merrimu has centres and hubs located in Bacchus Marsh, Melton and Ballarat. This position is currently located in Ballarat.

Applications and enquiries to Carolynne Smith, General Manager, Services. 5366 3006

Closing Date: COB 26th July 2017

Merrimu’s respite is running on select weekends until April!
See the list below of individual activities. This is available for adults with a disability over 18 years old who live in the Melton and surrounding local government areas – Melton, Moorabool, Brimbank, Ballarat and Wyndham.
You do not need to have accessed any service before but do need to qualify for support under the Disability Act 2006 from the Department of Health and Human Services. The program’s numbers are limited and are filling up fast, so please contact us if you would like more information or to book!

Date Activity Details
Saturday              11th February Scienceworks Packed Lunch or Spending money optional
Saturday            11th March Begonia Festival Ballarat Morning tea & lunch or spending money optional
Saturday              8th April Messy Kitchen – Chocolate Making and decorating Morning tea & lunch

“Merrimu helps me at home two afternoons a week. I like the staff’s sense of humour! On Tuesdays we do lots of things together; we tidy up my unit, change my bed linen, remake my bed and do my weekly shopping list. We are always busy. When we work together we chat and laugh.
On Thursdays we go shopping at IGA in Ballarat, on our way to my unit. I have a pretty strict budget to stick to that the staff help me with. On the way, we call in to the chemist. They know me well at the chemist. I go in on my own and collect my weekly pack.
When we get to the unit we unpack all the shopping together. We enjoy cooking delicious, healthy meals together for the week ahead. The staff encourage me to make different things and I feel I am learning a lot. We pack meals into containers that I put in the freezer so I have healthy dinners all week to choose from. When I need to go to the doctor or other appointments, staff help me do this too.
I feel good about all the help I get from Merrimu, I feel my life is a lot better since
starting here at Merrimu already!”

What is important to you today? Merrimu’s twenty-four seven Enhancing Independence service supports you to build skills, confidence and independence. Our staff will assist you wherever you need to be – whether it’s to keep medical appointments or learn how to cook.
Contact us to find out more.

If you happen to be passing our new premises at 2A Michaels Drive Ballarat, you will see Merrimus new signage for FDR (Front Door Recycling) and DELVE (Disability Education Learning Vocation and Empowerment).

Merrimu is proud to continuously introduce new learning and work experience opportunities for the communities we serve.

Our new Ballarat Hub is excited to extend its scope to include DELVE and FDR commencing late 2016.

The DELVE program, Disability Education Learning Vocation Empowerment, provides real-life work experience combined with training in employability and independent living skills. DELVE helps people make successful transitions to a productive and involved life this program can be accessed by people with varied skills and backgrounds seeking new opportunities and employment pathways.

FDR, Front Door Recycling, is a business model enabling a person to be actively involved in a business whose sole mission is to give back to community by recycling clothing and textiles. FDR actively participates with community organizations and business partners to enable a collective approach to recycling clothing and textiles.

Together with DELVE, FDR will facilitate and promote opportunities for participants to practice their DELVE learnt program based skills on a progressive basis. Each of DELVE’s functional skills and specific activity and task based skills programs form part of FDR’s business model of operations, allowing participants to be fully immersed in practicing their learnt skills on a daily basis.

We look forward to discussing FDR and DELVE more with you as we continue to strive to meet the growing demands for new work experience and learning opportunities.


National Disability Services invites all community members who are seeking further information on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) across Moorabool and the surrounding areas to attend the NDIS ‘Change and Choice’ Community Forum, on Monday 25 July in Bacchus Marsh.
The event will explore the core question from participants, their families, carers, service providers,
and community services: “What does the NDIS mean for me?”

The session will introduce the NDS, NDIA and Latrobe Community Health and address

  • The exciting opportunities created for participants, their families and carers under the NDIS, and answer any concerns they may have,
  • The key changes for service providers under the NDIS, and how they can prepare for the transition ahead
  • The ways in which the NDIS will intersect with schools, mental health support services, carer and respite services, community health, aged care and disability advocacy

There will be a guest speaker from the NDIS Barwon trial site, Giuseppe Prestia from Ermha 360.
He’ll share his first-hand experience of what life has been like transitioning to the NDIS and the positive outcomes it’s had within the community.
The ‘Change and Choice’ Community Forum is an excellent opportunity to learn about what the NDIS will mean for you. The day will include a short break for morning tea, with time to speak to NDS representatives and have your question answered.
NDS, in partnership with Moorabool Council and Merrimu Inc. will also be launching an exciting new Moorabool ‘Communities of Practice’ project. This project will explore how local services can work together to build consumer and community driven practices. Come along to find out more.

Time: 11am – 1:30pm
Date: Monday 25 July
Location: The Supper Room, 207 Main Street Bacchus Marsh (accessible venue)

You can also register your attendance here: