We provide centre based groups supports from a number of sites servicing the following regions:
Sunbury & Surrounds
Greater Bendigo & Surrounds
Brimbank and North Western Melbourne
The supports & activities we offer in our Groups are not ‘set in stone’ and will change as people’s choices, preferences and needs change. The Activities listed and described on this website are just a sample and ‘snap-shot’ of some of the Activities currently being offered but these will change and come-and-go depending on what people want and need.
We understand that Groups can play an important part in providing safe and effective supports while promoting and developing social skills and friendships with peers who are of similar age and have similar interests and needs. In this sense Groups can provide an important ‘proving ground’ for developing these skills and a ‘stepping stone’ to more individualised opportunities down the track.
There are a number of considerations that we apply when we are providing group activities:
To the greatest extent possible we want our participants to be able to understand, influence and shape their supports irrespective of the type of support they receive. We actively promote self-advocacy at all of our Group sites to give you the greatest extent of choice and control possible while at the same time encouraging negotiation and compromise as a fundamental quality of sharing supports with others.
‘Community Access’ programs and activities are not just about being in the community but also being a part of the community. We understand the difference between being a community tourist and a community participant and will take every opportunity to build real connections with other community groups, organisations and individuals.
Only with your permission will we work with other parties such as support coordinators, therapists, behavioural specialists and residential staff to learn as much as possible about you and how best and most safely to support you.
We will strive wherever possible to offer Group supports and activities outside of regular business hours because opportunities and interests do not only happen between 9:00am and 3:00pm.
Wherever possible we will design our practice to respond to your culture, diversity, values and beliefs.
You can explore how your goals are supported by group supports here:
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.