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News and media

We aim to keep people talking about the issue of young people in aged care and the ways it can be solved. You can stay informed about our work and see our latest news and media coverage here.

For media enquiries: please contact Gareth Thomas, Marketing and Communications Manager on 0499 613 794 or email gareth.thomas@summerfoundation.org.au.

To view articles from the media only click here.

Person being shown a Yours Rights brochure by their Support Coordinator

Best practice when working with people with complex support needs

Online Workshop – Zoom
DATE: Thursday 13 April 2023

Learn about the guiding approaches of service provision including taking a human rights and person-centered approach to practice, working in a trauma informed way, practicing cultural sensitivity and promoting self determination.
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Connor is now living in SDA

We first met Connor during the more than 2 years he waited to get the right SDA approval in his NDIS plan. Late last year Connor finally moved in to his own apartment.
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Too many young dying in aged care

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison
More than 10,000 younger people have died in residential aged care over the past decade, with new figures prompting calls for the government to implement ambitious timeframes to get ­people under 65 out of aged care and into suitable accommodation.
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Meet Daniel

We first met Daniel almost a decade ago, when he lived in a nursing home. Last year, Daniel moved into his own SDA apartment.
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Meet Samar

Last year we began working with Samar. Samar shares her experience of moving into SDA and explains why she wanted to share her story.
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Annual Public Forum 2022

The Summer Foundation’s Annual Public Forum was held on November 25, 2022. For the first time since 2019, we were pleased to host an audience in person, as well as online. The hybrid event saw almost 600 join us online and close to 150 people at The Arena, NAB Docklands.
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Woman presenting a course

UpSkill training for 2023

UpSkill will continue to offer training and resources to support coordinators, allied health professionals and other sector professionals assisting people with complex support needs. Check out our upcoming courses for 2023.
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Free-up of NDIS beds ‘saves states millions’

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison
The government’s plan to clear hospital beds by getting National Disability Insurance Scheme participants discharged sooner is saving the states “literally millions of dollars every day”, and a “frank” conversation is needed over how they can do more to support young disabled Australians, NDIS Minister Bill Shorten says.
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The Canberrans languishing in nursing homes and hospital beds

Source: The Canberra Times – Dan Jervis-Bardy
Aida Janssen has lived a tough life. She was 12 when a bomb blast in her native Lebanon left her paralysed, the shrapnel causing scars which are still visible. At 29 she would get to live out a dream of moving to Australia, where she would settle in Canberra and start a family.
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Cut NDIS waiting times to 10 days: MP

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison
Waiting times for specialist disability accommodation would be slashed from the average of 125 days to just 10, under proposed NDIS ­reforms.
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Red tape means homes for NDIS left empty

Source: The Australian – Sarah Ison
More than 3000 properties for Australians with disabilities are sitting empty while NDIS participants languish in hospitals, group homes or aged care centres awaiting tick-offs from the agency.
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podcast with Kurt Fearnly

NDIS Chair Kurt Fearnley reveals all in this exclusive interview

In this episode of Reasonable and Necessary, Australia’s leading podcast on the NDIS, Dr. George speaks with newly appointed NDIS Chair Kurt Fearnley. In this in-depth interview Fearnley reveals all about how he came to the role, his vision for the future of the NDIS and, with a bit of persuasion, he takes on some of your tricky questions.
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Annual Public Forum

Welcome to our Spring 2022 Update

It’s an exciting and busy time for the Summer Foundation. Our Annual Public Forum on Friday 25 November will look at a reimagined NDIS and what it means for participants. As the Labor Government settles in, it is the ideal time to explore how a reimagined NDIS could truly serve the people it was designed for. 
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Board of Directors update

The Summer Foundation would like to thank Selina Short for her service as a Director on the Summer Foundation board. Selina joined the Board on 17 November 2020.  

We wish Selina the very best and thank her warmly for her service to Summer Foundation. 

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What does good NDIS support look like? – Participants tell all

In this episode of Reasonable and Necessary, Dr George speaks with Megan Topping (La Trobe University PhD research student) and Carl Thompson (NDIS participant and director of support coordination provider ‘Sort Your Support’) about what NDIS participants really want from support workers.
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NDIS delays contributing to hospital bed shortage

Source: 7.30 Report (ABC) – Lauren Day & Laura Keewley
We’ve all heard about the shortage of hospital beds across the country but in fact, there are hundreds that could be available if they weren’t being used by patients who are technically well enough to go home but can’t.
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NDIS deep dive: Interview with Minister Bill Shorten

In the latest episode of Reasonable and Necessary, Dr George Taleporos speaks to new NDIS Minister Bill Shorten . He discusses what he’s learned about the NDIS since taking over, and what he’s going to do to rebuild it now that he’s in charge.
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Welcome to our Winter 2022 Update

Over the past few months we have been working hard on a campaign that puts a spotlight on the lengthy delays NDIS participants are facing for approval of funding for housing and supports.
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Why are so many people stuck in hospital waiting for NDIS decisions?

