Adaptive Mountain Biking: Coleen’s Inspiring Journey to Become a Certified Instructor

When Coleen first came to Nextt, a disability support service provider in Australia, she had a dream of riding mountain bikes again. Coleen had suffered an accident two and a half years ago that had left her with a life-changing spinal cord injury. She believed that she could still pursue her passion for mountain biking despite her condition.

With the support of her local Hunter Mountain Bike Association Club and the Trail Trust Fund initiative by Fox Factory, she was able to get back out on the trails with the Bowhead Reach Adaptive MTB E-Bike. With the help of a number of organisations including the Hunter Mountain Bike Association Club, Access Adventures and Rocky Trail Destination – and over two years of planning, Coleen achieved her goal of becoming one of Australia’s first BICP Certified Level 2 Adaptive Mountain Biking (aMTB) Instructors.

Coleen’s journey to achieving her certification was not an easy one. She underwent a rigorous six-day coaching accreditation program at Awaba MTB Park. The process was both physically and emotionally taxing, but Coleen persevered through it all.

During the certification program, Coleen had to overcome her anxiety and fear while tackling the challenges of the course. She had helped build the track where she completed the course, and it was the first time that she had ridden that track since her accident. Coleen described it as an emotional rollercoaster, but she loved every minute of it.

Nextt, as Coleen’s disability support service provider, is incredibly proud of her achievements. Coleen’s hard work and dedication have paid off, and she has shown that anything is possible with perseverance and the right support.

Adaptive mountain biking is a growing sport that allows individuals with disabilities to experience the thrill and excitement of mountain biking. The certification program that Coleen completed is an example of the training and support available for those interested in adaptive mountain biking. Adaptive mountain bikes are specially designed to accommodate a wide range of physical abilities and disabilities, including spinal cord injuries, amputations, and paralysis. They feature modifications such as hand cranks, electronic shifting, and power-assisted pedals to make the sport accessible to a wider range of riders.

In addition to the personal benefits, adaptive mountain biking has numerous physical and mental health benefits. It can improve balance, coordination, and strength while reducing stress and anxiety levels. It is also an excellent way to build confidence and independence.

If you are interested in adaptive mountain biking, there are many organisations and resources available to help you get started. Access Adventures and Hunter Bike Association are just two of the many organisations that offer support and training for individuals with disabilities. Coleen also runs Momentum is your Friend – a coaching business that teaches mountain bike skills with her partner.  Adaptive mountain biking is a sport that everyone can enjoy, regardless of ability. If you’re interested in getting involved, we encourage you to explore the many resources available and start your journey today.

Coleen’s journey to becoming one of Australia’s first BICP Certified Level 2 Adaptive Mountain Biking (aMTB) Instructors is an inspiration to all of us. It is a testament to the power of perseverance and the importance of having the right support.

Click above to hear Coleen’s radio interview, courtesy of ABC Newcastle. 

Coleen’s Inspiring Journey to Become an adaptive mountain biking Certified Instructor

Save the Date – NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Events

Are you a disability provider looking to stay up-to-date with the latest trends, challenges, and best practices in the sector? If so, mark your calendar for the upcoming NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Events. These events will bring together experts in the disability field, guest presenters, case studies, and Q&A panels to provide you with valuable information and knowledge that can help you achieve the best outcomes for your clients.


What is the NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event?

The NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event is an opportunity for disability providers to learn from and network with peers and experts in the sector. The event features guest presenters who will share their insights on topics such as disability accommodation support models, workforce development, and client-centred support. There will also be case studies presented by disability service providers who have successfully implemented innovative approaches to service delivery, and client stories based on their own personal experiences.


Why attend the NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event?

Attending the NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event can be beneficial in many ways. It provides a platform to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and challenges in the disability sector. It is also an opportunity to network with peers and experts who share the same passion for providing quality support to people with disability. NexttDoor can help you discover new ideas and approaches that can improve your service delivery and ultimately enhance the quality of life of your clients.


Who should attend?

The event is designed for disability service providers, including disability support coordinators, Local Area Coordinators (LACs), plan managers, disability advocates, and SIL and SDA providers. It is also suitable for anyone who is interested in learning more about the disability sector and the challenges faced by disability service providers.


Details of the event:

Please save the dates, the NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event will take place at the following times, with several more still to be announced:


Brisbane – 21 April – the Glen Hotel, Eight Mile Plains – 9am – 12.30pm

Melbourne – 28 April – 

Newcastle – 19 May – Fort Scratchley Function Centre, Newcastle East – 3 – 4pm

Sydney – 28 April – Hills Shire Council – 9am – 12.30pm


Each event will feature guest presenters, case studies, and Q&A panels. There will also be opportunities for networking and sharing ideas with peers and experts in the sector.  Depending on the time of each event, lunch, morning tea or afternoon tea will be served.  Admission is free (but registration is required).

