St Michaels’ Newstead campus was a hive of activity on the 11th March with the arrival of some important guests. The Hon. Stuart Robert MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Federal Member for Bass Bridget Archer MP, Tasmanian Senator Wendy Askew and NDIS representatives chose St Michaels to make an important announcement regarding proposed changes to plan budgets in the NDIS with the introduction of Independent Assessments (IA).

Mr. Robert MP revealed that there are significant differences in the average plan budgets depending on where you live in the state. For instance, if you live in Hobart the average NDIS plan budget is $105,000, whereby if you live in Launceston the average plan budget is $86,000. Mr. Robert MP believes that NDIS Independent Assessments will ensure a fair and consistent NDIS plan for all irrespective of your “post code”. For more information on the reforms please visit

St Michaels Association CEO, John Gilpin provided the politicians, NDIS representatives and media (Channel 7 and the ABC were present) with a tour of our facilities, explaining the evolution of our houses and services over the past 50 odd years. The tour culminated in a demonstration of the assistive technology in our new smart home complex.

Highlights of the tour were our guests enjoying scones made by participants in the Merrington Centre, seeing the politicians joining in and engaging with participants and staff in our music program and most importantly two new proud residents showing off their brand new homes.

Liam a young man in Supported Independent Living unit, was so proud of his unit that the Minister even challenged him to a one on one push-up competition, where Liam’s beaming smile was even bigger as he beat the Minister hands down! While Hannah was more subdued as our guests were presented with a beautiful independent Unit that Hannah has only been in for three months. Minister Robert, Senator Askew and Member Archer all commented on how stunning the unit was and how Hannah had decorated her home. John Gilpin advised the guests of where the participants had come from to where they are now are an example of how the NDIS can change people lives if the right supports are constructed within their plans.