READY TO ROLL: Sunraysia Residential Services CEO Marian Luehman, left, presented at the NDIS information seminar after which she joined MRCC Rural Access worker, Jenny Snadden and MRCC Community Support Team Leader, Cindy Howard, right, who co-ordinated the information sessions.

LAST week an information seminar for NDIS service providers organised by the Mildura Rural City Council (MRCC) attracted more than 60 representatives from a wide range of local organisations who were introduced to Intereach, the agency that will be responsible for putting people’s NDIS plans in place.

Attendees at the sessions also had the opportunity to hear from and network with representatives from some the district’s key NDIS registered service providers, including Vision Australia, Sunraysia Residential Services, Anecto, The Christie Centre and many others.

Intereach is in the process of establishing an office in Mildura to support the roll out of the NDIS from January 1, 2019.

Senior Manager of Early Childhood-Early Intervention for Loddon and Mallee, Bendigo-based Loretta Kingston-Brown said Mallee is fortunate to have had a longer lead time and that her organisation had been preparing since June when they were announced as the partner for our region.

“We have been in the process of establishing a team and an office from which to operate and to train our team to develop our system in Mildura and Swan Hill,” she said.

Ms Kingston-Brown said that NDIS plans wouldn’t be created immediately after the January 1 rollout, but rather it is expected there will be a steady progression of people having the opportunity to meet with Intereach’s local area coordinators and early childhood intervention coordinators to articulate their goals and prepare a plan and come back via their team for support to access resources and funded supports within the community.

“Today gives us the opportunity to build on our knowledge as we are becoming increasingly aware of the supports that are available for our participants and a big part of our job is to understand the support resources that are available in the community,” she said.

Intereach is based in Deniliquin and has been operating for 40 years providing community disability services in NSW for a substantial period of time.

“We have 15 staff based in the Mildura office and six in the Swan Hill office, including two program managers in Mildura, and one in Swan Hill, as part of the local area coordination team and there is also an Early Childhood Intervention manager who is responsible for the care of the up to six-year-olds,” Ms Kingston-Brown said.

MRCC Rural Access worker, Jenny Snadden, together with MRCC Community Support Team Leader, Cindy Howard, co-ordinated the information seminar.

“The purpose of today’s sessions is to bring the service providers who will be providing services to the community for the NDIS and not all of those attending are registered yet and so today’s session is designed to bring them together so they could see what the different supports were,” Ms Snadden said.

“If you go to one provider and you need support from another provider, if they know who the other service providers are and what they offer, they can refer you and head you in the right direction.

“The other important advantage of coming along to the session is to enable people from different agencies to meet with Intereach who are going to be the agency that will put the NDIS plans in place for each client.”

Ms Howard said that they have found that the disability services who were the iconic ones in our community have now changed and grown, and now there are a range of new organisations that are providing services to people with a disability that many people wouldn’t be aware of.

“So today is about a networking opportunity to bring the providers together to share that information, to make sure we know who we are referring to and what they provide, so that ultimately we deliver the best outcome for the client,” she said.