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Cherie’s eyes light up when speaking about her all-time favourite film – Frozen!
For Cherie, one of the highlights of DO has been the friendships she’s made during group activities. Most activities, including dancing, bowling, swimming and sailing are held in the local community, easily accessible from DO’s base in central Bendigo.
Cherie joined DO Bendigo at the end of 2016. With support from staff, Cherie travels on public transport both locally and further afield to Melbourne for shopping trips and other events.
Zachary is a strong advocate for speaking up when something’s not right.
With support from staff Zachary attends the Bendigo branch of SARU (Self Advocacy Resource Group) every Tuesday.
“We’ve been doing posters and flyers to try and get more people to join SARU so they can speak up and have their rights heard. I have spoken up to support my friends in the past and it’s a good skill for people to have.’
Zachary is also a passionate sports’ player and credits his speed and height as distinct advantages when on the court. It’s also why he enjoys attending the group sport activity on Mondays at DO Bendigo. Playing sport and speaking up are as important to Zachary as making friends:
“I have made lots of new friends while coming to DO – it’s like a big family. I know that Tara and Beau would listen to me if I had a complaint. I love all the staff, they are great people.”
Paris is a great cook, a confident woodworker and a talented gardener. She shares her skills and knowledge with the local community by volunteering at Kyneton Community House
every Friday, with support from Distinctive Options:
“On Fridays I volunteer at Kyneton
Community House. We do gardening from
10am to 2pm and it’s very enjoyable. I have learnt a lot. I’ve learnt how to prune a rose bush, how to sow seeds and also to make a worm farm and a compost bin. Because our support worker Jason is a carpenter, I’ve been able to brush up on my carpentry skills as well.”
On Thursdays, Paris attends a health and fitness program run by our qualified fitness instructor and support worker Rohan. This group-based activity is designed to keep participants focused on their health and fitness goals through such activities as playing tennis, basketball, cooking, going swimming and following a gym program.
Our staff ensures that everyone in the group is able to develop their individual skills while also
enjoying the social aspects of being in a team;
“They support me very well, I feel very comfortable and they have built up my confidence a lot over the last months.”
Brittany loves hanging out with her friends and being as social as possible.
Brittany has Cerebral palsy and uses both a wheelchair and walking frame. She has struggled with mobility in her arms and finds it difficult to complete some daily tasks. Despite this, not much can stop Brittany from achieving her goals and pursuing her hobbies.
Brittany enjoys making necklaces and bracelets for her friends. Brittany will make tie-dye shirts and her own head bands too. Brittany really enjoys doing the gardening & eating lunch at the park with her friends.
At Distinctive Options Brittany receives support with everyday living activities and rehabilitation.
Distinctive Options' staff accompany Brittany to both physiotherapy and hydrotherapy sessions, ensuring that she can work towards achieving her goals.
Our staff take time to build a positive rapport with participants and to understand each individual’s specific support needs to ensure that they are well cared for and feel comfortable.
Tara is a champion swimmer, having won silver and gold medals at the Special Olympics over a number of years.
Tara’s specialty is backstroke and her success in the pool is partly due to a regular training program and having support from family and sports’ organisations such as Special Olympics Australia.
Special Olympics Australia is part of a global sporting community for people with an intellectual disability providing people with opportunities to play sport and open the door to greater personal achievement.
Competing at this level requires a great deal of skill and Tara is a natural athlete with energy to burn!
Tara enjoys the friendships she’s made at DO Connect Bendigo through our varied activity program.
Jack is an avid Bombers fan and is a long-time member of the club. Jack loves attending their games and is also a huge fan of motorcycle racing, the MOTO GP and WWE.
Jack was diagnosed with Costello Syndrome, a rare and obscure syndrome at about 5 years of age.
Jack’s goals include wanting to live as independently as possible, in his own house either by himself or with a friend, with some assistance. He also wants to enjoy a similar social life to any other young adult his age and enjoys socialising with his friends and accessing the community.
Jack appreciates that many of the staff are young and share similar interests to him. He has been able to have 1:1 support go on outings such as concerts and Bombers football games.
Jack enjoys the outings arranged by Distinctive Options with his immediate friends that are tailored specifically to his wants and needs. His confidence has grown enough to enable him to feel comfortable enough to self-advocate when appropriate, which is a major step towards reaching his goals.
Talisha lives at home with her mum, three sisters and their dog, Gizmo. Talisha joined Distinctive Options after leaving school in 2019 and loves the social interaction she has at group services with both staff and peers.
One of her NDIS goals is to be involved in her community by participating in social activities and having fun experiences. With support from Distinctive Options, Talisha has been able to explore new places and meet new people.
Talisha has recently obtained a new communication device, the NeuroNode Trilogy, and was able to have 1:1 daily sessions with the Communication Coordinator learning how to use the system. She now is able to practice using the device within her group supports at Distinctive Options.
David has attended group services since 1998 and has seen many changes within the service, as well as in the town of Sunbury. David has an intellectual disability and vision and hearing impairments.
Living independently in his unit since 2017, Distinctive Options visits David for 1:1 support several times a week to assist with cooking.
David learnt to use public transport within our Travel Training programs, and catches the train into the city every Friday with his best friend, Gavin.
David has a passion for drawing and writing comics and is working on a story about an imaginary world. He bases his characters on his own experiences and those of his friends. He draws inspiration from history, culture, movies and TV shows.
Distinctive Options assists him with the writing and layout of the book. He hopes to publish the book one day- this is one of his NDIS goals. Safe to say- art programs have been some of David’s favourite programs over the years!
Alyssa enjoys presenting news and AFL scores at a local Bendigo radio station.
She also enjoys going shopping, cooking, hanging out with her many friends and karaoke. Alyssa also enjoys going bowling with her support group and being a social butterfly.
Alyssa's goals are to be able to live independently, engage volunteer work within the Bendigo community, obtain employment, organise appointments and be part of events and activities in the community.
Alyssa has engaged in a vast variety of programs, ranging from going to a local Bendigo radio station and presenting the weather as well as cooking and social activities. Staff at Distinctive Options have worked with Alyssa to ensure that she has the support she needs to progress with her goals.
A Bendigo local, Cezia joined Distinctive Options when we started in late 2016 and has helped shape the way we run our services.
We understand the unique ways in which people communicate and every day we incorporate a range of visual and verbal communication techniques to create a better environment for all. Everyone has the right to express themselves and be heard.
Cezia has recently taken on a volunteer role with Righteous Pups, an organisation that trains dogs for assistance, facility and therapy roles. She’s formed a great bond with her puppy ‘Moses.’
Cezia’s commitment and dedication will eventually help empower other people to live with greater independence, social inclusion and quality of life through their connection with Moses as a fully trained assistance dog.