Dr George Taleporos is back with a new episode of Reasonable & Necessary, where he meets NDIS participant Leila Bowheen who has been stuck in hospital for almost a year, waiting for housing and support. We also talk to Adam Horsburgh, CEO at the Austin Hospital for his take on the problem and how it can be solved.
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Welcome to our Autumn 2022 Update

In the lead-up to the federal election, the Summer Foundation is working with an alliance of people with disability, advocacy organisations and the housing, health and disability sectors to campaign for timely NDIS funding for housing and support. 
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Access free RAT

How people with disability can access free rapid antigen tests

In this episode of Reasonable & Necessary, George is speaking with Therese Clark from Barwon Health to find out how people with disability (PWD) can access free rapid antigen tests (RAT) through the Victorian Government Disability Liaison Officer service.
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Managing ourselves in a COVID world

The Summer Foundation’s Information Service and Lived Experience Advisor, Emma Gee, chats with one of the organisation’s Lived Experience Facilitators, Shanais Nielsen, about the best ways to plan, navigate, stay positive and up to date in this COVID world. 
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People with disability break free from aged care

Source: ABC News |   Author: Nas Campanella

Almost 4,000 young Australians with disability live in aged care too, and advocates say a broken system is preventing any progress on finding them somewhere else to live.
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Summer 2021 news update

Welcome to our last edition for 2021. We celebrate the significant amount of critical work that has been done toward ending the need for younger people with disability to live in aged care; in what have been challenging circumstances over this past year.
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Million Dollar Vax impact

More than 2.7 million Australians entered the Million Dollar Vax campaign, which aimed to encourage COVID-19 vaccination and was promoted by the Summer Foundation.
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International Day of People with Disabilities logo

Media release: Australian Disability Strategy 2021-2031

The Summer Foundation is pleased to support the Australian Disability Strategy 2021-2031. The Strategy, launched today on the Disability Gateway, priorities the commitment to improve the lives of people with disability by all governments – Australian, state, territory and local.
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Annual Public Forum 2021

More than 330 people logged in to our 10th Annual Public Forum on 4 November. Reaching Towards Success – Closing the door to aged care for young people discussed the progress being made to end the need for younger people to live in aged care, as well as the barriers that remain.
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Building a sustainable SDA market

Representatives from the Summer Foundation and investment industry leaders – all members of a recently established Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) Investor Think Tank – have welcomed the Federal Government’s supportive response to their collective views about the future of the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) market.
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$2.5b disability housing sector set to explode in size

Source: Australian Financial Review |   Author:  Michael Bleby

Specialist housing for disabled people, which has grown from nothing into a $2.5 billion asset class in just five years, is poised to expand a further fivefold in response to demand for housing that meets the needs of an estimated 28,000 young people, a new industry report shows.
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Welcome to our 2021 Winter Update

Welcome to our winter update. It comes at a time of greater public focus on the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), particularly around new independent assessments, personalised budgets and challenges within the specialist disability accommodation (SDA) sector.
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Houses in neighbourhood

Construction Code Changes Can Future-Proof Homes

Source: The Urban Developer |   Author:  Di Winkler

Australia’s building ministers at their meeting on April 30 decided to include minimum accessibility standards in the 2022 National Construction Code (NCC).

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House interior

Accessibility becomes the new standard

Source: Probono Australia |   Author: Di Winkler & Peter Mulherin

Australia’s building ministers have decided to include accessible design features in the National Construction Code. Di Winkler and Peter Mulherin look at what that means.

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Time to future proof Australian housing

Source: Probono Australia  |  Author: Di Winkler and Peter Mulherin

Only a mandatory approach to accessibility standards will future-proof Australia’s housing…
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Understanding accessibility features

The Summer Foundation and La Trobe University are conducting national surveys of people with a mobility impairment and occupational therapists (OTs) about housing accessibility features.
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Summer Foundation welcomes new Board members

The Summer Foundation is pleased to welcome 2 new Board members, as part of an active Board renewal process designed to strengthen the diversity, strategic capacity and breadth of expertise on the Summer…
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A new era begins for younger people in aged care

Source: Australian Ageing Agenda |   Author:  Amelia Condi

There’s support for aged care providers as they transition to NDIS and start providing more choice and control for people with disability, writes Amelia Condi.

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Annual Public Forum 2020

The Summer Foundation 2020 Annual Public Forum was held as an online event on Thursday, 12 November, with around 300 attendees joining us via Zoom.
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Welcome to our 2020 spring update

It’s a particularly exciting time for me as the Summer Foundation starts the next stage of our journey to ensure people with disability have access to the support they need to control where they live and who they live with.
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Private sector flocks to specialist disability accommodation

Source: Australian Financial Review |   Author:  Michael Bleby

The pipeline of new homes developed with National Disability Insurance Scheme funding has jumped by 50 per cent over the past 12 months, the latest report by the Summer Foundation and Social Ventures Australia…
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Tom Butler Q & A

Tom Butler is the provider of his own Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). He moved into his SDA unit in Tasmania in 2019. We asked him about the journey to becoming his own SDA provider.
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Support for NDIS review report

