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



Easter has now come and gone and we are now well into the 2015 year. There continues to be lots of activities underway including:
- Our Lutana Adults Respite unit will soon start construction of the new deck and ramp into the garden area. We now have council approval and the Lions club are generously supporting the full cost of this project along with a number of volunteers. The Adults Unit is also just about to begin renovations on the kitchen and one of the bathrooms. More details to follow.

- We have 2 new two bedroom units nearing completion in Geilston bay that will be used as Group Home accommodation. These should be ready by end of April and clients, families and staff are all very excited about this great initiative. Centacare have built these units and made them available for our use.

We are also talking to several more families about the possibility of providing further group home support. We are currently looking at various options for homes to provide this support but it will require a capital investment from the government to proceed.

- We have made some headway in designing a sensory garden at our Lenah Valley Community Access centre. So this will also begin development in the coming months.

- STAR and Cosmos have been very busy preparing for the merging of the two entities from 1st July 2015. There is still a lot of work to be done but we have now agreed on the final structure and staff into all of the senior management roles.

We intend on continuing to trade under our existing service names of STAR Tasmania and Cosmos Inc and will merge similar activities under the three main areas of support called My Home, My Community and My Time Away.

We have held culture workshops with a large proportion of staff from both entities and the feedback has been very positive with all staff communicating a strong alignment of values and shared goals for the people we support. If anything, staff are telling us that they want it to happen as soon as possible as it does open up lots of additional support opportunities and improved services.

We have engaged the services of a consultant to also talk with all of the clients at both STAR and Cosmos about the merger and get their feedback. This is now being collated and we will take on board their comments and suggestions in the merger process moving forward.

- Preparations have started for our annual quiz night fundraiser which we plan to hold on Saturday the 15th August 2015 – please keep this night free – it is going to be a lot of fun. More details will follow.
Please contact us if you would like to discuss any concerns or suggestions you might have. We always appreciate your feedback.

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.”