Our mission is to create great, sustainable homes and life experiences for people living with disability, by connecting families and communities.
We prioritise cooperation and share learning to support staff and families in our SILC community. We collaborate for the common purpose of achieving outcomes for our participants.
We are brave in the pursuit of supported independence for our participants. We strive for excellence and are authentic and honest with our cooperative.
We make time to reflect on our values and how we can continually grow. We enable, empower and equip each other to flourish through our actions, thoughts and deeds.
We are out of the box thinkers and take joy in exploring new possibilities for our participants and their families. We challenge convention to assist participants to live their best life.
SILC (Supporting Independent Living Cooperative) is a cooperative of cooperatives.
SILC was established in September 2016, as a hub to support families of NDIS Participants to form and operate small, family governed SIL homes. In June 2020 SILC had 10 funded SIL homes in Sydney, NSW.
Each member cooperative (House Operator) runs a family governed home for adult family members with disability.
SILC is a registered NDIS Provider #405001074 for SIL, Support Coordination, SIL (Supported Independent Living) is NDIS funding to pay staff to support residents in shared accommodation. SILC participants typically receive $200,000 - $400,000 SIL funding per annum.
A home with 2 – 3 residents typically has an annual budget of $500,000 - $1,000,000.
Traditional Group Homes have five or more residents with no or little involvement of family members. In contrast, in SILC Homes family members are actively involved.
In February 2020, SILC had 12 SIL funded homes in Sydney, NSW.
SILC homes are cooperatives in which family members are active members. The board is comprised of parents and/or siblings of the residents. A non-distributing cooperative is the ideal legal structure for SILC House Operators.
SILC homes are cooperatives in which family members are active members. The board is comprised of parents and/or siblings of the residents.
The support workers employed at the House can become members and have a say in what happens. Indeed, many good initiatives have been suggested and implemented by staff.
Residents feel their home is part of their family and staff members feel part of that family.
The houses (buildings) are owned by external landlords. The member cooperative pays rent. However, 80 – 90% of costs are staff costs that are covered by SIL funding.
Traditional SIL providers generally find SIL funding is insufficient to cover their operating costs. In contrast, SILC finds that SIL funding and part of the person’s pension, is more than sufficient to cover operating expenses because family involvement comes at no cost and SILC’s overheads are kept to a minimum.
SILC is the registered service provider but delegates responsibilities such as recruiting staff and the roster to the House Operator. Provided member cooperatives adhere to SILC’s policies and procedures to comply with NDIS and other regulatory requirements, SILC allows the families to determine how they operate the service. Every meeting of staff or the board includes a report on Continual Improvements.
As a registered Provider, SILC has obligations to ensure compliance with the Quality and
Safeguard Standards set by the NDIS Commission as well as all legal and regulatory
requirements as a charity, business and employer.
SILC has visibility of the House Operator’s documentation to ensure compliance with
Policies and Procedures and accounts to ensure financial viability. SILC takes its obligations seriously and initiates remedial action when necessary to ensure
In NDIS parlance, participants are given Choice and Control. SILC gives choice and control to family members because inevitably residents rely on them for their voice.
The fundamental belief is that families know and care about their family members with disabilities and provided they are willing and able to be actively involved, outcomes for the participant will be markedly better than in a setting where people outside of the family determine what happens to the person.
You can read more about SILC's Family Governance model and how it operates here
How SILC came about.
SILC connects NDIS participants, families and carers to establish their own family-governed homes for people with a disability.
SILC does this by:
SILC is a charity established to support its members by helping them establish and operate family governed homes for people with disabilities. SILC does not seek to make a profit. SILC operates efficiently with low overheads and relies on support from pro bono individuals and organisations. Each participant's SIL funding is paid by NDIS to a registered SIL provider. In other models, the SIL provider retains all surplus. SILC charges low fees for its services to allow house operators to build up retained earnings for future use.
