Artistic Morningside 30-Year-Old Goes Back to School with NDIS Support

Despite being a serious mental health disorder, schizophrenia hasn’t stopped an artistic Morningside local from going back to university, thanks to the support of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

Nathan Coyne, 30, has recently re-enrolled at a university where he’s taking two art classes and a photography class under the school’s Art from the Margins program. But before he could return to school, he had some help and preparation from NDIS. 

As someone who has schizophrenia, Nathan needs to regularly visit a community garden for his mental health and fitness. These visits, as guided by an NDIS support staff, are a significant aspect of Nathan’s his social behaviour improvement.

With improved social behaviour, Nathan has been able to join group activities with other NDIS participants, such as art gallery visits, cooking and gardening, or even a quick trip to the circus. He’s also able to secure a job three days a week with the Australian Disability Enterprise

By doing these activities and forging a routine, Nathan has built his confidence to enrol at the university for one term.

Photo Credit: Supplied
Photo Credit: Supplied

Nathan received assistance to apply for and implement his NDIS funding from Carers Queensland’s NDIS Local Area Coordination Partner in the Community Program for the Brisbane region.

His mum, Elisabeth, said that having dedicated support from the NDIS has made a huge difference in their lives.

“I can go to work and know he has a support worker coming to visit to take him out or just do something with him in the garden,” Elisabeth said. “He has been able to do things that we would not have had time for, which gives him something to look forward to; to have access to different people he has to talk to, to build his social skills.”

“With the NDIS it was the first time that the family was recognised as part of the journey; it is more about what we as a team was setting up, as opposed to just being about Nathan.”

To learn more about NDIS support or to apply for funding, contact Carers Queensland on 1300 999 636, or

Rising Murrarie Star Eager to Compete in the Paralympics

Patrick O’Brien, a Murrarie swimmer with autism, is well on the way towards a bright future competing in the Paralympics.

Patrick, a 17-year-old with autism and an intellectual disability, swims with Carina Leagues CJ’s Swim Club. He has already won numerous medals throughout his career, competing in the multiclass events from State to National level.

With the aid of his support worker under the National Disability Insurance Scheme, he trains six days a week and enters swimming competitions fortnightly. His journey first began five years ago after attending ‘Learn to Swim’ lessons for the Special Olympics at the age of 12.

“We always wanted him to learn how to swim; he has always loved the water but couldn’t swim,” says Kate Jansons, his mother. “We saw Learn to Swim in Redlands so after a couple of lessons they got him competing. Now he’s on his Paralympics pathway.” 

Photo credit: NDIS

Only three years later and Patrick O’Brien had made it to Nationals, winning three gold medals and one silver medal. During the 2019 World Paralympics trials in Brisbane, he entered the Top 10, and will swim at the Paralympics Trials coming up in Adelaide around June. 

Outside of the pool, Patrick receives regular help from his support worker. Much of his hobbies relate to fitness and sporting activities such as athletics and cross-country. “The NDIS has been great at getting him to therapies and into his things, like being able to compete and to keep him safe,” says his mum. 

For those interested in learning more about the NDIS, visit their website. Follow their social media pages on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest on the services they can provide, as well as any other relevant events, dates, and exciting updates.