We are very proud of our Art in the Garage artists Emily Brown, Miriam Kydd, Annie Russell, Celine Skillin and Phil Skillin whose art features in the Public Guardian’s 2016 Advocacy Report.  The work is presented throughout the 23 page report which highlights the Public Guardian’s Advocacy work.

If you are an artist with disability and wish to explore options to take your skills to the next level and  develop an emerging professional arts practice, contact Karen Machan about Art in the Garage on 6499 0845.













Jen Russell is Tulgeen’s new Chief Executive Officer



On behalf of the Board of Directors, Tulgeen’s Chair Grattan Smith today announced the appointment of Jen Russell to the position of Tulgeen Chief Executive Officer on 29 November 2016.   Jen Russell was previously the organisation’s Client Services General Manager.

“The Board and Jen are very excited about Tulgeen’s future and we look forward to working together with our ciients, their familieis and advocates, stakeholders, our staff and the general community to continue our excellent client and organisational outcomes well into the future” said Mr Smith.

Mr Smith also took the opportunity to pay tribute to the Tulgeen staff for their efforts and the outcomes achieved during the recent early days of the transition into the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  This has been challenging but also rewarding with improved client outcomes in many cases and positive impacts on their lives.

Don’t DIS my ABILITY 2016 starts today – Monday, 21 Nov to Sunday, 11 Dec

Approximately 1.3 million people in NSW have a disability, this is one in every five people.

In partnership with community groups, media, sponsors and other Government agencies, the Department of Family and Community Services (FACS) will again deliver the hugely anticpated Don’t DIS my ABILITY awareness campaign.

In 2016, Don’t DIS my ABILITY will encourage positive interaction between people with disability and their communities, particularly surrounding their career achievements.

This campaign period aligns with the United Nations (UN) International Day of People with Disability celebrated on 3 December each year.


A HOLIDAY WITH MELISSA  is written by Moria Malseed, Disability Support Worker with Tulgeen and illustrates one of the many ways in which Tulgeen supports people with disability to achieve our mission to Enable A Good Life.

A Holiday with Melissa

A supported holiday for Melissa takes weeks of pre planning, particularly to ensure the choices made are as per her wishes, and sometimes that can be challenging.

So after some deliberation Melissa decided to go to back to Sydney; just like last year!

Choices of shows were shown on the internet and Melissa chose the New York Disney stage show Aladdin, the many shades of pink in stage and costume design left Melissa no other choice!

The flight to Sydney with a cup of tea and a snack was a highlight even though we had not reached our destination. Arrival at Sydney airport was a little amusing.  At the baggage carousel when I grabbed my suitcase, Melissa said loudly “That’s not your bag!” Well, everyone turned around with a look of concern that perhaps I might be heading off with their bag!

m1  m2

After a long wait for an Opal Card to travel by public transport we were up and running. The reality of city life was starting to take a hold of Melissa as she watched the masses of people nearly run over her as she was standing in a thoroughfare. From plane to train and then a very slow and overpriced taxi, we arrived at the hotel in one piece. After a rushed late lunch near Darling Harbour, Melissa and I walked towards the main jetty.   Melissa stopped under two bridges and she just listened. Her face said everything; her senses were in overload. “I can hear the cars” Melissa announced which reminded me of the sensitivity to sound and perception in the world of autism.

Having this time with Melissa without agendas, time frames and daily routine opens up a whole new perspective for Melissa. We were in Sydney with no schedule; what should we do? Next minute I caught a glimpse of the double decker Explorer Bus (a mimic of the London ones).  I looked at Mel and said “would you like to go on that?”   Her eyes lit up, then a long drawn yes came out and we rushed on before it took off.


Melissa was keen to go up to the top, but by the time we climbed the stairs and got to the top (which was full of tourists) the bus took off.  Melissa went flying down to the back of the bus and landed in the back seat. Luckily no one was in the back seat! Then came the laughter.  Mel laughed for at least 5 minutes; she was laughing so hard I could see the gums in her mouth.  A good start for this unplanned adventure!  We had all the elements; wind, sun, overcast and Sydney from two storeys.

2m2  m3

The next day after breakfast on Darling Harbour where all the business people hang out, Melissa and I walked to the ferry at the end of the harbour. It was a supercat and a very enjoyable speed along the water to Circular Quay. We then hopped on the famous Manly Ferry to Manly.  We enjoyed lots of walking around Manly and down beachfront. After a sunny day of walking and eating, it was back on the ferry with Melissa.

