Finding Yellow Newsletter Winter 2016



As a friend of Finding Yellow you may have noticed the achievements that we have made over the past few months together. 

Since the beginning of 2016, we have welcomed two new members to our Board, made tracks toward the implementation of the National Disability Insurance Scheme and taken on full responsibility for Disability Social Circles. 

Social Circles provides educational, social, cultural, leisure and community opportunities in the form of community activities and holidays for people with disability and so it is a welcome partner service for Finding Yellow. 

While we have welcomed new partnerships to Finding Yellow, we are also saying goodbye to another. Cathy Tull, our Coordinator, will be leaving us after 10 dedicated years of supporting, guiding and assisting the clients, staff and management of Finding Yellow. Cathy has been a great support over many years and will be dearly missed by us all. We wish her the best of luck for her future. 

It is important that none of us underestimate what is involved behind the scenes in an operation such as Finding Yellow. There are daily challenges and important targets to meet and exceed. The only way we are able to achieve what we do is with the support of people like you. 

We thank you so much for sharing the Finding Yellow journey. 


Finding Yellow has held a strong partnership with Disability Social Circles for quite some time and, as of January this year, we have now taken on full responsibility and ownership of this service. 

It has certainly been a busy year for us so far and we have already provided plenty of fantastic opportunities for people with disability to participate in social, educational, cultural and leisure events and activities in the community. 

We have around 60 people regularly accessing these much needed services and we would like to increase this. If you could please help us to spread the word about what we are now offering as part of Finding Yellow that would be wonderful. No individual should be left sitting on the sidelines or held back from having a social life, it is far too important to development and mental health. 

For those who have a disability we can provide access to entertainment, education and relevant social activities plus supported holidays (see more information below) in a safe environment. It is about removing those social barriers and giving everyone access to experiences which can enhance their life. 

Some of the recent leisure activities and supported holidays that we have organised include: 

  • Scone Horse Festival; 
  • Elvis to the Max; 
  • Hunter Valley Steamfest; 
  • A shopping outing to Kotara Westfield; 
  • An adventure through the beautiful Morpeth community; and 
  • A stunning 8-day Secrets of the South Cruise. 

We are also planning all the details for our highly regarded annual camp, something that everyone looks forward to attending. 

If you would like to go on the camp this year, please let us know by emailing


Experiencing the world does not just give us a much needed break from everyday reality, it also opens our mind and provides us with new experiences that help us to grow and become the best person possible. We are so pleased to announce that Finding Yellow is now able to offer barrier-free local, national and international supported holidays for people with physical and intellectual disabilities. 

They can be large group holidays or smaller circles, depending on the type of holiday and the number of people wanting to participate. 


As part of our ongoing commitment to travel within our social circles program, we now have a personal travel manager. Jane comes with 17 years’ experience in both corporate and leisure travel and is able to tailor holidays that are relaxing or adventurous, long or short, domestic or international for people with all ranges of abilities from the independent, to groups or to those that require 1:1. 

We look forward to showing you more pictures of our supported holidays through our social media pages and our newsletter. If you would like more information, please email us on


Bringing about positive change to each individual’s life is so integral to what we do here every day, and that has been made all the more possible through new programs and the people who share our vision and values. 

That is why we have welcomed a number of new initiatives and changes to Finding Yellow that we believe will further benefit our people’s lives. These new initiatives have of course come with new challenges for our team, but we are dedicated to delivering a sustainable and reliable service. 

We have recently applied for a grant with the Halls Trust to renovate the kitchen and bathroom facilities at Social Circles in Weston. If successful, we would like to start tailoring some education programs focusing on meal planning, shopping and cooking so that our members can enjoy all the tools and the sense of achievement that comes with creating food. 

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is due to rollout in the Cessnock area from 1 July 2016. 

The NDIS is a new, whole-of-life approach to providing support for people living with disability that has been rolled out across NSW in stages to ensure it is both successful and provides the greatest benefit to those who access the scheme. 

NDIS aims to create and deliver a tailored plan for individuals to help them identify the services they need to achieve their goals and aspirations, and provide funding where necessary to help people access those services. 

As a registered and approved provider of the NDIS, Finding Yellow is now offering assistance to eligible participants - people with a permanent or significant disability aged under 65 who are a permanent Australian resident. 

We work with each individual to create a unique, tailored plan that helps them thrive in their community, access the help, equipment and aids they need and become more independent. 

The individualised plan will identify: 

  • What the participant would like to achieve; 
  • The support services that will be available to assist them and that are funded through NDIS; and 
  • Other support that they need to live the life they desire. 

The significance of NDIS is that it gives participating individuals the opportunity to choose the providers that they would prefer to receive support through, when they would like to receive this support and gives them certainty that they will receive the support they need throughout their life. 

Enthusiasm for the rollout of NDIS has already been shared amongst staff, the people we support and their families. “They are fantastic – they follow through with their commitments more than any other organisation does and they always go the extra mile for the clients. We are happy with how NDIS will unfold,” Sandra (parent) shared. 

Finding Yellow is working closely with each person and their families to assist with the rollout of the individualised plans. 

