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Conversations about MS – Author Q&A

We chat with Steven Koutsodontis, author and Intake Officer at BSL NDIS about his journey with MS and the inspiration behind his self-published book, A Conversation About Multiple Sclerosis with My Family.

Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your journey with MS?
When I was 16 years old, I was dealt what I would describe as a wonderful gift one beautiful afternoon. This involved debilitating symptoms of fatigue, double vision, numbness, and loss of strength to the ...

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Have your say on the Disability Support Pension


The Brotherhood of St. Laurence (BSL) are putting together a submission for a Senate inquiry into the Disability Support Pension (DSP).

You can out find out more about the inquiry here: Purpose, intent and adequacy of the Disability Support Pension – Parliament of Australia (

We want to include the perspectives of people who have recently applied for a DSP, either for themselves or someone they care for.

We are interested in hearing about people’s experiences of:

  • the general application process
  • whether you could find ...
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Connecting with BSL NDIS

We’re leveraging our digital platforms to make it easier to connect with the Brotherhood of St Laurence (BSL) NDIS team.

Our web chat service on the BSL NDIS website provides an additional communication channel for people with disability, family members, carers and the community to connect with us.

The web chat allows visitors ...

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Sharing experiences to create change

Workforce Advisor from Brotherhood NDIS Services, Helene Dore, was invited to share her experience to help Cambodian non-profit organisation Children’s Future International (CFI). 

Children’s Future International (CFI) supports children experiencing extreme disadvantage in rural Cambodia with social work and educational services.

At the Brotherhood, Helene is Workforce Advisor for our Local Area Coordination team, and has a background in disability service and development advice.

Invited to share her expertise on disability and mental health as part of an outreach program, Helene joined ...

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Maddy finds her passion through the NDIS

Young girl smiling with a bouquet of flowersFinding her talent in floristry, Maddy one day hopes to open her own florist and gift store.

Over the last 12 months, Maddy, 22, who has an intellectual disability has developed a new outlook on life and is harnessing her creative talents.

But for Maddy, trying new activities and being out in the community wasn’t always easy.

Struggling with ...

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Faster access to ECEI supports

The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) has announced the introduction of a six-month interim plan for young children to resolve the delays and backlogs for children with disability in accessing Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) supports through the NDIS.

Details of how this will be implemented and when it will commence will be known in the next 3-4 weeks. We will be able to provide more information after this time and will post these updates to our ...

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Gaining independence thanks to the NDIS

Mahmood For Mahmood, 29, who has muscular dystrophy the NDIS has given him increased independence and a motivation to help create change in the community.

Mahmood worked with Local Area Coordinator (LAC) Laura in March 2018 to develop a plan that addressed his goal of gaining independence.

Prior to the NDIS, he relied on family members to help him get ready each morning, waking up ...

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Robert’s story

Robert Hill on the Melbourne StarRobert Hill hasn’t stopped smiling thanks to his newfound confidence and independence since joining the NDIS in August 2018.

Robert, 31, has vision impairment, microcephaly and autism and over the last eight months his vision has further deteriorated.

Prior to the NDIS, Robert was isolated from the community and relied solely on his mum Kim for everyday support.

“It was just ...

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Connecting with others a life-changer for Melonie

During a meeting with her Local Area Coordinator, Melonie Harpham paused for a moment, and said “Wow, I can hear a motorcycle coming up the road!”

Melonie realised the sounds many people take for granted – footsteps, birds chirping, even traffic noise – she was now hearing all at once for the first time since she was five years old.

Melonie said her experience with the Brotherhood NDIS Local Area Coordination service was life-changing.

She had been hard of hearing since she was ...

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Opening doors for people with disability

A lady sits on her sofa with her service dogFor Vivienne, life with her assistance dog Poppy brings walks, shop visits, laughter and games. It wasn’t always this way.

In 2015, Vivienne was diagnosed with breast cancer and after that she developed crippling anxiety, depression and agoraphobia. She could no longer work, barely left the house and few things were making a ...

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