Taree’s Michelle Weinert will take her talent and charismatic personality to the national stage, following her selection as an NDIS Champion.
Michelle is one of 30 Australians with disability chosen to help roll out the National Disability Insurance Scheme, a national program to provide targeted support and better coordination and access to services for people with disability.
Michelle was nominated for the role by her employer at Valley Industries, CEO Trent Jennison.
She’ll now head to Melbourne for training, ahead of a busy schedule where she’ll “champion” the NDIS, helping to promote the new scheme around the country.
Trent said that Michelle’s new role was particularly suitable because of her standing in Indigenous and disabled communities.
“It’s quite a significant job and it’s a big achievement for someone from a small country town,” he said.
Michelle, who has worked at Valley Industries for three years in administration and as a courier, said she enjoyed the “tolerance of people and the acceptance of who you are” at her workplace.
She said she was excited about her new role as an advocate.
“People with disabilities can be bullied from people who have a low tolerance and who have a lack of understanding,” she said.
“We deserve to live within the community just like everyone else.”
Her training trip to Melbourne was also something she was “really looking forward to”.
Michelle also thanked Hunter New England Health’s Cynthia Coombe for her help and guidance, calling her “a mentor”.
The National Disability Insurance Scheme is a government initiative in various stages of implementation throughout Australia.
The scheme supports people with a permanent and significant disability to take part in everyday activities, and includes people whose disability is an intellectual, sensory or physical impairment, or a psychiatric condition.
The NDIS is predicted to provide support to 460,000 Australians under 65.