Nathan makes friends easily and it is this natural ability to connect to people that fuels his new business, Swallowtail Nursery, which is keeping inclusion at its core.
“The mission for Swallowtail is to get people back to nature, no matter what their background.”
Nathan, who has Aspergers, is expanding his business to include mobile horticultural experiences and community garden programs for people with disability, starting with a winter program at The Veggie Village in Peregian Beach.
“I’m also working with the Coolum Community Garden to get some wheelchair accessible wicking beds made up there from the Men’s Shed. No one on the Sunshine Coast has wicking beds for wheelchair (users).”
Nathan has also been connecting with Aboriginal elders in the Sunshine Coast, Uncle Paul Calcott and Uncle Kerry Neill, to help connect with First Nations People in the area through a mobile horticulture program.
Nathan says he is keen to make sure his business succeeds for the right reasons and gives a viable career option for people with disability who want to work in his industry.
“When they finish their Cert II or III in Horticulture, no one wants to put them on because they’ve got a disability.
“So that’s why I created Swallowtail Nursery, to break down those barriers so hopefully, later on, I can put them on.
Nathan is accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and has been supported by Carers Queensland NDIS Local Area Coordination program in Maroochydore.
“It helps me with my mindset and how I actually go with my day-to-day things.
“Back when I started NDIS I went to a gym in Brisbane – these guys are really good at helping people with disabilities. I was 125kg and they helped me lose my weight and get my mindset into a right pattern.
Carers Queensland can support you to find out more about the NDIS, to apply for funding and to help you get started with the NDIS.
If you have a disability but are not eligible for the NDIS, Carers Queensland can help you identify and link to options for support in your community.
To find out more about how the NDIS and Local Area Coordination program can work for you, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or firstname.lastname@example.org.