The houses (buildings) are owned by external landlords. The member cooperative pays rent. However 80-90% of costs are staff costs that are covered by SIL funding. Traditional SIL providers generally say that SIL funding is insufficient to cover their operating costs. In contrast, SILC finds that SIL funding and part of the person's pension, is more than sufficient to cover operating expenses because family involvement comes at no cost and SILC's overheads are kept to a minimum.
Start Up Phase:
SILC received a start-up grant through the Sector Development Fund (SDF) from the Department of Social Services. The Department recognised the important value that SILC could offer in supporting individuals and their families to set up their own family-governed models under the NDIS. The SDF grant covered the period from September 2016 to June 2017.
You can read SILC's final report to the SDF here
From mid 2017, SILC has received funding from 2 main sources:
1. Membership fees – individuals and corporate members; and
2. Charging for NDIS services or supports.
As a charity SILC also receives tax deductible donations from donors.
Schedule of Fees:
In accordance with the NDIS principles of choice and control, SILC encourages families to be actively involved, to the extent that is possible, in the operations of their child’s housing supports. SILC is a registered NDIS service provider (NSW) and we can support you to set up and run your own family-governed housing model.
We also have other services that you can choose to purchase, based on your needs. We charge flat-rate fees for administration support rather than a percentage of NDIS funding received by Participants. In our experience, it is better to outline the services and allow families, support workers or people with disabilities to choose which of our services they wish to use.
View Schedule of Fees here
Our backgrounds and vision for SILC.
Angela joined SILC in September 2019 as our Chief Operating Officer. She has broad and extensive experience in the disability sector, having worked in Government and the For Purpose sector in frontline and leadership roles.
Angela has a background in Occupational Therapy, and holds a Master of Health Science (Developmental Disability) and a Graduate Certificate in Public Sector Management.
More recently, Angela held roles as the District Manager for Northern Sydney, in the Local Area Coordination program, where she led the district in supporting 4000 people with disability to transition onto the NDIS. Angela was also the Manager of Community Capacity Building in the Local Area Coordination program where she led the strategic direction and program initiatives to enable community to be more inclusive of people with disabilities.
In 2021, Angela was appointed as a Member of the Intellectual Disability Reference Group , one of four formal Reference Groups of the Independent Advisory Council to the NDIS. The Intellectual Disability Reference Group provides advice to support best practice in empowering people with intellectual disability to lead ordinary lives and be included in their community.
Angela is a skilled and experienced practitioner and brings with her a practice and quality lens, project management skills and community empowerment and capacity building experience. She is excited to head up SILC, and to collaborate with SILC cooperative members to innovate and create positive and inclusive housing solutions for people with disability.
Faen (pronounced Fawn) had her first exposure to the human services sector in 2006 when she took a GAP year and worked as a personal carer and teacher’s aid for students with disability at the National Star College in London. Since this time, Faen has worked in the sector in various roles including case management and service delivery for Ageing, Disability and Home Care (NSW Government) and NDIS transition planning and contract management for the National Disability Insurance Agency.
She joined SILC in February 2017 as SILC's Chief Operating Officer and is especially passionate about the NDIS and driven to ensure the Scheme is equitable, sustainable and stays true to its intentions. Faen was pivotal in the set up of 9 SILC houses in the initial start up stages of SILC. Through SILC, Faen hopes to break through barriers faced by people with disability and their families and aims to support them to create homes that truly meet resident needs and allow for family involvement in all aspects.
Faen holds a Bachelor of Sport and Exercise Management (2011) and Masters in Health Services Management (2014) from the University of Technology, Sydney.
Leah joined SILC in January 2020 as our Operations Lead. Leah has extensive experience working for State and Federal Government and brings with her a deep knowledge and understanding in the delivery of Government projects to address complex social issues.
Leah supported the roll out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in the Hunter region and Sydney regions. More recently, Leah worked with NSW Health in their Integrated Service Response to assist services to coordinate wraparound support for a person who has a disability and complex support needs, when their wellbeing is threatened by a crisis.