The main attraction for Melissa’s trip to Sydney was the stage show Aladdin at the Capitol Theatre.  Certainly a feast for the eyes and especially for Melissa’s. Sitting up close to the stage with the hum of thousands of people and the sheer anticipation, the curtains opened.

3m1  3m2

Melissa sat on the edge of her seat and seemed to be mesmerised by the gold and pink backdrop and all the glitz and glam. Melissa had full focus on this extravaganza which was a feast for the eyes and the ears.  Afterwards, a short walk home and the last sleep at the hotel in Darling Harbour.  To Melissa’s regret , it was time to head home the next day.  Another train trip, some lunch at the airport and then it was time to board.  Back home at her parents Melissa stated she would be going for 5 days next time!!!

Text and photo credit: Moira Malseed



ACME Carer Connection Family Day

Celebrating people with all abilities …

* ABBAGO Performers 12.30pm to 1.00pm ~ Ring Ring, Mamma Mia, Dancing Queen, Money Money
* Live music with Damon Davies & Friends
* Howie Horizon Bear
* Rhys Davies Magician Extraordinaire
* Fairy N’ Fangs Face Painting
* Raffles, lucky door prizes, chocolate wheel

Where: Bermagui Country Club 12.00 noon to 4.00pm

Tickets $10 per person ~ people with a disability and children under 15 free

Purchase tickets at Bermagui Country Club

Presented by ACME – supporting families and carers in our community

… embracing difference nurtures change


4 Group

L to R: Cornelius, Silas Dunstan from Morgans Financial, Bradley, Jen Russell and Jacinta.

Silas Dunstan, Director of local Wealth Advisory firm Morgans Financial was celebrated by clients and staff of Tulgeen Disability Services at a morning tea in acknowledgement of Morgans’ continuing support of the work of Tulgeen who provide a wide range of services to people with disability as part of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  Morgans Merimbula donated $1000 to INSYNC@merimbula which is an outreach program of Tulgeen as part of its annual support to local benevolent charities. The money was used to purchase previously unfunded electrical goods including a Smart TV at  Tulgeen’s INSYNC@merimbula.  Silas was presented with a painting by Art in the Garage artist, Craig Haining for the Morgans Office.

1 catherine

Catherine, Tulgeen’s own Dancing Queen enjoys the Smart TV and Soundbar

It was a particularly special day as it was also Bradley’s birthday and Silas got to spend time celebrating this morning with Bradley and his friends as they danced in his birthday in front of the Smart TV and Soundbar, made possible by Morgan’s donation.

2 HBD Bradley  7 Dance

Happy Birthday to our beautiful Bradley who is ready to win the dancethon.

Silas Dunstan of Merimbula Morgans says “We recognise the good work that the Tulgeen Group has been doing and are especially pleased to see their services extended to Merimbula.  We recognise that every dollar helps to provide quality services to their clients in our region so we are very happy to make a contribution. We also appreciate the Tulgeen Group’s management and staff and their continuing efforts to provide disability services to our community and feel they make excellent use of any donated funds.  We look forward to supporting Tulgeen in the future.”

Silas Dunstan also confirmed that Morgans will continue its Christmas generosity towards Tulgeen for a third time by gifting $2000 which funds the organisation’s annual Christmas party for all Tulgeen clients, their families, volunteers and Tulgeen staff.  Morgans has previously funded the annual Christmas party in 2014 and 2015.

5 UJen and Silas  6 House rules

Acting CEO of Tulgeen, Jen Russell said “We are very grateful to Morgans for their ongoing generosity and I’m sure Silas gets much pleasure from seeing all the joy that Morgans has spread over the past three years when he attends celebrations like this morning’s and when at past Christmas parties.  Tulgeen is all about Enabling A Good Life for people with disability and acts of kindness like this transforms ‘good’ to ‘great’.”

3 Bradley fishing rods

INSYNC@merimbula is based within the Bega Valley Regional Learning Centre in Merimbula which is located directly behind the Lakeview Hotel.    INSYNC@merimbula offers a broad selection of opportunities to participants in a different space and community and also aims to draw new participants from the more southern reaches of the Shire in line with the choices offered by the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  INSYNC promotes and provides social inclusion through active, creative, sporting, lifestyle, life skills, educational and artistic endeavour and activities.  These are offered in a range of settings and can be Centre or non-Centre based, at home and/or in the Community on location as determined by the activity and/or the participant.

For more information about any of Tulgeen’s services, please contact 6499 0800.

Read Merimbula News Weekly’s coverage of the event here.