At Distinctive Options, stories are created every second. Everyone in the Distinctive Options
world has a story to tell. It gives us great pleasure to be able to share these stories with the world.
Here are some of the stories that happen every day at Distinctive Options.
Cecilia is passionate about basketball and is a big fan of her local WNBL club Bendigo Spirit.
Distinctive Options have been assisting people to fulfil their potential and gain equality in the community since 1985.
The Sunbury Adult Unit Incorporated (Unit) officially commenced in May 1985, supporting 15 participants, set up as an Incorporated Association. Link
Services now included education as well as vocational training. The Unit then expanded into employment services in Glenroy, Victoria, Australia. Link
Roe's Garden Service and the Eagle Hand Car Wash employment businesses were established. The first client council was formed. Link
We became Able Community Services Incorporated. Total participant numbers were now 50, with total revenue at $727,000. Link
Precise Mowing Service employment business was established. Participant numbers grew to 69, with total revenue topping $1.275 million. Link
Able Community Services merged with / acquired the MBM Association Incorporation to become Distinctive Options. Link
Sunbury support services were now known as Lifestyles, with 65 participants and total revenue of $2.823 million. Link
Distinctive Options now supports 88 participants. Total revenue had soared to $4.035 million through the growth in employment services. Link
Total revenue reaches a new high of $4.222 million, with support services providing support to 89 participants. Link
Distinctive Options focuses on support services only after losing its open employment contract following a tendering process. Participant numbers are at 95. Total revenue falls to $2.215 million. Link
Participant numbers increased to 165. Total revenue grew to just on $4.132 million due to an expansion of services. Service growth included at Lifestyles, Outreach plus the new Bendigo services, along with After School Care. The first participant transitions into the NDIS. Link
Total revenue tops $5.587 million with participant numbers a new record at 234. 170 participants moved from State DHHS funding into the NDIS and new Aged Care packages. Link
An organisation restructure is conducted to realign management, group and individualised support services. Participant numbers now reached 301, with total annual support hours at average of 14,261 per month. Total revenue grew to $8.282 million. Link
COVID-19 impacts deliver widespread changes to service delivery and support hours. Despite this, the organisation end the financial year with 309 participants, receiving average monthly support hours of 15,778 or 189,336 per annum. Total revenue still grew to just under $9.063 million. Link
The impact of the pandemic on services and the community continued. Total revenue peaked at $10.868 million, with participant support hours maintained during restrictions at 178,704 for the year. No COVID cases for participants or staff are recorded. Link
No COVID subsidies and service interruptions due to the pandemic until late October 2021. Participant support hours averaged 15,538 per month to 269 people by June 30th. Total revenue generated finished at $9.3m. Foundations are laid for future supported employment businesses with the creation of the Business Development team. The beginning of our partnership with Rosenthal to deliver Supported Disability Accommodation within the Sunbury region commences. Link
Distinctive Options and Noweyung announce merger signalling new opportunities for disability services participants from Bendigo to Bairnsdale
One of Victoria’s leading disability services providers, Distinctive Options, has announced it has reached agreement with East Gippsland-based provider Noweyung to merge, creating a service and support network for people with disabilities reaching from Bendigo to Bairnsdale.
The announcement comes after two months of discussions and due diligence by both organisations to ensure the merger was in the best interests of the participants and their families who rely on the supports and services provided by both organisations. Between them, they support approximately 350 individuals across the State with varying service requirements and employ just over 260 in a variety of roles across all sites and services.
Both organisations provide opportunities for NDIS funded participants and a range of other programs funded by grants and emerging social enterprises. Distinctive Options operates services across a wide geographic region, including individualised 1-on-1 support supports, with service sites located in Bendigo, Sunbury, and Keilor East. Noweyung, established in 1954 by local people, is based in Bairnsdale.
“Our services are largely interchangeable, each service has grown to have strengths which complement each other,” said Kalma Rathouski, Chair of the Distinctive Options Board. “For example, Distinctive Options is proud to have developed enterprises including honey production and a café in Gisborne, with other supported employment options and a wide range of group and individual activities and supports, in addition to a new offering specialising in supported travel for people with disabilities across Australia,” she explained.
“Noweyung also has a café and an award-winning gourmet food enterprise, along with a range of group support services, a well-developed supported residential living offering, plus financial plan management which assist participants and their families to navigate program packages and payments. It is clear, services will complement each other and allow us to expand what is available in each of the regions,” she said.
Noweyung Board Chair, Bruce Hammond said the increasingly competitive NDIS environment meant that the Noweyung service required a strategic merger to survive. “The current Board and our community of participants and their families are extremely supportive of the opportunity the integration of the two services will offer for the future. We are confident that under the management of the innovative and committed Distinctive Options leadership, Noweyung will have a fresh start and offer a wider range of services and opportunities than we could offer on our own,” he said.
The merger will take effect formally after meeting final legal requirements, anticipating completion in the coming months. Distinctive Options will assume transition management arrangements in anticipation of completion from July, under the direction of CEO Ernie Metcalf and his leadership team. It is worth noting that Ernie successfully led Noweyung as its CEO from 2003 to 2016, prior to joining Distinctive Options.