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Who we are


In 2006, the Summer Foundation was established to stop young people with disability being forced to live in aged care. We are changing systems to ensure people with disability and complex support needs live where and with whom they choose, with access to high quality housing and support options that enhance health, wellbeing and participation.

Strategic priorities

We are focused on achieving the following outcomes:

Access to quality housing

NDIS participants with complex support needs can readily access a range of home and living supports, which means people can live where and how they wish.

Stop the flow in

No young person with disability (under 65 years old) admitted to residential aged care.

Leaving residential aged care

All young people with disability in aged care have made an informed choice on where they want to live and the support they will receive.

An effective NDIS for our cohort

A re-designed NDIS that works well for participants with complex support needs.

What we do

As systems entrepreneurs, we use 5 levers to bring about change. Generating evidence such as published research and lived experience is a critical tool for this change, along with innovation through the co-design of new solutions and services. We work with government and influence people on the inside. Our advocacy work sees us apply pressure from the outside by harnessing public support. Where necessary, we use a legal lever and support people to fight for their rights.

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.

Our academic and applied research helps to ensure there is a strong evidence base for what works.

We support the disability, health and aged care systems to work more effectively with younger people in nursing homes.

The Summer Foundation prototyped effective housing alternatives to aged care for young people with complex needs.

Our organisation works with people with disability and their families to share their stories and empower others to avoid or leave aged care.

Resources such as guides, training and collaborative models help resolve the issue of young people living in aged care.

Housing Hub

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

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

A library of useful information for people with disability who are looking for housing is also available.

Housing hub logo
Housing advice line 1300 61 64 63
A NDIS professional speaking to a young person with disability in aged care
UpSkill logo

UpSkill training is now being delivered by the Housing Hub

Housing Hub now offers training for NDIS professionals assisting people with complex support needs including those living in aged care. Workshops cover a range of topics relevant to supporting NDIS participants to achieve good outcomes and live well in the community.

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