In This Section:
Starting from scratch......
If you are someone, or are caring for someone, who has recently been assessed as having a disability SkillsConnection is here to help.
We know how challenging and confusing trying to understand and access the various systems of support can be.
If you feel that you are being "given the run around", "banging your head against a brick wall" or just getting "bogged down in regulations and complications" then let us help you sort it out and get the results you are looking for.
You can call us or make an appointment and talk with one of our experienced and extremely "client focussed" staff who will help you to navigate the system, access the available resources and arrange ongoing support that is tailored to suit your specific needs.
Community Connection provides programs and services specifically targeted towards people of all abilities and all ages.
These programs and services aim to empower individuals, develop skills, support choice-making and promote people’s rights. This encourages individuals to live their life goals, to build self esteem, dignity, valued status and provides new opportunities that will enhance quality of life and community membership and inclusion.
Community Connection also provides programs and services to people with behaviours of concern and specialised support needs.
We offer individualised programs from a wide range of innovative activities, workshops and community participation.
Underpinning all Community Connections' programs and services are various learning experiences focusing on:
Program streams & services
Community Connection is a registered service provider with the Department of Human Services.
Our staff are suitably qualified to deliver services within the following program streams:
Community Connection operates within the community and from two locations:
96 Pound Road, Colac.
A modern and attractive facility set on 3.5 acres of tranquil lawn and gardens in a semi-rural area, providing a calm, safe and supportive learning environment.
This facility is accessible to people of all abilities and is within walking distance to local shops, schools, swimming pool, gym, and sporting clubs.
The facility operates five days a week.
Studio 92, 90 Murray Street, Colac.A boutique Arts studio and gallery space, the concept of Studio 92 was
These programs are all community-based.
Activities within the Community Inclusion stream focus on providing opportunities for creating new friendships, enhancing social and communication skills, promoting
exercise, team work, healthy wellbeing, empowerment, fun and relaxation.
Activities within the Community Inclusion program stream may include:
Sports & movement
Living & life skills
Life Connection programs focus on sensory-based activities offering a range of experiences in a supported environment.
The over-arching intent is to inspire individuals to be creative and try new activities.
Each participant receives individual support within a group situation to encourage interaction and participation in activities of their choice.
Staff encourage and guide participants in a fun and creative environment.
Activities within the Life Connection program stream may include:
All activities focus on individual choice.
Tree Connection centres on a small scale native nursery where participants are
supported and encouraged to learn and participate in basic horticultural activities.
Education is provided regarding participants’ local environment by collecting and processing native and indigenous seeds. The program also provides training in basic gardening skills, maintenance of equipment and in all areas of related occupational health and safety.
Tree Connection is also responsible for the development and maintenance of all the gardens at the Pound Road facility where they have very successfully created a spiral herb garden, an organic vegetable garden and many secret gardens.
Recycling Connection is community-focused and works with a set base of business customers collecting recyclable items and materials.
Taking part in this process teaches participants money handling, road skills, traffic signs and knowledge of their local community. Participants are also educated in basic health and safety issues and good work practices.
Contract Connection focuses on small assembly work providing a variety of activities such as letter folding, phone book delivery and hook assembly.
Other activities within the Enterprise Connection program stream include:
Studio 92 provides innovative programs surrounding the arts, embracing creative expression and encouraging ability in a supportive environment.
Studio 92’s specialist staff are very passionate in their service delivery.
These staff come from a variety of backgrounds and deliver technical and creative advice to the artists whilst encouraging and promoting independence.
Team members provide ongoing support and tuition to assist participants to broaden their skills and knowledge, whilst promoting their creative work in the community.
Participants are supported to access the wider arts community through involvement in a variety of festivals, performances, exhibitions, community arts projects and professional development workshops.
Underpinning all artistic programs is a variety of other learning experiences focusing on:
Studio 92 operates 5 days a week offering Visual Arts:
The programs offer participants of all abilities the opportunity to experience and express themselves through a variety of mediums, including painting, sculpture, drawing, mosaic, photography and print making.