Attending the NexttDoor Disability Provider Information and Networking Event is an opportunity not to be missed for disability service providers who are passionate about improving the lives of people with disability. By attending this event, you can gain valuable insights and knowledge that can help you provide better services to your clients. Mark your calendar today and join us for this exciting event! Keep an eye on our social media or your inbox for further details, or please email us if you would like further information.





SIL and SDA providers

It’s important to note that these providers may provide different SIL or SDA vacancies depending on location and availability.  It’s always a good idea to check multiple websites and to contact the providers directly to get the most up-to-date information.

You may also want to check the NDIS website, as they may provide a list of SDA providers in your area.

Accessible Accommodation Specialists

AAS is a registered Specialist Disability Accommodation provider, that aims to make more SDA Homes accessible to the community in Victoria and other states. All of their homes are wheelchair accessible and designed with flexibility for wider doorways, ramps, rails and level entry.

ADAPT Housing

ADAPT Housing coordinates SDA Housing solutions by working collaboratively with stakeholders across all SDA design categories and dwelling types to offer solutions to anybody with SDA Funding.  If one of their current projects is not suited for you or your housing preferences, ADAPT can put together a new bespoke project that perfectly suits your needs.  ADAPT currently has a wide range of properties either under construction or being tenanted across NSW, NT and QLD.

Emerge Living

Emerge Living is a Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) provider based in Geelong creating reduced living cost, 7-star energy rating sustainable homes.  Emerge currently has projects in Armstrong Creek, Torquay and Highton Green.

Empowered Liveability

Empowered Liveability was established to offer luxurious BRAND-NEW homes for people with complex disabilities to live their best life, the way they choose. Their Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) homes across Australia are spacious and designed for both High Physical Support needs and Improved Liveability with a separate room for Support Workers or live-in carers. They currently have approximately 45 homes across VIC, QLD, and WA.

Enliven Housing

Enliven Housing is the for-profit housing provider, with the social housing heart. Enliven provides SDA registered housing for people under these NDIS SDA categories of High Physical Support, Fully

Accessible and Improved Liveability.

Guardian Living Australia

Guardian Living Australia has a range of purpose-built homes that cater to people with a range of different abilities and care needs. Their work aligns closely with the goals of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), namely, for people with disability and complex support needs to achieve more independence and freedom. Their houses are built according to universal design principles and use the latest in accessible and assistive technology.  They help to create tailored supports that are responsive and flexible, including shared on-site back-up systems available 24 hours.

They currently have a range of homes available soon at Williams Landing, Maribyrnong, Greensborough, and Cheltenham Victoria.

Home in Place

Home In Place provides a range of SDA homes for people with a disability that have high support needs. They manage hundreds of modern, specially designed and well equipped homes in NSW, Queensland and Victoria – including Sydney, Newcastle, Brisbane, Melbourne and other regional areas.

Housing Choices Australia

Housing Choices Australia (Housing Choices) is an independent, national, not-for-profit housing provider that delivers high quality affordable housing for people on low to moderate incomes and for people with disability. They currently have a number of developments available or in progress across Melbourne, Adelaide, Tasmania and WA.

Housing Hub

Housing Hub is an online community of people with disability and housing providers working together to create accessible housing options.

InPlace Living

InPlace Living is a NDIS registered provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA). InPlace designs and develops customised housing solutions in all SDA categories for people with complex and high disability support needs. InPlace Living homes are available across greater Melbourne and Victoria.


Livello are helping NDIS participants live a fulfilling and independent life by creating bespoke SDA homes tailored to their needs.

MV Property Group

MV Property Group provides premium housing for NDIS participants. All of their housing designs have been created specifically for very high care needs. Their coordinated approach ensures eligible NDIS participants, family members and stakeholders are engaged throughout the process from registration of interest, through to moving into a new home.


Nest is an online tool for people with disability and providers of housing suitable for people with disability.

Nest matches people with disability to homes that meet their needs, support requirements and lifestyle choices. Nest makes it easy for housing providers to shortlist eligible applicants and quickly fill vacant properties and rooms. With listings from disability housing providers, community and social housing providers, real estate agents and private landlords, Nest is the go-to website for people with disability looking for a home.


Nextt offers a range of SIL and SDA vacancies across NSW, QLD, SA and Victoria.

SDA Australia Group

SDA Property Group are a premium provider of Specialist Disability Accommodation. Recognising that people are defined by their hopes and dreams and not by their disability, SDA Australia Group was established with the specific purpose to facilitate the Specialist Disability Accommodation aspirations of service providers and clients. They offer a full suite of Specialist Disability Accommodation services in Queensland, South Australia, New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria.

