Chorus 2019 Annual Report
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Living with Disability

Disability Employment Services

A job isn’t just financial independence. It gives us purpose, a place in the world and a sense that what we’re doing is making a real contribution.

Disability Employment Services (DES) staff work hard to help people living with disability or in mental health recovery to find meaningful employment.

Success through Chorus

It was a happy Friday for Scott when he successfully completed his work trial at Intelife for supported employment.

“Well done, Scottie!! Chuffed to bits for you!!” said Kayli Burgess-Jones from the specialist mental health recovery team.

Two weeks later Scott started working two days a week  looking after the parks and gardens around Mandurah with a crew from Intelife.

Michael

Michael has been a customer at Ray Street Activity Centre for four years. He said his behaviour has dramatically improved and he’s learned to accept that sometimes people don’t always understand why he acts the way he does. His most valuable lesson has been to take things one day at a time. Michael has made many friends at Ray Street Activity Centre. He has become a real leader in the group and a great support to everyone. He loves socialising and getting out and about with other customers. He also takes

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Michael has been a customer at Ray Street Activity Centre for four years.

He said his behaviour has dramatically improved and he’s learned to accept that sometimes people don’t always understand why he acts the way he does. His most valuable lesson has been to take things one day at a time. Michael has made many friends at Ray Street Activity Centre. He has become a real leader in the group and a great support to everyone. He loves socialising and getting out and about with other customers. He also takes part in Life Skills, where he learns house duties like cleaning, washing and making beds.

Michael is pictured with a garden statue he painted during one of the art activities and has proudly placed it in the Ray Street Ray Street Activity Centre garden.

Glenn

Glenn is a regular face at Ray Street Activity Centre and has made great progress learning to cook, clean and shop with the Life Skills Group. He even met his girlfriend Simone at the centre seven years ago. His experience at Chorus was featured in The West Australian’s Supporting People with Disability feature.

Christmas spirit

Ray Street Activity Centre staff and volunteers regularly go to the Safety Bay Woolworths, where they have made an impression with the great work they do with customers in the community. Woolworths got into the Christmas spirit and dropped off some Christmas treats for the Centre.

Australian art at Kwinana Activity Centre

Alice created a painting depicting her and Kwinana Activity Centre facilitator Skye’s life journey.

The left dots and hand represent Alice’s life journey, while the right represents Skye’s.

Ability Arts

Customers at Cumberland Street Activity Centre’s Ability Arts program live with disability or are in mental health recovery. The program includes a higher-needs session which is about socialising and just being there. Social interaction, especially through art, is increasingly seen as an important mental health tool. Group numbers are kept small and participants worked towards an end goal that everyone could celebrate. “It’s about feeling comfortable and gaining confidence, and being a part of a group,” said Mandurah Team Leader Community Connections, Chene Van der merwe. “It is like a family as

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Customers at Cumberland Street Activity Centre’s Ability Arts program live with disability or are in mental health recovery. The program includes a higher-needs session which is about socialising and just being there. Social interaction, especially through art, is increasingly seen as an important mental health tool.

Group numbers are kept small and participants worked towards an end goal that everyone could celebrate.

“It’s about feeling comfortable and gaining confidence, and being a part of a group,” said Mandurah Team Leader Community Connections, Chene Van der merwe. “It is like a family as well; they are there for each other.”

Ability Arts explored their creativity in many ways this year with group sessions in:

  • Crafts
  • Art
  • Pottery
  • Music
  • Yoga
  • Drama

Showcasing art to the public

Artists displayed their work in our in-house gallery space the Corner Shop with funds from sales reinvested into the program. Customers also took part in exhibitions, such as at the local Mandurah Art Gallery and Falcon eLibrary, Community Centre and Wearable Arts.

“It’s getting out there and showing what our artists are achieving,” said Elli Moody. “They get satisfaction from showing what they’ve done, and it also works to recruit new participants.”

Artists submitted their work to Mandurah’s Wearable Art.
Home Exhibition: Ability Arts artists explored the meaning of home.
Home Exhibition: Artwork included fish tanks with sculptures, inspired by our local environment and wildlife
Home Exhibition: Artwork included Colours of Mandurah, a collaborative painting using the colours of our west coast sunsets,
Home Exhibition: Artwork included Meeting Place of the Heart which collates colourful hearts and old photos of Mandurah to show love for Ability Art's home town.
Home Exhibition: Proceeds from artwork sales went back into the Ability Arts program.

Laugh yoga and random rocks of kindness

People aged two to 100 years celebrated International Day of People with Disability at a special Chorus event. There was a buzz in the air and everyone who attended – customers, staff, volunteers and the wider community – explored new experiences such as boot scooting, drumming, Tai Chi, Fit for Life, Laughing Yoga, 5D-art, tie dying, random rocks of kindness, mandalas, singing, dancing, fun with water and a colour fun run. The day proved no matter your ability, age, status or heritage, we can come together, enjoy life and have fun.

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