Artists are encouraged to explore and discover their own form of creative expression by involving themselves in all aspects of art production, including planning and development from construction of canvases through to finished artworks. These can then be displayed in the gallery.
Retirement Connection programs focus on the need of a growing number of people with disabilities to retire out of full-time day placements.
Through the program participants are encouraged to exercise choice in relation to the options and opportunities that are presented to them.
Complementing this, we actively provide support to generic age and retirement programs within our community.
Retirement Connection have created partnerships with the Mercy Eventide centre, the Colac Do Care service and the Baptist Creative Living Centre with the intent of enhancing friendships for our program participants and facilitating opportunities to gain individual skills, encourage choice making, promote peoples’ rights, dignity and self-worth and to improve quality of life.
As part of the program we also deliver art and craft, music and passive exercise classes at a private retirement centre.
Count us in program
In 2007 we initiated this program to address the needs of older Victorians currently living in state funded nursing homes. Through our Retirement Connection area we developed a model that would provide support and encouragement in all aspects of older citizens’ lives, lifting them from being solely defined by their health status and care needs.
Our key criteria for this program stream included:
Community Connection also provides a range of other services in the disability area. These services include:
Individual support packages
Delivered by highly qualified staff, Community Connection’s individual support packages are intended to support and encourage people of all abilities in a manner that best meets their identified needs, be they physical, health related, emotional or behavioural, and to participate in activities of their choice.
Individuals are required to be assessed for eligibility for this one-to-one assistance. Following assessment an individual plan is developed
outlining goals, time frames and strategies.
Community Connection currently provides one-to-one support to a number of people, enabling them to participate in activities including educational support – both classroom and tutorial, ATSS programs and community activities.
Individualised support is about self-determination, community membership and citizenship, and involves:
Community Connection’s in-home services support people with a disability to remain living at home with their families.
Following an individual’s request for in – home respite, they are assessed as to their eligibility.
A plan incorporating both the client and their family’s input regarding their needs and what will be required to support them both is then developed.
When all parties are in agreement, the plan is then put into effect and the required level of in-home respite support provided.
Fee for service (FFS)
Community Connection’s fee-for-service support is provided to ensure that individuals have an avenue to access services which are not currently funded either through or by the Department of Human Services.
After expressing their choice individuals are assessed to ascertain their needs and the suitability of their desired program.
All costs for program participation are met by the individual.
Community Connection’s specialist staff is a highly qualified and dedicated team, each possessing formal qualifications in disability along with appropriate levels of hands-on experience gained working in disability programs and activities.
Staff also contribute their broader experience gained through a wide variety of qualifications, trades and life experiences.
It's OK to complain!
What if you are unhappy with the way someone treats you, a service you receive or a decision someone makes that effects you?
Talk to the service provider first and try to work things out but if you can't achieve a satisfactory outcome you can ask for help to resolve the situation from the Disability Services Commissioner.
This link will take you to their web site: Disability Services Commissioner
Help from the government and your rights
Below are some links to pages on other web sites that will help you to understand your legal rights, the various forms of assistance that the government provides for people with a disability and how to apply for funding.
There are also links to organisations that advocate for and protect the legal rights of people with a disability or help people to resolve complaints about service providers.
DisabilityCare Australia. Information on funding under the new NDIS scheme:
Department of Human Services. General information for people with a disability:
Department of Human Services. Information on Individual Support Packages:
Department of Human Services. Information on help living at home:
Department of Human Services. Information on Respite Support:
Department of Human Services. Information on support to help you participate in the community:
Department of Human Services. Information on post school options for young people with a disability:
Department of Human Services. Information on the Futures for young adults program:
Department of Human Services. Information on the legal rights of people with a disability:
Disability Services Commissioner. Information and assistance with complaints about a service provider
Victorian Equal Opportunities & Human Rights Commission. Equal Opportunities & Human Rights info
Find our Pound Rd. facility on the map: