2017 Message


Happy 2017 to all Tulgeen’s clients, advocates, families and supporters.  I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year.

Tulgeen has started 2017 where we left off in 2016 with the fast advance of the NDIS implementation into our region. From recent experience, it is clear that many NDIS participants presenting at Tulgeen require additional support in navigating this new system.  To explore this, a  ‘Coordination of Supports Project’ has been established to manage this element of NDIS Plan facilitation.  ‘Coordination of Supports’ is a funded item in some NDIS Plans and Tulgeen is being  requested by clients and Advocates to provide this service.  Tulgeen has recognised and identified that the actual need is greater than first anticipated, as Clients and Advocates are finding they too require additional support in managing Plans, especially these First Plans.

To meet this demand, Tulgeen has appointed a project team, comprising Mitch Van Reesch, Project Coordinator with Kate Smith and Karen Machan working collaboratively as ‘Coordinators of Support’ to facilitate the seamless delivery of services while supporting Advocates and clients with the challenges they face during transition.   The project team are all located in Cooinda at 26 Eden Street, Bega, and any enquiries about NDIS plans should be directed to the team by calling 6499 0800 or simply drop in.

This project will also measure the potential for a future Coordination of Supports business stream as the NDIS further expands in our region.  This will assist Tulgeen to identify if there is need for an ongoing Coordination of Supports and/or a  Plan Management role.   In the interim, the Coordination of Supports Project team has full carriage of this project, supervised by the CEO and with the full support of the Tulgeen team.   A reference group will be established to support this project.

To facilitate the above, Karen Machan’s role as INSYNC Coordinator will be undertaken by Heather Cameron .  Heather will manage day to day operations at INSYNC  with Karen’s continued general oversight.  Allana Ruddick will undertake INSYNC ‘s Team Leader role and Adriane Rees will lead the team responsible for INSYNC’s complex needs clients.  During this time, please direct all INSYNC enquiries  to Heather and/or Allana, in the first instance on 6499 0845.

Tulgeen has successfully lodged invoices to the NDIA  with payments made promptly.  We are progressing well with lots of interest from potential customers, and we are accepting new clients. Many current clients have received increased hours of support in their NDIS First Plans which is an excellent outcome for them,  and for Tulgeen.  As a result, Tulgeen is currently recruiting additional Disability Support Workers to join our front line team.  If you know someone with excellent integrity, a passion for working with people within a team environment, who has experience in the industry or who is interested in gaining experience, and  qualifications please refer them to our website.

This is all fantastic news for 1Tulgeen and has only been achieved by the contributions and commitment of the entire Tulgeen staff team.


Jen Russell, CEO

Tulgeen support helps young artist to win NSW Government Artist’s Support Grant

Featured in Bega District News on 6 Jan 2017:  Choreographer Gabriela Green plans to bring inclusive dance to Bega.

Dancer Gabriela Green from Bega’s own fLinG Physical Theatre  has been successful in her application to travel and study inclusive dance in Germany.  Gabriela and fLinG artistic director, Rob visited INSYNC for some dancing last year.

Tulgeen wrote a strong letter in support of Gabriela’s application.  During negotiations in 2016, it was agreed if successful, Gabriela would work with Tulgeen’s clients to produce ‘On Display’ a dance installation for all abilities by choreographer Heidi Latsky.  This has been performed all over the world.

The idea of ‘On Display’ is stage a public performance in Littleton Gardens to celebrate International Day of People with Disability in 2017, inviting members of the public to join in as we work towards the actual installation.  It’s intention is to be a TRUE COLLABORATION between people of ALL abilities and a celebration of community.  Tulgeen invites all members of the community to join us when the time comes.




Tulgeen welcomes 2017 with excitement and anticipation as we build on the successes and achievements of 2016; a highlight was our successful transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme.  All Tulgeen’s clients within the first cohort for Southern NSW have their First Plans and planning for clients in the second cohort is well underway.  We are delighted to report that we have had a very positive experience with the NDIS and it is making a positive impact on the lives of people with disability.

