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Oscar Browne and Jason Godden having a jam

NATIONAL Volunteer Week (NVW) is the annual celebration to acknowledge the generous contribution of our nation’s volunteers. This year, National Volunteer Week 2020 was held from Monday 18 May – Sunday 24 May 2020 with the theme “Changing Communities. Changing Lives”.

While celebrations were subdued acrosss the nation, National Volunteer Week 2020 has given us all a chance to take stock and appreciate all the efforts of our army of volunteers and Currajong is no different.

“Simply put, volunteers are part of the backbone of our organisation,” said Dane Millerd of Currajong Disability Services.

“Whether it be a student studying prac, a support worker donating more time or a family member who wants to help – we are extremely grateful for all of our volunteers,” said Dane.

“While we may not have been able to pay tribute the way we would have liked this year like in previous years, it certainly doesn’t dilute the importance of the contribution of our volunteers or days like today,” he said.

“Volunteering is great for self-confidence and the community and really can help empower and inspire.”

And Currajong is always happy to look at more volunteers.

“We are always happy to look at more volunteers. The health sector lags a distant fifth in the most volunteered for organisations in Australia behind nearly every major group so hopefully we can improve that,” said Dane.

“Contact us via the web, social media or come in and see us!”

Shane Spicer with Doug Pout cooking up in the Westview kitchen

SHANE Spicer and brothers Jason and Chris have been a regular feature at Currajong for years.

For Shane (pictured), keeping busy and learning new things and lately, refining and enhancing new skills, has been at the fore- front of Shane’s personal development.

Westview Residential Team Leader Donna Little has admired his progress while also ensuring the right mechanisms are in place for Shane to live his best life.

“One of Shane’s favourite things is getting outdoors especially on these fine Autumn days,” said Donna.

“When he doesn’t get out and about he keeps to himself at home,” she said.

“He is always willing to help and such a gentle person,” Donna said.

“He keeps to himself a bit and likes to maintain his routine and bedroom.

“Along with the options our program provides, Shane gets just about all he needs from quality support to a variety of activities and programs he can participate in,” Donna said.

Keep up the great work Shane!

Currajong Disability Services – life with opportunities.

Zack Gibson of Fire & Rescue NSW Parkes 417 with Currajong's Jackson Collier and the cupcakes he made for staff

JACKSON Collier hasn’t been at Currajong long but he’s already leaving a great impression on everyone.

From his silky licks on his Maton guitar to now Masterchef in the Currajong Kitchen – he is certainly taking opportunities to try his hand at a number of activities and skills. The latest culminating in cakes for our Fire & Rescue NSW Parkes 417.

“It is just another way to say thank you to our front line essential workers,” said Indigo Kriedemann of Currajong.

“Organisations like Fire & Rescue NSW Parkes 417 are a credit to themselves and the community,” she said.

“We just wanted to let them know how grateful we are here at Currajong.”

Fire & Rescue NSW Parkes 417 Zack Gibson (top left) was rapt with the gesture and paid tribute to Currajong and Jackson for the gesture.

“We are very thankful and like Currajong we appreciate all they do as front line essential service,” Zack said.

“Jackson is a an outstanding young man and a great cook,” he said.

“I have no doubt everyone at the station will love the cakes too!”

The Currajong Kitchen has been in full swing over the past few weeks and been well received by the essential service sector from medical professionals to firefighters and police.

“It’s these small tokens of goodwill that will get us all through and it’s great the participants of Currajong are finding such ways to contribute positively to the community during such a difficult time,” Zack said.

“Thank you!”

Amanda Clifton shows off her ANZAC booklet

IT wasn’t like any other ANZAC Day but it didn’t matter to Currajong residents who stood outside with poppies, wreaths and candles as one, as part of the Driveway Dawn Service initiative to commemorate ANZAC Day 2020.

“For residents at Russell Street like Bonnita Brady and staff, it was a chance to pay their respects to our fallen heroes and the sacrifice they made,” said Currajong’s Dane Millerd.

