Planning to take off with the NDIS

Published On: 6 June 2019Categories: NDIS, News

Currimundi local, Darren Ellis, surprised his mum when he announced his long term goal was to take a holiday without his parents.

Currimundi local, Darren Ellis, surprised his mum when he announced his long term goal was to take a holiday without his parents.

“I want to have a holiday without Mum and Dad,” 55 year old Darren explained.

“Some of the guys at the workshop have been on a group holiday. One of the guys did it on his own – flew from Brisbane to Sydney himself.”

Identifying goals is a focus of the planning conversations that take place between people accessing the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and Local Area Coordinators, and it can lead to pleasant surprises for  families and carers.

Darren was the first person on the Sunshine Coast to have his NDIS plan approved. Receiving his approved plan means he will be able to gain more independent living skills, bringing his goal of taking himself on a trip closer to reality.

Darren, who has worked since he was 18 years old, has some interim goals to tick off first.

He is pretty good with money and he uses his mobile phone calculator to check he has received the right change after buying something. However, he would like to work on his reading skills and maybe learn to cook.

Darren’s mum, Leta Ellis, remembers helping him learn to catch a bus so he could get to work himself.

These days Darren catches the bus where he needs to go and keeps an eye on his Go card balance so he doesn’t get caught short. Travel at night however, can be more difficult.

With NDIS support for transport costs, Darren can get himself to any training or community activities that are important to him, at a time that suits him. This type of everyday choice and control for a person with disability can make a big difference in their life and the lives of their family and friends.

Darren’s family have been impressed with the skills he has already picked up in the short time since being involved in meetings about his NDIS plan. They look forward to seeing him become more involved in his own affairs and speaking up for himself.

Carers Queensland, the Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community on the Sunshine Coast, will help Darren and his family learn more about accessing additional community services and how to use the NDIS  participant portal to manage his funding and connect with service providers.

Since opening its doors in October last year, Carers Queensland’s Local Area Coordinator Partner in the Community program for the Sunshine Coast and Gympie regions has held more than 930 planning conversations. The NDIS rolled out in the area on 1 January 2019 and since then, the team has helped 433 people get started with their approved NDIS plan.

To find out more about the NDIS contact Carers Queensland’s Local Area Coordination program on (07) 5409 3300, email  or visit