Leah has a background in Exercise Physiology and has over 12 years experience is the disability sector
Leah is excited by the opportunity to join SILC, and is keen to use her experience to support families first hand in making a significant difference in their lives.
Marie-Louise Singh joined SILC in September 2019.
She completed a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Philosophy in 2018, and a Bachelor of Social Work (Hons) at the University of Sydney in November 2019. Marie was awarded the University Medal based on her outstanding academic performance.
Marie has had formative experience in acute mental health services in rural and remote New South Wales prior to joining SILC. She has also enjoyed work in community development with emerging migrant communities.
She was attracted to SILC's values following conduction of her own qualitative research on how to improve outcomes by including people with lived experience in the organisation (namely homelessness outreach services).
She brings a critical social work and practitioner lens to the provider role. She is passionate about service provision which promotes justice, supports individual capacity and is led by consumers and their families.
At SILC she is grateful to learn about how to best support choice for people with disabilities, and how to contribute to a new and growing co-operative
Michael joined SILC in 2022, in an operations role to lead and further build capacity for our cooperative, and to support our families to deliver family governance disability accommodation under the NDIS. Michael has 13 years in the disability sector and comes to us from senior roles in the sector.
Michael was involved in the roll out of the NDIS through the Uniting LAC program. More recently, Michael led a team of supportcoordinators to "eat the NDIS detail" to get great outcomes for people with disability.Michael's work will underpin ambition to provide bespoke family governed homes for people with disability.
Roshan Dangol joined SILC in February 2017 as the Accountant. Before working withSILC, Roshan worked as a support worker at TKALC, one of the SILC houses and currently he works 2 days a week with TKALC to support families with their financial accounts.
Roshan holds a Master’s Degree in Accounting from Holmes Institute and InformationSystem from Victoria University, Sydney. He enjoys the challenge of identifying and solving problems.
Roshan has a passion to support people with disability and to increase his professional credentials. He possesses a caring and calm personality and through SILC he hopes to support families in setting up and running their house smoothly with his accounting and InformationSystem knowledge. With his willingness to learn attitude, Roshan is always ready to explore new ideas and listen to the need of business and people.
Kristen joined SILC in 2021 and brings with her 10 years experience working for the NSW Government in frontline service delivery, contract management and project roles in the Disability and Human Services sector.
Kristen's professional qualifications include a B. Social Work (UNSW) and is currently enrolled in the Graduate Certificate in Business (Public Sector Management) through the Queensland University of Technology.
She is passionate about collaborating with people with disability and their family members to co-design solutions, and takes care to ensure the person's voice is heard at every opportunity throughout their independent living journey.
The Family Governance Model that SILC offer is unique and promotes a high degree of autonomy and person-centred practice. SILC's values and the application of continuous improvement principles that support this special framework are what attracted Kristen to SILC.
Kristen looks forward to working with SILC members and delivering the highest standards of professional care to SILC's families and residents.
Vanessa began her career in the insurance industry, helping organisations improve their customer service while implementing reforms and changes within the industry. She then worked in the community aged care sector before joining the Local Area Coordination (LAC) program in 2016 at the commencement of the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
Vanessa has a strong focus on person centred operational excellence, looking internally at operational and service design to deliver a quality service to people with disability.
Throughout her career, Vanessa supported and led multiple strategic projects, including achieving ISO 9001 accreditation.
Vanessa brings a strong background in project management, customer service, compliance, and making systems work for people.
Vanessa joined SILC in September, 2021.
SILC is a co-operative and governed by a board.
David has extensive experience working in the compliance, risk, governance and social justice spheres. His career spans the corporate, non-profit and international development sectors. He is passionate about using that experience to help break down barriers that prevent people from participating in society.
David is currently the Head of Compliance Regulatory Reporting at Allianz. His previous experience includes working as Head of Compliance & Risk and Company Secretary at BNP Paribas Asset Management, as Head of Operations at non-profit organisation Social Ventures Australia and as a volunteer NGO adviser in the Pacific. David started his career as a Consultant at Deloitte, working in Risk Advisory and Assurance & Advisory.