SDA Services

SDA Services provide assistance and advice on navigating NDIS and SDA eligibility criteria and approval processes. They also provide confidence and a greater chance of application success and quicker outcomes through our multidisciplinary team supporting the report development process.

SDA finder

The Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) vacancy finder helps you search for accommodation vacancies that match your needs.

You can search by building type, SDA design category, number of residents, price and more.

You can contact the providers who are advertising to discuss your needs. If SDA has been included in your plan, the SDA building type and location will usually need to align with your plan.


Finding the right Supported Independent Living home

Finding the right supported independent living home can be a challenging task.  It is important to take your time so that you can make an informed decision and ensure you find the right fit for your needs and preferences. Here are some steps you can follow to find the right Supported Independent Living home:

Determine your needs: Before you start your search, it is important to assess your needs and preferences. This includes evaluating your level of independence, care needs, and any specific support requirements.  Your support needs will often be captured in your support plan and be reflected in the amount of Supported Independent Living funding you receive from the NDIS.

Research available options: Look into different Supported Independent Living homes in your area and gather information about their services, facilities, and reputation. You can also consult with local disability organisations, support groups, and support coordinators for recommendations.  You can search for available Supported Independent Living home vacancies on websites such as and

There are also a number of Facebook groups that promote current and upcoming Supported Independent Living vacancies including:

There are additional SIL and SDA groups that target specific geographic locations.  You can often find these simply by doing a quick search in Facebook.

Nextt has a listing of our current Supported Living vacancies on our website:

Schedule visits: Once you have a list of potential options, it is important to visit the homes in person and ask questions about their services, support staff, and any concerns you may have.  Many SIL and SDA providers will host open days that provide you with an opportunity to ask questions and get a feel for the property.  Alternatively, the provider of the Supported Independent Living vacancy may be able to schedule a time for you to see the property at a time that suits.

Consider the staff: Pay attention to the quality and experience of the staff and the support they provide. Make sure they are well trained and compassionate, and that they have a good track record of working with people with similar needs.  Don’t just take the providers word that they provide high quality support – check Google and Trustpilot reviews to make sure they have a positive reputation.

Check references: Ask for references from current or former residents and their families. This can give you a better understanding of the quality of care and support provided.  Simply ask something like “how are you finding the level of support you are receiving?”  “Would you recommend moving into this property?”

Check that you match with current residents:  it is important that you get along with the people you will be living with, and that you match with the right people who share similar personalities, interests and goals. Many SIL providers will specify some of the characteristics of the current residents (including age, gender, disability type and interests) as well their recommendation on the qualities they are looking for for a good housemate.

Evaluate the cost: Make sure to understand the cost of the Supported Independent Living home, including any additional fees or services.

Make a decision: After carefully evaluating your options and considering all of the factors, make a decision and choose the Supported Independent Living home that best meets your needs and preferences.

It’s important to keep in mind that Supported Independent Living homes may not be the best fit for everyone, and there may be other options, such as Individualised Living Options (ILO) –, that may better meet your needs.

Be sure to take your time and choose the option that is right for you.


Nextt hosts its final networking event for the year

Last week, Nextt hosted its final NexttDoor networking event for the year at Nobbys Beach Surf Club, Newcastle.

Connecting service providers and support coordinators, building networks and friendships.

This event was designed to bring people together to build networks, to share information and to work collaboratively, and everyone was given an opportunity to exchange information.

We had a lucky dip with great prizes up for grabs.

  • Special performance by Mark, a client of Nextt. Mark performed 3 original songs
  • Special guest speaker:  Kate Maslen from Ariel, who spoke about inclusion and how community can become more accessible
  • Special guest speaker: Lizzie: who is a NDIS Participant who spoke about her experiences with inclusion and accessibility in her local community

We look forward to even more referral partner networking events next year!


Meet Danny

Danny is 64 and was diagnosed with Lewy Body Dementia a couple of years ago.

Following his diagnosis, he lived in a nursing home, which he didn’t enjoy. After a decline in his health, he was admitted to hospital.

Danny spent over 12 months in hospital, where he was  unsettled. He required frequent intervention from nursing staff to settle him and also suffered from night-terrors, requiring 1:1 support.

Danny needed to be in an environment where he is reassured, engaged, and close to his family.

Nextt worked with the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, HenderCare’s NDIS Support Coordination team and an allied health team for Danny to be discharged to a Supported Independent Living (SIL) home in Adelaide.

We introduced him to his potential housemate, Stephen.  Both had similar interests and needs such as gardening, board games, music, football, and they both have sweet tooths.

Since moving to his new Supported Independent Living home, Danny has been enjoying the garden, engaging with staff, and building a friendship with Stephen.

His family have given feedback that they are very happy and feeling much more settled now that Danny has a home where he is happy.