The work commenced in 2014 to ready Tulgeen for the NDIS has positioned us well for success.  Tulgeen moves into the future with a robust workforce underpinned by policies, systems and processes supported by appropriate ICT.  Our diverse range of NDIS services is provided by an multi-disciplinary team of professionals and informed by evidenced-based industry good practice.  Tulgeen is proud of our achievements and we look forward with enthusiasm to 2017 and to welcoming new NDIS participants to our service and extending our offering across the Southern NSW area.

And 2016 comes to a happy close…

We love the end of the year and our annual 1Tulgeen Christmas party when many of our community – clients, their families, Tulgeen volunteers, business partners and our amazing staff have a chance to  come together to farewell the year.


As always, our send off for 2016 was a joyous occasion with a visit from Santa and gifts for all, Linda Sang’s delightful food and a riot of colour as we all embraced the Hawaiian theme.


There were a number of Good Practice Achievement Awards presented.  Congratulations to all our recipients.  The Good Practice Award for Outstanding Achievement was posthumously awarded to Danny Halpin and was proudly received by his wife Carrie Ann Halpin and his daughters Bridie and Asha.  Rest in Peace Danny – you are lovingly remembered  everyday at Tulgeen.


The inaugural Broadhead Award for Outstanding Leadership was presented to Joanne McNamara with the Broadhead Award for Outstanding Achievement presented to Allana Ruddick in her absence.  Carol Broadhead was a foundation staff member of  the fledgling Tulgeen thirty eight years ago and a volunteer prior to that.  It was a great honour to have her attend and present at the Christmas party.

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L:Carol Broadhead with Jo McNamara and R: Carol with CEO, Jen Russell

Our grateful thanks to Morgans Financial of Merimbula who have supported this event for the third year running.

Happy Holidays Everyone!!  Stay safe.



Valued Customers and Clients – please note our holiday trading and business hours are as follows:


RIVERSIDE NURSERY – Open throughout the season Mon to Sat: 9am to 5pm, Sun: 10am to 4pm. CLOSED ALL PUBLIC HOLIDAYS.  Phone – 6492 4151

BEGA VALLEY WORK CREW – Closed from COB 22 December and reopening on 3 Jan 2017.

STITCHES AND PRINT – Closed from COB 22 December and reopening on 9 January 2017.


INSYNC – Closed from COB 22 December and Reopening on 3 January 2017.  Open only to pre-booked respite clients.

Residential In-Home Support – Business As Usual


Closed from COB 23 December and Reopening on 3 January 2017.

Thank you


C Tulgeen Xmas 2016

On behalf of all at Tulgeen,  I  would like to take this opportunity to thank  our clients, advocates, families, volunteers, benefactors, suppliers and Board Members for your ongoing commitment to Tulgeen, regardless of your involvement.  Through the challenges of the National Disability Scheme implementation which will continue for some time yet, we are feeling very positive that by continuing to work collaboratively we can achieve great outcomes for clients and their families.

Whatever your holiday plans we hope you have the best time and please stay safe.

From all of us at Tulgeen we wish you Seasons Greetings, and a very happy 2017.   Jen Russell, CEO.


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Tulgeen’s Riverside Nursery has been successful in securing Community Building Partnership support towards its Community Garden project ‘Community Food Basket and Living Room.’ The NSW Community Building Partnership program creates more vibrant and inclusive communities by supporting projects that encourage community participation, inclusion and cohesion, and deliver positive social, environmental, inclusive or recreational outcomes. Support from the Community Building Partnership Program will contribute towards paving in the garden to ensure its full accessibility and towards a covered gazebo area.


