13 disability services form an Illawarra alliance

John Ajaka with Gracie Wallis, 8, at the launch of the Illawarra Disability Alliance. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER
John Ajaka with Gracie Wallis, 8, at the launch of the Illawarra Disability Alliance. Picture: SYLVIA LIBER

Illawarra disability service providers have formed an important alliance to share information, resources and even staff.

The Illawarra Disability Alliance was officially launched by Minister for Illawarra, Ageing and Disability Services John Ajaka in Corrimal on Friday.

It consists of 13 service providers including the Cram Foundation, Disability Services Australia, Flagstaff group, Greenacres Disability Services, House with No Steps, Interchange Illawarra and The Disability Trust.

Mr Ajaka said the alliance would allow the service providers to offer more effective and innovative options for their clients.

"I'm thrilled to be able to launch this alliance of 13 well-known and well-respected non-government providers in the disability sector," Mr Ajaka said.

"The fact that they will be working together will allow them to offer a wider range of choices for people with disabilities, their families and carers."

Mr Ajaka said the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) may well have been the motivator for the alliance.

"The fundamental objective is choice for people with disabilities - and that's the objective of this alliance."

Cram Foundation CEO Gareth McKeen said the alliance would improve inter-agency co-operation and allow partners to collaborate on projects and programs.

"It's about being prepared to work together to achieve the best outcomes for our clients," he said.

"We've already started sharing information and in the future may look at sharing our staff by forming a common labour pool to work across alliance members."

Susan Wallis, Interchange Illawarra chairperson with a child with multiple and complex disabilities, is looking forward to more options for daughter Gracie, 8, who has cerebral palsy, a global developmental delay, intellectual disability, epilepsy and is blind.

"I have always known Illawarra services were collaborative and am fortunate to have benefited from that," Ms Wallis said. "I'm excited we're formalising that."


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