This Friday, we’re celebrating Danny’s first birthday out of hospital with cake and a house party!


Disability Provider Information and Networking Forum

On Thursday 10 November 2022, Nextt held a Disability Provider Information and Networking Forum at Nobbys SLSC Newcastle.

This event was designed for providers in the disability services industry including support coordinators, plan managers, LACs, SIL and SDA providers, NDIS and more to interact with other, build stronger networks and laugh together. The weather was amazing and over 30 people attended.

A special thank you to our guest speakers:

Monique Botes from Better Rehab, who spoke about positive behaviour support plans and the NDIS guidelines

Jess Colins who spoke about what she likes in support workers, and some of the challenges she faces in community 

and Sabrina Palmer our registered nurse who spoke about “what makes a good support worker”.

We look forward to our next Newcastle event which will be held in December 2022.


Special Guest Speaker – David Whitelaw

David Whitelaw, CEO Adapt Housing is one of our special guest speakers at our Brisbane NexttDoor provider engagement and networking event on 20 October 2022.

David has 30 years’ experience in the disability sector as an educator and industry leader in Special Education and Specialist Disability Accommodation. He has been a teacher, executive teacher, Principal and consultant in the New South Wales education system. Over the past three years, David has built up extensive relationships with Support Coordinators, Supported Independent Living Providers and Advocacy Groups. He has developed an extensive knowledge of the industry and has delivered Information sessions and seminars to a wide range of stakeholders associated with the NDIS.

David will provide tips and advice for navigating the SDA and how you can guide your participants through the process to achieve their housing goals.

If you’re interested in attending our NexttDoor Brisbane event, please contact [email protected].


NexttDoor – our Disability Provider Event

Nextt will be hosting its first-ever provider engagement and networking event in Brisbane on 20 October!

NexttDoor is designed to provide you with information and insights from across the disability services sector. It will include topical presentations from industry professionals.

It is our belief that by working together in a community of practice, we can help improve the industry for everyone, including providers and better outcomes for the people we support.

Our goal is to create a disability provider event that will connect providers from across the sector – helping us to build mutually beneficial relationships, to develop an engagement program that addresses key discussion points within the industry, and to create discussion points that can feed into industry discussion papers and demonstrate to NDIA the different ways that support providers are advocating for people with disability.

We have developed this event in the spirit of partnership and welcome your feedback and requests. Our special guest speakers include industry professionals who will discuss topical issues including disability housing, ABI, and recruitment strategies. Our speakers include:

  • David Whitelaw, Adapt Housing – navigating the SDA
  • Brendan Woolf, SDA participant – my SDA journey
  • Angela Kalantzis, Brain Injury Awareness – how to support people with ABI
  • David McCraw, Nextt – staff recruitment and retention strategies

If you’re interested in attending, please contact [email protected].


The Flexibility Benefits of becoming a Support Worker

Are you looking for a career that will allow you to find work that fits into your busy lifestyle?

Choosing a role that you’re passionate about is key to making a positive difference.

Working in the disability support sector can be a rewarding career that makes a great difference to another person’s life. Not only is it a meaningful job, but it also provides a wide range of flexibility benefits. Some flexibility benefits of becoming a support worker include:
  • Taking control of your daily schedule,
  • Meeting family and social commitments,
  • Working in either the morning, during the day, or night,
  • Having more freedom to take time off,
  • Enjoying a better work-life balance,
  • Avoiding peak hour traffic, and
  • More times for hobbies and relaxation.
The three most common factors that our support workers find rewarding about their work are:
  1. Watching the people you support progress and reach their goals.
  2. Knowing that they are making a positive difference to someone’s life.
  3. The flexibility of the work.
Interesting Support Worker Growth Statistics

In Australia, there are currently some 288,200 people employed as disability or aged care workers, with average weekly earnings of $1382 and 28% expected growth. Making it clear that more people are seeing the flexibility and rewarding benefits of social work.

Over the last 20 years employment in the Health Care and Social Assistance industry has grown from 898,200 to 2,019,600, even more so during the pandemic, as social assistance made its largest contribution to employment growth.

The availability of support worker roles continues to grow. According to the latest Online Vacancies report, there were some 33,700 positions advertised for community and personal service workers in June 2022.

As the result of growth within our business, we have seen a great demand for support workers here at Nextt. With the growing need for support worker jobs Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Newcastle, and Brisbane’s Nextt team are looking for new talent to join a flexible environment.

At Nextt, flexibility isn’t our only way we support our workers, we also pride ourselves in providing a welcoming team environment, personal development, and on-the-job training. If you are looking for a long-term career in a job that can lead to new and different opportunities, Disability Support Work is a great path to follow.

Check out this video of him showing off his latest fashion line and playing his saxophone at the expo. This is another great example of how our service teams are making a measurable difference in our client’s lives!