Sunday, September 15, 2019

NDIS and Therapy Dog Applications

I have completed and submitted 3 Therapy Dog Applications through to NDIS now in the past 2 months. Do not have the outcome as yet so awaiting this but not feeling the patience ... here at  Hallmark Occupational Therapy we dream of having a trained or in-training Assistance Dog so that we could trial different activities and strategies with our participants and strengthen our PB AT applications with meaningful data. 

Thinking big for 2020!

Recruiting now for Occupational Therapy in Gippsland Victoria

We have senior and new graduate positions available at Hallmark Occupational Therapy. We are a vibrant company in Gippsland which is a beautiful part of regional and rural Victoria. We have developed excellent working partnerships with our NDIS Clients and network of Support Coordinators. You will belong to a supportive, multi-talented team and receive regular supervision and mentoring, PD opportunities and flexible job roles. For more information or to apply, visit

Sunday, March 24, 2019

Welcome to Country

What is an Welcome to Country?

In a simple sentence:
It is a protocol for the custodians of the land to welcome visitors to their Country or Land.

What is an Acknowledgement to Country?
In plain terms this is an opportunity for anyone to show respect for Traditional Owners and the continuing connection of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples to Country. It can be given by both non-Indigenous people and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. There are no strict protocols or wording for an Acknowledgement of Country, so it is okay you can relax about what to say and say something from the heart!


Reference: Reconciliation Australia provides an easy to read guide about the meaning and purpose of Welcome to Country ceremonies.

See the full document via this Link below.

Footnote: Cultural safety is about recognising, respecting and nurturing the unique cultural identity of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and meeting their needs, expectations and rights.

Welcome to our Blog

Thank you for visiting our Blog and to find out more about Hallmark OT and Hallmark Workplace Solutions, our therapy, supports and services why not visit our website

Best wishes 

Kerrie, Amanda and Darren

Friday, March 22, 2019

10 Point Plan for NDIS Implementation in Aboriginal Communities

Summary - Ten Point Plan:

1. Recognise that the starting point is that the vast majority of Aboriginal people with disability do not self-identify as people with disability. This occurs for a range of reasons including the fact that in traditional language there was no comparable word for disability. Also that many Aboriginal people with disability are reluctant to take on the label of disability particularly if they may already experience discrimination based on their Aboriginality. In many ways, disability is a new conversation in many communities therefore with regard to the NDIS we are starting from an absolute baseline position. And as a consequence, change in this area may evolve on a different timeline to that of the main part of the NDIS.

2. Awareness raising via a concerted outreach approach informing Aboriginal people with disabilities, their families and communities about their rights and entitlements. As well as informing Aboriginal and Torres Strait communities about the NDIS itself and how to work this new system effectively. There is simply no other way to raise awareness then by direct face-to-face consultation. Brochures and pamphlets will not do the job in this instance, a new conversation in many communities is needed.

3. Establish NDIS Expert Working Group on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander People with disability and the NDIS. In recognition of the fact that there is a stand alone building block for the NDIS focused upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities, the FPDN views it not only as critical but logical that a new Expert Working Group be established focused upon Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities. The new working group would operate in the same way the four current working groups do, that is, it would be chaired by two members of the National People with Disability and Carers Council.

4. Build the capacity of the Non-Indigenous disability service system to meet the needs of Aboriginal people with disability in a culturally appropriate way. Legislate an additional standard into the Disability Services Act focused upon culturally appropriate service delivery and require disability services to demonstrate their cultural competencies.

5. Research into the prevalence of disability and into a range other relevant matters. Critically, this work must be undertaken in partnership with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities to ensure a culturally appropriate methodology. There remains very little reference material about disability in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities this needs to rectified to ensure that we are getting a true picture of the lived experience of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people with disabilities.

6. Recognise that a workforce already exists in many Aboriginal communities that continues to do important work, often informally. This work needs to valued and recognised with the potential being the creation of employment opportunities in some communities.

7. Recognise that it’s not always about services. Many communities just need more resources so that they can continue to meet the needs of their own people with disabilities. There may be perfectly appropriate ways of supporting people already in place, however what is often lacking is access to current technologies or appropriate technical aids or sufficient training for family and community members to provide the optimum level of support.

8. Recruitment of more Aboriginal people into the disability service sector.

9. Build the capacity of the social movement of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders with disabilities by supporting existing networks and building new ones in addition to fostering Aboriginal leaders with disabilities. These networks play a critical role in breaking down stigma that may exist in some communities but are also the conduits for change and will be integral to the successful implementation of the NDIS in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.

10. Aboriginal ‘Launch’ sites focused upon remote, very remote, regional and urban settings. It is critical that this major reform be done right. Therefore it is appropriate to effectively trial its implementation. To this end the FPDN can readily identify key communities that would be appropriate as trial sites.

For the full report visit:

Retrieved 30.11.2018 from


What do we mean by Occupation?

Our own Professional Association summarises an answer to this common question!
Reflections on Occupation
Occupation is simple and intuitive to the experience of all humans. . .
  • the things we do in our life roles
  • the things we do to be who we are
  • the things we do to create life and world into all it can become
. . . however the finer details reveal there is more to occupation than meets the eye!
Occupation is. . .
Subjectively experienced
  • to one person the occupation of "shopping" feels like "a real chore", to another it's "fun", to yet another it's "a chance to relax". Activity can be classified into cultural categories such as "work", but each occupation is experienced as blend of productivity, pleasure and restoration
Situated in time
  • the meaning and function of occupation vary according to its location in the stream of time. Consider the meanings of a "shopping" occupation for an individual over time - shopping for lollies as a kid, shopping after a first pay check and shopping with a wheel chair for the first time
  • Time and culture influence which occupations are meaningful and adaptive, however that humans have used occupation to survive, thrive, healing and health promotion is evident since the dawn of time

What is Occupational Therapy?

Occupational therapy is a client-centred health profession concerned with promoting health and well being through occupation. 
The primary goal of occupational therapy is to enable people to participate in the activities of everyday life. 
Occupational therapists achieve this outcome by working with people and communities to enhance their ability to engage in the occupations they want to, need to, or are expected to do, or by modifying the occupation or the environment to better support their occupational engagement
WFOT 2012

NDIS and Therapy Dog Applications

I have completed and submitted 3 Therapy Dog Applications through to NDIS now in the past 2 months. Do not have the outcome as yet so...