Recommendations released today, 20 January 2020, following a review of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) by independent expert Mr David Tune AO PSM, should unlock the benefits of the scheme…
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NDIS training held at Broadmeadows

Source: Northern Health | Photo: Northern Health

Northern Health has partnered with the Summer Foundation to up skill our staff in how we work with the NDIS…

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Summer Foundation leadership change

The Summer Foundation Board is extremely pleased to announce the re-appointment of Dr Di Winkler as CEO of the Summer Foundation. Di is founder of the Summer Foundation…
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Allen Martin Research Scholarship 2019

The Summer Foundation is pleased to announce that applications are now open for the Allen Martin Research Scholarship 2019, sponsored by The Rotary Club of Kew and Robinson Gill Lawyers.
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‘No leadership’ on aged care

The Morrison government’s “Claytons action plan” for younger people in residential aged care was symptomatic of a “distinct lack of leadership” on the issue, the Aged Care Royal Commission has heard.
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Get All young out of aged care: commission

Source: 7 News  |  Reporter: Megan Neil
A federal government plan will not do enough to stop the pipeline of younger people ending up in aged care and help those already “lost” in nursing homes, a royal commission…
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Aged Care Inquiry

THE NDIA says is confident it will be able to significantly reduce the number of people under the age of 65 living in aged care.
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Young in aged care a ‘national disgrace’

An aged care royal commissioner says the system of younger people with disabilities being stuck in nursing homes is at best a national embarrassment and at worst a national disgrace.
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Where to next for SDA?

Source: Social Ventures Australia | Reporter: Rebecca Thomas

How can improvements to the Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) landscape be made to deliver high quality housing…

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Dr Di Winkler awarded Order of Australia

Summer Foundation founder, Dr Di Winkler has been appointed as a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia (General Division), for significant service to people with a disability.
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Thinking About SDA

The NDIS is life-changing for many people with disability – especially if you are eligible for specialist disability accommodation (SDA) funding.
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Announcing UpSkill

For NDIS Support Coordinators who are working with participants who have complex support needs.
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SDA reforms welcomed

Joint Statement from the Summer Foundation and Youngcare Announcements today about reforms to the Specialist Disability Accommodation Framework for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) have been welcomed by the Summer Foundation and Youngcare.
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Advocating for young in aged care

An advocacy group for young people in nursing homes is hosting a workshop in Traralgon to ensure those voices are heard in the aged care royal commission.
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Where the heart is

Source: Monash Life | Reporter: Melissa Marino When it comes to people’s homes, neither Dr Di Winkler nor Dan McKenna are prepared to accept the status quo. The occupational therapist and architect are challenging…
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Applications Open for new apartments

Applications are open for Summer Housing apartments in quality new developments in the Brisbane suburb of Woolloongabba and Sydney suburb of Rockdale.
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Home Comforts

A scratch on her leg dramatically changed Deb Huismann’s life forever. Her story is a great example of why our work to keep young people out of aged care is so important.
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Get Us Out

Last week the Prime Minister announced the Australian Government would hold a Royal Commission into aged care. The Summer Foundation’s George Taleporos tells us why…
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Get building SDA

Our Get Building SDA initiative has been launched in regional NSW. Get Building SDA aims to increase the number of SDA properties for NDIS participants and, as a result…
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Opportunities to tell your story

The Summer Foundation is looking for National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) participants to create personal digital stories that capture their experience of hospital discharge, housing or living as a young…
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Life After the Nursing Home

At the age of 21, Summer Foundation Ambassador James Nutt was living in a nursing home with little hope for his future. Over 13 years on, James reflects on how regaining his independence changed his outlook on life, and helped him find happiness.
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The Summer Foundation recently held a forum on young people living in nursing homes and the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), a discussion about reality, expectations and the unknown.
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Breakfast Club Lecture Series 2016

Podcasts from the Summer Foundation’s 2016 Breakfast Club lecture series on brain injury rehabilitation are now available online and via the iTunes store.
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A New NDIS World

Two and a half years ago, Kirby Littley was diagnosed with a brain tumour. After surgery she had a number of strokes which led to an acquired brain injury. Kirby’s mother Carol Littley recalls how her family found out about the NDIS, and how the Scheme has helped Kirby to reach her goals. 
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Upstream without a walking stick

On Saturday 5 November, Mal Gibson will take on the Upstream 50km Challenge for the third year in a row, just three years since learning how to walk again.
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Return to Driving after Traumatic Brain Injury

In March, Pam Ross (Grade 4 Senior Occupational Therapist, Driving and Vocational Rehabilitation Coordinator, Epworth Rehabilitation) delivered the first Breakfast Club Lecture of the year.
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Media Release: 7-10-15

The Summer Foundation is proud to launch its latest publication, New Housing Options For People with Significant Disability: Design Insights. The report provides insights into design based on our learnings from our housing demonstration projects in…
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Media Release: APF 2015

Young people with complex disabilities and high support needs are often moved into nursing homes direct from hospital or rehabilitation.
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Coming Home

Source: The Weekly Review Greater Geelong  |  Reporter: Julia Millard
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