Ron Franks, STAR Tasmania’s Vice Chairman, recently spoke on 936 ABC radio answering their question on “Can you picture what disability gives?”

ABC radio discusses with Ron Franks how Ron wanted to find a way to share the positives that come with raising a child with a disability. The moments of profound beauty. The love. The Snapshot – a picture of our community project is expanding from a FB page, across the island and will culminate in an exhibition later this year. Follow the link to view  the Snapshot- Celebrating our community Facebook page

It is truly worth taking the the time to listen to the full interview here




A unique event was held in Hobart on Friday to mark the commencement of National Families Week

National Families Week commenced on Friday 15th May, and one of the more unique events was held in Hobart, where a team of photographers volunteered their skills to take family portraits of families and family members with a disability.

The start of National Families Week on Friday 15th May coincided with the UN International Day of Families. The free family portrait day was a collaboration involving Snapshot (Celebrating Our Community)- a community project using powerful imagery and storytelling to celebrate the lives of those closest to people with disabilities – and UR Connected, a major community arts project by STAR Tasmania and The Parkside Foundation.

Snapshot photographer Ron Franks explained: “We are really excited to share the stories of those in our community who give so much of themselves. Often these are people who don’t have the time, let alone desire for family portraits. Our goal is to find images for our print exhibition in December and to share some behind-the-scenes shots on our Facebook page.”

“We are volunteers with a passion for photography” said Ron who has a daughter with Kabuki syndrome, “We love what we do and it’s great to meet others and get them involved in something they may not otherwise consider”.

STAR Tasmania and The Parkside Foundation as the UR Connected project were excited to be part of the event to acknowledge the critical role all families play in building a stronger community.

We met some amazing and very inspirational people on Friday who shared their stories with us. UR Connected had great fun sharing stories through art and finding out how people feel connected to the community.

We will be sharing with you each day this week an image from the Snapshot day via Facebook . Thank you to all of the STAR and Parkside helpers, Hobart City Council, Tascare, The Hobart Photographic Society, and Snapshot.

A big personal thank you to Ron and Keren Franks for sharing in the concept and being as passionate as we are about families which made this whole day possible. Thank you also to Megan Rozynski from Creative Hum for being “amazingly creative”.

Please support and like the Snapshot page and follow the Snapshot journey to help us spread the word about the importance of families.(

Happy National Families week everyone.

National Families week Pic

Ticket to Work joins National Disability Services

National Disability Services (NDS) is proud to announce that we have partnered with Ticket to Work, a national program which supports young people with disability to successfully transition from school to work.

Operating under a local community partnership model, Ticket to Work brings together disability-specific and mainstream representatives from a variety of sectors (including education, training, youth, business, local government and disability) to improve the transition to employment of young people with disability. The program does not provide direct services, but rather facilitates collaboration across the range of entities that can optimise employment outcomes for young people with disability, if they work together.

There are currently 25 local Ticket to Work networks operating in Australia and in 2014 the program supported over 600 young Australians with disability access work learning opportunities while at school.

Nationally, Ticket to Work focuses on the following three areas to improve school-to-work transition:

  1. Research: Explore, identify and spotlight good practice through research in school-to-work transition for young people with disability
  2. Policy: Influence good employment participation policy development at local, state and national levels
  3. Practice: Promote, explore and support communities to implement evidence-based practice that improves outcomes for young people with disability.

NDS sees great promise in working with the Ticket to Work program to create opportunities for young Australians with disability.

NDS is keen to support even more communities to develop local Ticket to Work networks and provide students with workplace learning opportunities, career development, workplace preparation, work experience and Australian School-based Apprenticeships and Traineeships.

NDS acknowledges the organisations that have supported the development of Ticket to Work from a small pilot to a national initiative in four years. Particular thanks goes to the Bayside Glen Eira Kingston Local Learning and Employment Network (BGK LLEN), which has hosted the national Ticket to Work.

Michelle Wakeford, National Manager of Ticket to Work, said: “The relationship with NDS will strengthen Ticket to Work’s ability to create positive change for young people with disability; giving us greater reach into local communities and enhancing our research and policy expertise. In short, NDS will provide Ticket to Work with the architecture for spotlighting and promoting strategies and practices that produce optimal employment and career achievement for young people with disability.”

Additionally, Michelle will be presenting on Ticket to Work at the NDS Disability at Work conference, ‘Creating the future’. With just six weeks to go, have you registered to attend?

For more information on Ticket to Work, including the evaluation of the initiative, visit the Ticket to Work website.

Contact information:

Kerrie Langford, National Employment Manager, 02 6283 3202,

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Friday 6th March 2015

Merger news

Merger News 17th April

Merger News 27 March

Timeline 27 March

Merger News 6 March

Timeline 6 March

Family merger news STAR


Wednesday 18 February – Media Release

Merged entity will better support people living with a disability

Greater choice, expanded services and new programs are promised to those living with a disability by the merger, announced today, between two of southern Tasmania’s most respected disability organisations.

Cosmos and STAR Tasmania are set to become one organisation from 1 July 2015 offering participants the convenience of a full range of services including accommodation, respite and day programs.

This is good news for participants and their families who will deal with one organisation to have the needs of their family member met, rather than two separate services.

And with a new combined client base of around 500 people, 290 staff and an annual expected turnover of $15 million, the new entity is well-positioned to offer clients an improved high quality complete service.

The merger, said STAR Tasmania Chair, Kim Baumeler, is about enhancing support in the state for those living with a disability.

“With greater scale offered by the merger, we are excited by the possibilities for developing new initiatives to better meet the needs of our clients.”

“In the future we envisage this may include expanded case management services and greater focus on accommodation support and community participation options under the one umbrella for clients.”

For Chair of the Cosmos Board, Kate Cuthbertson, the merge is an exciting step towards consolidating the best that each service has to offer.

“Merging with STAR makes sense,” Ms Cuthbertson said “Not only do both STAR and Cosmos have strong trusted brands within the disability sector, we also share the same value set based on person-centred support.”

“Together STAR and Cosmos can make a real difference in the lives of those living with a disability.”