May 2024

It makes us proud to see people achieving their goals. Take Jon, for example. He longed for independence, and thanks to our Supported Independent Living (SIL) program, he got there. SIL empowers people with disabilities to live as independently as possible, while building skills. Here's Jon's inspiring journey toward transformation, community and a new way of life.

Jon's smooth 2-month transition from the hospital to an Achieve home reflects the care and collaboration of our team. With Jon facing such a big change, the Ryde team, including Service Manager Jasmine Dhillon, Business Development Lead Julia Wilson, and dedicated support workers, ensured Jon's transition was as comfortable as possible. As Jasmine knew that Jon was very particular about the layout of his room, they made sure that his bed was against the window and his favourite CDs were there to make him feel at home.  

Initially, Jon was cautious, but the team's thoughtful approach allowed him to visit his new home without the pressure of moving in immediately. Jon entered his new home first before Service Coordinator Neeraj Kumar brought in his bags. When he saw his things were just the way he liked them, he asked, "can I stay here tonight?" and told the hospital, “I’m never going back”.  That moment marked the beginning of a new chapter of Jon's life, and he has never looked back. 

Supporting Jon to transition out of hospital and into his forever-home is something that will stick with Jasmine forever. “Jon’s transition will always be part of my life”, she said.

Hospital life had engrained a strict routine in Jon, but his new environment introduced the new concept of making his own decisions. Now, Jon decides what and when he eats, enjoying Rice Bubbles for breakfast and his all-time favourites like frankfurters, sausages, bananas and dairy-free ice cream throughout the day. With support, he's learning to embrace a more relaxed schedule without the fear of missing out on meals and activities. 

Jon's social circle expanded as he made friends. Together, they've enjoyed outings like a trip to Mooney Mooney Club during the Easter break, where they savoured grilled octopus and scenic water views. These experiences have brought visible happiness to Jon's life.

Jon is a huge fan of music, with Bob Marley, Cliff Richards and ABBA being a few of his favourites. He has an extensive CD collection and a deep knowledge of music history. Jon also has a keen interest in ceramics, specifically Australian ceramicists who appear in his current favourite book, ‘An Atlas of Forms’ by Glenn Barkley. His love for ceramics extends to his art practice, where he creates vases and ornaments out of clay in his favourite colours, yellow and blue. Not only is Jon talented in ceramics, but he has also created some beautiful drawings and sketches.

When Marketing and Communications team member Anna Pettifer went to visit Jon, he shared his interest in photography, specifically images in black and white. He also knew the exact type of camera she was using, and all its functionalities. It's clear that Jon's story isn't just about living independently, but having the freedom to do what he loves. 

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