“While previously they’d have marched, this year many of our residents and participants have found other creative ways to engage in the ANZAC Day experience,” he said.

“From making wreaths and poppies through to flags – everyone has been active and love to be a part of the experience.”

At Westview, residents Shane Spicer and Timbo Wheeler (pictured) made ANZAC biscuits while Amanda Clifton designed ANZAC Day booklets.

“I know everyone has had a great time finding expressive ways to acknowledge this special day,” said Dane.

“It’s been fantastic to see and I want to say a big thanks to our staff for their efforts too,” he said.

“And to all our servicemen and women – thank you and lest we forget.”

Kyal Sauer has landed his dream job with trucks at Wallace's

FOR as long as he can remember all Kyal Sauer wanted to do was work with trucks. More than a hobby, trucks are Kyal’s passion and he has finally achieved his goal off his own plate. Forbes Kyal Sauer, who has autism, has just landed his dream job and he couldn’t be happier!

“I have always wanted to get into the truck industry and be around heavy machinery,” said Kyal.

“I love everything about trucks.

“I am so happy I got this job so I can learn more,” Kyal said.

Kyal’s new role is in Forbes so it is close to home and he couldn’t be more pleased.

“It’s a short drive to work at Wallace Bulk Haulage which is good.

“Everyone there is great and very supportive,” he said.

Kyal’s new job is 2 days a week each Wednesday and Friday and he is in part responsible for the upkeep and cleaning of the trucks.

“I get to make sure the trucks are roadworthy and in good nick,” Kyal said.

“It’s an important job and someone has to do it.

“I’d do it all day every day if I could!”

Latest NDIS advice for participants/providers – 25 March

The NDIA is making some changes to the plan review process in response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

If a participant has a scheduled plan review, the NDIA will contact them by phone or email to undertake their review.

As part of this plan review process, a participant can discuss having a new plan in place for up to 24 months.

In addition, the NDIA will be making changes to NDIS systems over the weekend to make sure participants have the funding they need during the
coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To ensure participant plans don’t end, on the day a plan is due to expire, it will be automatically be extended by 365 days.

Previously these automatic plan extensions were for 28 days but will now will be 365.

Participants who have plans that expires soon, do not need to do anything to have their plans automatically extended by 365 days.

For more info go to –

Message to the Currajong Disability Services Community about COVID-19

 COVID-19 has impacted our world and transformed the lives of so many people, our thoughts are with all who are affected by this global outbreak.

Currajong remains focused on supporting our NDIS participants, their families/carers/support networks and the wider community. This unprecedented crisis has concentrated our efforts on ensuring the safety and protection of our participants and staff while remaining proactively compliant with the Australia Government regulations/recommendations and still providing the high-quality service and support Currajong is known for.

Currajong has implemented all the personal hygiene recommendations and social distancing regulations of the Australian Government and will continue to comply with any future directives to minimise the spread and risk of infection with the Coronavirus. Currajong has implemented several changes in its day to day operation, endeavouring to ensure we can continue to deliver necessary supports and provide the essential services that people with a disability require throughout this time of global and national crisis. These include:

Providing increased 1:1 Support Services rather than group-based activities.

Temporary closure of the Day Program group activity schedule.

Ensuring continuity of support to high-risk vulnerable individuals in their home.

Monitoring access to our Supported Accommodation Services.

Personal consultation with participants and families on how Currajong can best support them through this unfolding crisis.

Ensuring surfaces and equipment are regularly cleaned and disinfected frequently each day and in between use.

Limiting the amount of non-essential travel for Participants and staff.

Allowing office employees who can work remotely from home to do so.

Currajong is committed to supporting individuals with a disability during this challenging time and is continually exploring how we can provide the necessary supports you require. Our team is available for any questions or to discuss your concerns.

Stay safe and well

Jeffrey Evans


Scott Salter, one of Currajong's most experienced support workers with Karen Willis and Jay Crouch reinforcing proper hygiene

COVID-19 or the Coronavirus as it is known by many, may have changed how we do things but it hasn’t changed the quality service and care offered at Currajong Diability Services.

With disruptions to everyday life showing no signs of abating anytime soon, Currajong will continue to offer top quality care for all of our participants and ensuring all precautions and duty of care are taken to protect the rights, health and safety of our participants, staff and families.

Already steps have been taken that adhere to government requests including a greater emphasis on hygiene, social distancing via smaller groups and minimising acitivites, education of staff to fast track their COVID-19 knowledge base as well as having staff available to answer any questions about Currajong and our new processes.

“Vigilance and strict application of the recommended precautions are our only weapons against this virus and while it appears we are in an area that is currently virus free we cannot afford to slacken off if we hope to come through this period of upheaval with minimal disruption,” said Currajong Disability Services CEO Jeff Evans.

“My priorities continue to remain the health and well being of our participants, our employees and our families.

“May I please express my thanks and appreciation to the overall way that staff have responded to the significant disruption to our normal routine. I would also like to commend you all on how you have embraced the more rigorous hygiene, cleaning requirements and social distancing particularly in light of the high risk and vulnerable individuals we support in the community,” said Jeff.

Jeff and the Currajong team have been working on contingency plans and strategies to multiple scenarios so that they are prepared (as best as they can be) for whatever the next few months throws up.

“At the moment, I believe we are well placed if we remain vigilant and continue implementing the recommendations as we currently are,” said Jeff.

“Again, thank you for your efforts and commitment.”

Wayde Kriedemann and Deb Hewitt with some little helpers at Jujube HQ

AMIDST the doom and gloom there has been some good news this week with Currajong gaining a record haul from the jujube farm at Akuna Road in Parkes.

The haul, approximately a 100 x 4 kilogram boxes worth, at market is roughly $3000 for Currajong with up to another 100 still to be filled.

“We are very happy with the result and hope to get the next hundred boxes filled before it rains later this week as rain has been forecast,” said Wayde Kreidemann of Currajong Disability Services.

“It’s taken a lot of time and effort from many including participants, staff and board members Greg and Chris Duffy, Peter Barber, Ray Nielsen and Neil Unger.

“It’s that great sense of spirit, effort and dedication that has seen us in this position,” said Wayde.

With rain forecast for this evening and later in the week the race is now on ton pick the remaining jujubes as excess rain will split them and render them not suitable for sale.

“We got rain at the right time over the last month or so but we just need to pick these this week and hope it holds off a bit for us,” Wayde said.

“These jujubes look great and the size is tremendous.

“They are becoming extremely popular and hopefully we can continue to meet that obligation,” he said.

Everyone at Currajong does too – well done Wayde and everyone who helped! Great effort!

Fiona McGonigal of Currajong participating in the World's Greatest Shave

LAST year Fiona McGonigal took on the challenge to raise $1000 for The World’s Greatest Shave and to help blood cancer research. In 2020, she did the same thing again in front of a parochial Currajong crowd.

“I am rapt to be able to help do my bit for cancer,” said Fiona.

“So far I have raised about $300 towards this important cause.

“I hope to reach $1000 again like last year,” Fiona said.

This time last year Fiona McGonigal was battling kidney cancer, and sadly, despite beating it last year, she has received the unfortunate news that the disease has returned on the left side of her adrenal gland.

The adrenal glands (also known as suprarenal glands) are endocrine glands that produce a variety of hormones including adrenaline and the steroids aldosterone and cortisol.

“They are found above the kidneys,” said Fiona.

“I am hoping everything is okay when I see the specialist and I can concentrate on getting well and raising vital funds for cancer research.

“After such a great response last year, especially from everyone at Currajong, I felt compelled to give it another go,” she said.

While Fiona has her up and down days, nothing she says, will stop her trying to beat last years fundraising effort of $1000 which was her initial target.

“The funds are vital make no secret of it but so too is awareness of cancer and different cancer types,” Fiona said.

“Every day another 35 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer. That’s one Aussie every 41 minutes.

“Although research is improving survival, sadly an Australian loses their life to blood cancer every two hours.”