Tulgeen’s 2016 AGM – A Celebration of Achievement and Community

he 2016 AGM was a warm celebration of community and our achievements over the past 12 months.

A great keynote speake:  former Disability Discrimination Commissioner, Graeme Innes


 A great crowd with old faces and new present…


And, recognition of loyalty and service…


All the elements of a good celebration!!

Thank you to everyone for a great past 12 months and for making the AGM a joyful success.

Tulgeen launches ‘Cooinda’ a one-stop shopfront for the National Disability Insurance Scheme

Pre launch plaque AC and KM Cooinda plaque

Tulgeen’s new one-stop shopfront ‘Cooinda’ meaning ‘Happy Place’ in local Djiringanj language was launched on 14 Oct by NSW Local Member, the Hon. Andrew Constance.  Also in attendance were new Bega Valley Shire Mayor, Kristy McBain and  local elder Colleen Dixon who provided a Welcome to Country for all guests.


The new shopfront is at 26 Eden Street in Bega and serves to provide all information related to Tulgeen and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Cooinda launch Cooinda launch 2

Guests were welcomed by Grattan Smith, Chair of Tulgeen and Acting CEO, Jen Russell.

In his address to the crowd, Andrew Constance emphasised:   “I don’t what anyone to forget what the NDIS is about. The NDIS is not about money, it’s about people…it’s about the principle of choice and control…For too long our country has made life incredibly hard for people with disability and their carers…People with disability are in charge now…getting to pick and choose what THEY want and need…It’s good to see Tulgeen making changes and transforming to build on the incredible services already being provided.  This is about all of you…in the full knowledge that this is so that you can enjoy your human rights.

Following the launch, both the Minister and the Mayor spent time speaking with staff and Tulgeen’s NDIS participants.

Being new, the Mayor was provided with a brief tour of nearby facilities.

SSPS Bega Mayor

Craig Snowden, Coordinator of one of Tulgeen’s Social Enterprises, Tulgeen Packaging Services explains his operation to the Mayor.


Literary Lunch Graeme Pic

Following his keynote address at the Tulgeen AGM, take the opportunity on  Friday 21st October at 12pm to enjoy a very special literary luncheon at noon at Merimbula Wharf Restaurant with former Human Rights & Disability Commissioner Graeme Innes.  Bookings are essential and tickets are available from Candelo Books  www.candelobooks.com or 02 6292 3386.

Graeme Innes AM was born blind, but he’s never let that stop him. Lawyer, mediator, human rights and disability advocate, he’s been the driver behind some of the most significant reforms in human rights and disability advocacy both nationally and internationally.

‘Finding A Way’ is Graeme’s unique story of a life lived to the full. Born in the inner west of Sydney in 1955, his parents brought him up to believe that he should never be treated differently because of his disability. But life wasn’t always easy. Graeme’s memoir reveals the many personal challenges he’s faced over the years including being awarded a law degree at Sydney University only to be turned down for jobs time after time because of employers’ assumptions about his disability. But rather than let the system beat him, Graeme always found a way to show people his potential, he went onto become the Commissioner at the Australian Human Rights Commission, leading work on Australia’s ratification of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, and also was involved in the Disability Discrimination Act and the National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Don’t miss this very special opportunity to meet one of Australia’s most inspiring disability advocates, here in the Bega Valley.

Tulgeen welcomes Local Member for Bega the Hon. Andrew Constance

Andrew’s visit to Tulgeen

Grattan Smith, Chair and Jen Russell, Chief Executive Officer A/g warmly welcomed to Tulgeen The Hon. Andrew Constance, NSW Minister for Transport and Infrastructure and Local Member for Bega.  As the previous NSW Minister for Disability, Andrew maintains a particular interest in Tulgeen and how developments within the National Disability Insurance Scheme affect Tulgeen’s clients.

The Minister was eager to hear about Tulgeen’s plans for development and our progress in implementing the NDIS.  In particular, Andrew was most impressed by plans to create a Community Hub through the creation of the Living Room and Food Basket space at Riverside Nursery and if funds permitted, the creation of a new home at the Taronga Precinct for the Bega Valley Workcrew.  Both Mel Pickering, Retail Manager at Riverside Nursery and Jarrod Palmer, Coordinator of Bega Valley Workcrew were on hand to explain plans as was Paul Spiteri, Operations Manager of the Disability Enterprises.

Andrew offered warm congratulations to the team behind the establishment of INSYNC@merimbula and welcomed the greater access to constituents in the southern reaches of the electorate.  Unfortunately, time constraints did not permit a visit to the Merimbula site.

Andrew had the opportunity to visit Tulgeen’s centre-based Respite Support service based at INSYNC and also to participate along with Tulgeen clients in a lively music session at Tulgeen’s INSYNC led by Damon Davies.

Unfortunately time pressures meant that a full tour of Tulgeen was not possible this time.

Tulgeen thanks the Minister for his time and looks forward to welcoming Andrew again.

Evolution Research Presents Important BSWAT information for Supported Employees, their Families and Advocates


On behalf of the Department of Social Services (DSS), Annette Blacklow from Evolution Research presented important information relevant to Supported Employees and their families and/or advocates on 8 September at the Hilton Room at Tulgeen.

The presentation ran for an hour and a half and covered key facts and processes about the now defunct BSWAT scheme, the class action associated with the BSWAT scheme and avenues for participation and payment.

If you missed the presentation, all info is contained in the presentation below.

For more information or if you still have questions:

Phone 1800 799 515

Email: BSWATPayments@dss.gov.au


Tulgeen Board appoints Acting Chief Executive Officer

Jen Jen Russell is Acting Chief Executive Officer until the end of 2016

The Tulgeen Board today announced the appointment of  Jen Russell to the Acting CEO position whilst they undertake processes to fill the role.  In her substantive role as Client Services General Manager, Jen has led Tulgeen during our transition into the NDIS and she is a logical choice during Tulgeen’s continuing transition which demands organisational stability and cohesion.

Jen is warmly  welcomed into her new role by the Directors and the Senior team.

Tulgeen’s Bega Valley Workcrew Acknowledged by Kelly Family


Back row L to R: Josh Salter, Ryan Heyhorn, Greg Coman (from Elders Tathra), Cornelius Moon, Lachlan Morris, Matt Adamson and Jarrod Palmer. Front row: Els and Denis Kelly

Recently the Kelly family left their historic farm Milford Acres to settle in Kalaru for health reasons.  This entailed a historic clearance sale.  In preparation for the sale, Greg Coman from Elders Tathra commissioned Tulgeen’s Bega Valley Workcrew to undertake the work to prepare the property and equipment for sale.

Denis and Els Kelly were so impressed by the quality of the work undertaken by Tulgeen’s Bega Valley Workcrew and underwhelmed by the invoice that they wanted to make an extra contribution to Tulgeen.

IMG_3828 Denis Kelly with Jarrod Palmer

Today, led by Jarrod Palmer, Coordinator of the Bega Valley Workcrew, the entire team comprising Matt Adamson and Supported Employees Cornelius Moon, Josh Salter, Ryan Heyhorn and Lachlan Morris gathered to receive a $300 donation from the Kellys to Tulgeen in recognition of their excellent services.   Tulgeen has Deductible Gift Recipient Status so the Kellys will receive a tax deductible receipt for their donation.

“I’d recommend them to anyone” said Denis Kelly and Els Kelly chimed in by saying “it won’t be us again as I’m NEVER moving again.”

The Bega Valley Workcrew is available for commercial as well as domestic work and is a specialist in farm clearances.  For more information or to make an enquiry contact Jarrod Palmer on 0488 941 769.

See Bega District News coverage here.