If you have any questions or would like to find out more information, we are happy to help. Email us at


The members of our Board are integral to the journey that we take here at Finding Yellow. As the stewards of our organisation, our Board members have one of the most challenging yet rewarding jobs. 

Thank you in advance to our new members, each of whom comes with their own unique skills, world-knowledge and experiences that will help strengthen and drive Finding Yellow. 

We would like to welcome two new Board members to the Finding Yellow family Michelle Crawford and Sue-Ellen Evans. 

Michelle has brought an extensive human resources management and organisational development background to our Board. Her specialised skills in transforming change for individuals, teams and organisations and her current business (Being More Human) focus on increasing humanity in the workplace, a knowledge that will complement the skill sets of our other members. 

Sue-Ellen has an in-depth background in workforce planning in the disability sector. She held a position previously at National Disability Services (our peak body) and is currently working for the Department of Family and Community Services. 

Every day our staff go above and beyond their roles to help us to discover better resources, stronger community networks and improved facilities to help people with disability to realise their goals and aspirations. Here’s a little more about some of the Finding Yellow faces. 

Michelle Lyall

Michelle Lyall is a new face at Finding Yellow, now based at Social Circles in Weston. Michelle has extensive experience in the disability sector and is committed to ensuring our members are empowered to make choices and control their own lives. 

Michelle’s role gives her the opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the organisation and put processes and procedures in place that will streamline the way we operate. She will also provide ongoing support to our staff and volunteers. 


Merinda has been managing the offsite adventures to local events and experiences, including the Scone Horse Festival, Elvis to the Max, Hunter Valley Steamfest, Kotara shopping trips, Morpeth and on an 8 day Secrets of the South Cruise. Merinda has also been busy inducting new staff members to Social Circles. To say that everyone has had an incredible time is certainly an understatement. 

We are looking to add to our Finding Yellow Team. If you would like to be a part of a meaningful job that gives you many opportunities to change making a difference in people’s lives, we are currently recruiting casual disability support staff in Cessnock, Kurri Kurri and Maitland for Disability Social Circles. 

For more information phone us on 02 4991 5442 or email 


For many of the people that we support, participating in the community, education, working and social activities can be difficult. 

Discovering the confidence, skills and support needed to successfully enjoy the things that many of us take for granted day-to-day can be part of a longer venture. 

Our aim at Finding Yellow is to provide the assistance people with disability need to maintain and increase their independence. 

Lisa has lived at the Hutton St Home for around five years now. When she first moved in, she was completely dependent on her father and sisters to look after her, she lacked the confidence to participate in the community and she had never worked. 

The daily tasks like cooking, cleaning or just getting around that we sometimes take for granted have been all the more difficult for Lisa. Even though Lisa is faced with daily challenges you will always find Lisa with a bright smile and she ALWAYS takes the time to ask how you are. 

Like any person we work with, Finding Yellow focused on providing support for Lisa to set her own goals and aspirations then work with her towards achieving them. This included increasing her confidence, self esteem and awareness of her own abilities and working on her independent living and life skills in the areas of cooking, cleaning and maintaining her own room and travelling to and from her work place safely and independently. 

Lisa has truly inspired us. 

Lisa now not only works 3 days each week in the Laundry at, she has recently obtained her Cert 11 in Laundry Operations. Congratulations Lisa!!! 

The skills she has developed from working with others and with the equipment there have been invaluable to her, and every day has become another little win for her confidence. 

Lisa lives a healthy lifestyle through better food choices and regular exercise, contributes to the normal domestic duties that are shared amongst her housemates, does her own washing and ironing, cooks for the household on a weekly basis with the support of a staff member and actively participates in the fortnightly house meetings and training. 

Another one of Lisa’s goals was to be able to go out and have a cup of her favourite “hot brew” independently. With the training and our support and encouragement, Lisa has now achieved this. Lisa goes out every Saturday morning by taxi to one of the local cafes where she enjoys socialising with the friendly staff and enjoying her favourite cup of coffee. Lisa is always full of smiles upon her return stating “I love it, I finally get to do what I want to”. 

Lisa has made huge strides towards her independence and both her family and Finding Yellow staff are rewarded daily by her achievements. 

Finding Yellow staff continually strive to work in partnership with the clients to enable them to live their dreams. However, there are times when staff simply cannot do it all and this is where we seek help and support from volunteers within our community. 

If you would like to do something worthwhile for your community and be a part of an experience that is rewarding, skill-building and invaluable, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us on 


Every day we all face challenges in our lives, some more than others, however all of us also have our yellow moments too. These yellow moments are the brighter moments. They could be as simple as a smile from a stranger on the street when we are feeling stressed to something more obvious, such as a long awaited catch-up with family or a dear friend. However simple these magical little moments might be, it is so important we stop to acknowledge and be grateful for them. 

By being grateful for simple things, we are not only more likely to attract more goodness to us, but we are also made more humble by simplicity and our stress levels reside. 

We are asking all our supporters to take a closer look at their Finding Yellow Moments and to acknowledge and share them. 

By applying the hashtag #findingyellowmoments to your moments captured on camera or in words you will also be helping others to see their special moments differently too, all while raising awareness for Finding Yellow. 

So when you see and capture your special moments please also use the hashtag #findingyellowmoments and help us raise awareness and gratitude.