David has a Bachelor of Commerce (Honours) from the University of Sydney and a Graduate Certificate in Social Impact from the University of NSW, where he was awarded the Anton Michewski Design for Social Innovation Prize. He is qualified as a Chartered Accountant, a Certified Member of the Governance Institute of Australia, and an Associate of the Governance Risk Compliance Institute.
Leanne has a 22 year old daughter who has severe autism and is a resident of CESIL House. She has been a Director on the Giant Steps Board since 2001 and is the co-ordinator of the annual Giant Steps Ball, a major fund-raising event.
Leanne works as a Licensed Conveyancer for Maccallum Lawyers. She has extensive experience with property and mortgage transactions. Leanne is also a Justice of the Peace.
Tim is an entrepreneur with a background in international employment and HR services. He was most recently a co-founder of Shield GEO, an international Employer of Record that supported over 900 client employees across 55 countries. At the time of acquisition by Velocity Global, Shield GEO had 70 staff in 17 countries and was turning over in excess of AUD $150 million per annum. Tim is interested in values driven companies that put people first.
Steve is the father of Patrick, a 29 year old man with autism. Patrick was one of the original 12 students at Giant Steps school when it opened in 1995. Steve was one of the parents who set up the school, which helps educate children and families experiencing autism, to alleviate associated stress.
Steve also helped establish PaRA Co-operative, a family-governed model for Patrick and his two housemates in Chatswood, Sydney from which SILC evolved. You can watch a clip about PaRA here.
Upon seeing the success of the PaRA model, Steve was instrumental in establishing SILC. His aim for SILC is simple – to share what he’s learned so other people with disabilities can live in a home of their choosing, in their communities surrounded by friends and family. He is energetic, approachable and brings simplicity to the most complex of problems.
Steve is an executive coach with a background in teaching and banking.
Fred is the father of 4 children, the youngest Julian, a 17 year old boy with autism. Julian currently attends Giant Steps school in Sydney and is a resident of My House Oatlands (MHO).
Fred was instrumental in developing and establishing MHO of which he is the Public Officer. MHO was established in 2013 a family-governed model that has created a’ home away from home’ for Julian and two other teenage autistic boys in Oatlands, Sydney. SILC became MHO's SIL Provider in 2018.
Fred has worked in the building industry for over 38 years and established his own successful construction company as a builder and property developer.
His knowledge in these two areas makes Fred a valuable member of SILC. Fred is passionate to help other families create a ‘home away from home’ just like MHO that has been life changing for Julian and his family.
Kim has a wealth of academic experience including;
· Bachelor of Business Health Administration (University of Technology. QLD),
· Graduate Diploma Applied Science Nursing Education, and
· Registered Nurse (Psychiatry & Emergency Med. Major).
Kim is also a registered Midwife and has worked in acute private and public hospitals, Justice Health Community and Aged Care sectors since 1980 including CEO of a number of private hospitals for 12 years 1991 - 2002 in QLD and Sydney’s North Shore.
From 2002 - 2010 Kim held the position of Group Risk/Clinical Risk Manager of Ramsay Health Care Australia and Indonesia and later from 2010 - 2014 as the National Clinical Risk Manager Calvary Healthcare Australia. From 2015-2017 Kim was the Operations Manager at James Milson Village, North Sydney. Kim currently works for Opal Aged Care NSW as the Commissioning Manager at Opal Bankstown. Kim's 18 year old son Joel is a resident of TKALC.
SILC has formed relationships with key partners across a diverse range of sectors.
Our partners comprise of parents of people with a disability, co-operatives, legal and accounting - helping SILC to reach out into our communities and provide expertise to create great homes for people with disabilities under the NDIS.
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Our purpose is to create great homes and life experiences for people with disability.
Please get in touch for all enquiries.