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NDIS funding boost for Maari Ma Health

Thursday, 23rd January, 2020

Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with (from left) Acting CEO at Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation Marsha Files, and the Allied Health team’s Erin Vale, Mele Tuipulotu and Sandy Gray. PICTURE: Callum Marshall Member for Parkes Mark Coulton with (from left) Acting CEO at Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation Marsha Files, and the Allied Health team’s Erin Vale, Mele Tuipulotu and Sandy Gray. PICTURE: Callum Marshall

By Callum Marshall

Maari Ma Health Aboriginal Corporation has received $20,000 from the federal government to employ a consultant to help it transition into the “complex” National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Federal member for Parkes Mark Coulton met with Maari Ma representatives yesterday and said such grants were designed to support a skilled and sustainable NDIS workforce in communities across the country. 

“These funds will help Maari Ma Health transition to the market-driven NDIS model and I’m very pleased the Broken Hill community stands to benefit,” said Mr Coulton.

“The NDIS provides a great opportunity for local businesses, and these grants will give them a hand up when it comes to having the tools and capabilities needed to deliver first-class support to NDIS participants.

“They will use this money to, I believe, get some professional help to make sure that their organisation is equipped and up to speed with the processes of the NDIS so they can actually deliver their services to their clients in a more timely and efficient matter.”

Asked what the money would be going towards, Mr Coulton said it was for hiring a consultant to assist in the transition.

“To come in and look at their organisation and make the recommendations for the appropriate changes that they need so they’re the most effective that they can be,” he said.

“Quite often these small grants are useful for these type of organisations to make sure that they are up to date because, quite frankly, the NDIS is a complex system.

“There has been frustrations in the rollout. I think we largely have got that behind us.

“But it’s important that they are as up to date as they can possibly be in their ability to deliver the service.

“And Maari Ma is a well-respected organisation. They’ve been working in the health space out here in the Far West for a long time but the NDIS is a relatively new part of their business.”

He said the NDIS grants were becoming very important, particularly in an environment where service providers were withdrawing from country towns and going to the cities “where there’s a huge client base and it’s easier to deliver.

“It is important that we do put extra assistance in to these providers that are doing it in a regional area.

“There’s no doubt about it - the NDIS does present particular difficulties in smaller population bases and in more remote areas as well.”

Acting CEO of Maari Ma, Marsha Files, welcomed the funding.

“(It) means we’re able to implement appropriate service delivery models for our communities in need, in particular those with disabilities,” said Ms Files.

She said while the extra money wasn’t adding anything new to what they already did, it would help.

“Maari Ma as a service delivery model had already been delivering these services so it actually isn’t really something that’s new to us,” said Ms Files.

“It is more beneficial to understand the systems and processes attached to the NDIS scheme itself.

“It hasn’t greatly impacted on our own service delivery model that was already existing, but more contributing to the service delivery model integration of our services. 

What was most important, she said, was that the funding would help to integrate more early intervention into services.

“We need to have information and education for us to make informed decisions around the implementation strategies we use in the implementation processes,” said Ms Files.

While the NDIS funding was welcome, she said specialised support was also key.

“A lot of our patients require the NDIS itself, but it also requires the specialised support areas which are really difficult to get in more remote, regional and rural areas.”

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