Community Building Partnerships - Development

Tulgeen’s ‘Community Food Basket and Living Room’ will be a fully accessible and integrated netted garden and indoor-outdoor living space which achieves the following:

  • Enhances the existing nursery environment providing supported employment for people with disability and community volunteers, adding diversity to their current task base.
  • Creates opportunity for increased employment and participation – volunteers, supported employees, Work for the Dole participants, long term unemployed.
  • Utilises innovative landscaping techniques and products creating a fully accessible and sensory experience- recycled non-toxic sleepers used for garden beds that can pull out over a seat/wheelchair/walker.
  • Creates a space for inter-generational contact as everyone needs a garden. It is suitable for family day care groups through to aged care groups and everyone of all abilities in-between.
  • Creates an extended living space for the local community especially individuals who are isolated by disability. mobility and/or age.
  • A visually stunning space that engages all your senses (so impairment does not matter) that will be a destination and attraction in itself for the broader community and visitors.
  • A shared community gathering space and resource which promotes inclusion, active and healthy living and creates connections between individuals and groups.

The project has received its Development Approval from the Bega Valley Shire Council and negotiations are underway at present to obtain the Construction Certificate.



nds ceo

I had the privilege this  week to represent Tulgeen at the annual National Disability Services  CEO Meeting held in Melbourne this week. National Disability Services is our industry’s peak body.  An intense agenda with many speakers including politicians, departmental representatives and industry leaders reflected on the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and included the good the bad and the ugly!  To quote Ken Baker, Chief Executive NDS  “the NDIS is the right destination, but the current operating environment is impeding the development of a vibrant and diverse and sustainable sector”. There were many success stories shared to lift the general mood of the conference from one of frustration to one of hope.

jen nds conf

What was made very clear to me is that when working well the NDIS definitely provides improved choices and opportunities for people with disability and their families if all parties work together in  a spirit of collaboration.

Conference attendees were given a lot  of opportunity to voice concerns from providers, advocate perspectives. Though issues like under funding, portal problems and poor communication between departments remain significant ‘bumps in the road’ it was important to hear that the issues are across all States and no issues were ‘unique’ to the Bega Valley.   All parties are working hard to improve the systems and communications to enhance the experience of both clients, advocates and providers.

There was also a lot of information about the commencement of the BuyAbility campaign led by our peak body National Disability Services.  In 2017 there will be a national launch of this strategy to encourage both public and private sector businesses to harness the social and economic benefits of purchasing goods and services from Australian Disability Enterprises.  This initiative will support the ongoing need to maintain opportunities for people with disability or other social disadvantage to continue to participate in supported employment.

The NDIS journey is all about building relationships, Tulgeen with you our clients and customers, with Commonwealth and Local Governments, Local Area Coordinators,  NDIS planners and other Service Providers.  The take home message for me is  that we must all work together to achieve the best outcomes for clients, families and providers.

TDS in collaboration with our clients, advocates and new customers continue  to rise to  the challenge, and we are here to support you as much as possible through the processes.  Let us know what you need and we will do the best to support you.  The following link will take you to the ‘State of the Disability Sector Report 2016’ launched at this conference, it is an interesting read. https://www.nds.org.au/images/news/sods2016/State_of_the_Disability_Sector_report_2016.pdf

Jen Russell, CEO – 8 December 2016



The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has developed new resources which provide further detail around the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) planning process; including what participants need to do before the planning process starts; what they need to know during the planning process and what will happen when a plan is finalised.

A key resource in this suite of materials is a fact sheet called Starting your plan with a Supports Coordinator. This provides details about the role of a Supports Coordinator and how they will work with participants to put plans into place, identify options for community, mainstream and funded NDIS supports as well as help participants to choose providers and to register with the NDIS participant portal.

Information about the NDIS Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) approach is available too – called Accessing supports for my child – the fact sheet outlines the approach designed for children aged birth to six years. The NDIS ECEI approach will help children with disability and their families to achieve better long-term outcomes.

Additional resources also include information around self managing budgets under an NDIS plan, as well as the role of Local Area Coordinators (LAC) and more advice about the NDIS plan, what different terms mean and how to understand the plan.

The full suite of resources are available to download on the links below:

For more information about the NDIS in NSW, please visit www.ndis.nsw.gov.au