Group 3

Who we are

The Summer Foundation, established in 2006, is committed to resolving the issue of young people living in aged care. Supporting, informing and empowering people with disability and their families is key to resolving this issue.

Why we exist

The Summer Foundation exists to permanently stop young people with disability from being forced into residential aged care (RAC), ensuring people with disability have access to the support required to be in control of where, how and with whom they live.

Strategic priorities

We are focused on achieving the following outcomes:


NDIS participants with complex support needs can readily access a range of housing options which align with their needs and preferences.

Preventing new admissions to residential aged care (RAC)

NDIS participants with complex needs in hospitals are supported to successfully return to community living, where and how they choose. The services, supports and workforce to maintain community living are available and well skilled.

Aged care

The only young people living in RAC are there due to exceptional circumstances, it is an informed choice, and they are connected to effective NDIS plans which they are supported to implement.

Our strategic plan

The Summer Foundation collaborates with other organisations, government, people with disability and their families to resolve the issue of young people living in aged care. Supporting, informing and empowering people with disability and their families is critical to resolving the issue of young people in aged care. We strive for innovation by collaborating to create positive change.

Our history

The Summer Foundation was established in 2006 by Di Winkler, an occupational therapist who has worked with people with severe brain injury for more than 20 years.

The early work of the Summer Foundation focused on understanding the experience of young people forced to live in aged care and growing a body of evidence to support the need for systemic change.

We support the disability, health and aged care systems to work more effectively with younger people in nursing homes. We have prototyped effective housing alternatives to aged care for younger people with disability. We support people with disability and their families to share their stories and empower others to avoid or leave aged care.

We also develop practice guides, training materials and new models for government and non-government organisations to work together to resolve this issue.

We undertake academic and applied research to make sure there is a strong evidence base for what works.

Housing Hub

The Housing Hub is a website the Summer Foundation launched in August 2017 to connect people with disability to suitable housing.

Housing providers from anywhere in Australia can list their properties on the Housing Hub. Listings include existing SDA properties, new SDA builds, non-SDA supported accommodation, private rental and properties for sale.

The Housing Hub also hosts a library of useful information for housing seekers and housing providers.

Summer Housing

In 2017, we decided that the replication and scaling of our housing demonstration projects would be best implemented by a dedicated organisation that focuses on the ‘bricks and mortar’ of housing projects. So we established Summer Housing, a not-for-profit sister organisation to the Summer Foundation. Summer Housing is separate to the Summer Foundation, with an independent Board and staff, but the 2 organisations continue to collaborate.

UpSkill is a Summer Foundation program that offers training and resources for NDIS professionals assisting people with complex support needs. Workshops cover a range of topics relevant to supporting people to achieve good outcomes and live well in the community.

Share it on