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!

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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.

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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.

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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


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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.

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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.

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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.

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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’.”

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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.


In partnership with Murmuration  (Sydney), The Young Americans (YAs) will facilitate a week-long Summer Schooldesigned especially for participants with disability.

The Young Americans provide performing arts education and performance opportunities to young people and young adults around the world. Their workshops bring an incredible combination of skills-training, high-energy, team-building, confidence boosting FUN! This is a special event especially for participants with disability.  All welcome.

Participants will learn from and perform with this super talented international cast. As well as developing performing arts skills in singing, drama and dance, participants will perform alongside The Young Americans in a community sharing.

Using music as the tool, The Young Americans cast of trained college age performer-teachers provide a safe and fun atmosphere for participants to learn, explore, create, and GROW!

30 January – 4 February 2017

Open to all people with disability.  No previous experience required.  Age range 16 +
Limited places

Workshops: Monday 30 – Friday 3 February
Community Sharing: Saturday 4 February

Glebe Town Hall
Marrickville Town Hall

Early Bird Offer | $350 | Open Now
Register and pay by Tuesday 20 December 2016 to save $50

Glebe Town Hall and Marrickville Town Hall are both accessible venues with level and ramped entrances, internal lifts, reserved parking and accessible bathrooms. Auslan Interpretation is available with bookings.

For any further access needs please email or call:

Call: 0497710640
Email: info@murmuration.com.au



By Alastair McEwin, Disability Discrimination Commissioner  Originally published in Sydney Morning Herald 5 October 2016.

Getting a morning coffee on the way to work is a ritual many of us take for granted. Not Jeremy, who is a young man with a communication disability.

The thought of not only being able to order coffee, but run a business, was a pipe dream. Until the National Disability Insurance Scheme arrived in Lake Macquarie.

Jeremy had the opportunity to start communicating for the first time with an iPad app. He now does a local coffee run where he takes coffee orders from local business people, fulfils them and makes the deliveries. And six months ago he was unable to communicate with the wider community.

The NDIS is a major social reform in Australia. The last time we saw something on a similar scale was the introduction of universal health care for all Australians in 1975 – Medicare. The introduction of Medicare was not without its challenges, but universal healthcare is now considered a fundamental and essential part of our lives.

The NDIS is about ensuring people with disability can get out and about in the community – it’s about getting them to work, to school and to cafes and restaurants so they can catch up with family and friends. It’s about getting people with disability being able to be part of the workforce, getting an education and spending money on food and drinks – in other words, being part of the economic, social and cultural fabric of our lives.

It isn’t just making life equitable for people with disability. It’s also making it possible for them to participate in every-day life with their families. In the Hunter region, a family has used the NDIS package to take a support worker for their family member with disability with them on family holidays. This gives real meaning to the term “family holiday” – it’s hardly that if the person with disability cannot go away with their family.

And the NDIS is even allowing parents of children with disability to work full-time. One family, through the NDIS, now has support after school and during the school holidays for their daughter with disability, which allows both parents to keep working full-time; in doing so, they are able to contribute to the economy through paid employment and paying taxes.  And their daughter gets to spend her holidays doing things she loves like hydro therapy.

Given its scale, there will be implementation issues for the NDIS. There will be challenges in rolling this out across the country. And there will be doubts. Yet we have had other massive social reforms that are now so embedded in our society that we cannot imagine life without them (the conversion in 1966 from metric to decimal anyone?). The NDIS needs to be seen in this light – it needs time to become a part of our lives and, more importantly, to provide the equity of access to people with disability that has been denied to them for so long.


Tulgeen is on Bus 103 for the next six months.  Spot us and win!!

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Send a photo of Tulgeen’s banner on the bus with enough background for us to pick where it is. All entries received for each month over the next six months will be drawn from a hat for a luscious little prize. Each photo can only be used once. Send your entries to onthebus@tulgeen.com.au

Don’t forget it’s illegal and unsafe to use your mobile whilst driving so please take your photos whilst stationary please.

The winner from each month will be  announced here, on Facebook and by email.

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

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

A great keynote speaker:  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.

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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.

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