Find A Linker

Linkers work with people to uncover their goals and find ways to make them happen. Linkers support people to feel included in the community. You can contact a Linker whenever you need to, by phone, email, website or visiting one of our local offices – without needing a referral or going through a formal assessment process.

There are a range of Ability Links NSW providers all across the state and the contact details for a local Linker can be found in a range of ways.

Leave us your contact details and we’ll get in touch about linkers in your area.

Read about our other providers across NSW and find out about what they do and who can access Ability Links NSW.

Read more about our Linkers here

Using the Linker Locator tool

To find a linker simply click on your region and from there you can view their contact details.

Social Futures

Northern Rivers Social Development Council
“Killclare House”, 16 Keen Street,
Lismore NSW 2480
(02) 6620 1800

Mid Coast Communities

Mid Coast Communities
Shop 21, 20 Gordon Street,
Coffs Harbour NSW 2450
(02) 6651 1788

Pathfinders

Pathfinders
87 Beardy Street
Armidale NSW 2350
(02) 6771 1527

Intereach

Intereach
PO Box 501
Deniliquin NSW 2710
1300 488 226

LiveBetter

LiveBetter
Head Office
142 March Street
Orange NSW 2800
1300 227 393

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News

Ability Linker

Linking up communities is Kylie’s calling

3/10/2018: Regional Community Engagement Linker Kylie Maunder has seen more of NSW's Northern Rivers region over the past year than most people see in a lifetime. Operating from her base in Lismore, Kylie visits Aboriginal and other isolated communities from Grafton to Tweed and out to Tabulam on a regular basis, supporting a range of participants and programs as well as participating in key Social Futures activities and groups. "This is literally the best job I've ever had," Kylie says.
Orange Linkers

Orange Linkers roll up their flannelette sleeves for farmers

20/8/2018: A big ‘thank you’ to the Ability Linkers at LiveBetter in Orange, who last week donned their flannelette shirts, rolled up their sleeves – and raised almost $900 for NSW farmers to buy feed for their livestock. The ‘Feed for Farmers’ flannelette shirt fundraising took place on Thursday 16 August 2018 in the courtyard of the LiveBetter Child and Family Services office, with more than 100 people taking part in a fun-filled day featuring lots of delicious food.
Ability Linker Bec Browning

NAIDOC award nomination for inspirational Bec

7/8/2018: Tamworth Ability Linker Bec Browning has been recognised for her outstanding community work with a nomination for the regional NAIDOC Inspirational Woman of the Year award. Bec admits to being “blown away” by her nomination and feels deeply honoured.
Premier's Award for North West Alliance

Minister presents Premier’s award to Ability Links NSW program

The North West Alliance has received a Premier’s Award for improving government services with a special presentation made by NSW Minister for Disability Services, The Hon. Ray Williams. The North West Alliance delivers the Ability Links program across 87% of regional NSW. North West Alliance Program Manager Valerie Thompson was on hand to receive the award and said it was recognition of all the wonderful work the Linkers do in our communities.
Local football mental health round

Embracing Mental Health Through Football

A day devoted to stamping out the stigma around mental illness could become an annual fixture with locals and visitors alike embracing the spirit of the day when the Nyngan Tigers Senior Rugby League Club hosted its mental health round. The day, which was a collaboration between Nyngan Tigers and Ability Links NSW, aimed to break down barriers associated with mental illness, foster community understanding and empower people to seek help when needed. Former professional rugby league player and Black Dog Institute representative Wayne Wigham addressed each team at the end of their games, highlighting the importance of people seeking help when they don’t feel like themselves.
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New Lego club comes to town

For a lot of kids, if they had to name their favourite activities, lego would be near the top of the list. A new partnership between Ability Links NSW and Bathurst Library will bring Lego for all as part of a new LEGO club. The club is for people of all different abilities aged between five and 18 years of age and aims to promote inclusiveness and help build friendships.
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Youth Week 2017 – Glen Innes

When Ability Links was asked to assist in planning and running this year’s Youth Week activities in Glen Innes we naturally jumped at the chance. After hosting successful Youth Week events in the past, it was decided that this year’s event would focus more on sports to better engage with the local high school. Youth Week opened with a free showing of The Edge of Seventeen which had over 100 people in attendance. Some of the young people who attended described it as a reflection of their lives, and a great movie to help build their self-esteem. An afternoon of touch football was also organised with several community leaders including a Linker, youth workers, fireman, police officer, ambulance officer, teachers, councillor, council general manager and directors joining in.
Linker and children at the handover of the sports ability kit

New project bringing awareness of inclusive sports to kids

A new project being delivered by Ability Links on the Mid North Coast is teaching students the value of inclusion and giving students of all abilities the opportunity to enjoy sport. The Sports Ability Project is an early intervention initiative aimed at K – 6 students and staff from across the region and teaches them how to play inclusive games, including Boccia, Seated volleyball and blind-folded goalball.
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Featured Story

Blind Grit by name, true grit by nature

Australia's first blind fashion designer Nikki Hinds
Australia's first blind fashion designer Nikki Hinds

Look out New York, Paris and Milan – ‘Blind Grit’ is out there and heading your way!

Blind Grit is the label and brainchild of Australia’s first legally blind fashion designer, Nikki Hind, and with the help of Ability Linkers at North West Alliance partner Intereach, Nikki has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her first ‘for sale’ fashion line aimed at the athleisure wear market.

Nikki’s designs have already featured on the catwalk at Melbourne Fashion Week and have received attention from the New York Times, but creating a complete fashion line from scratch is expensive and time intensive.

It was pure chance that brought Nikki in contact with Jarrod, an Ability Linker at Intereach.

“By luck I was handed one of Nikki’s business cards and told to give her a call as she may be able to provide mentoring for participants,” Jarrod says.

“I called her and set up a meeting, and was so overwhelmed by what she was trying to achieve that I pulled out all stops to help her.”

Jarrod was able to broker the initial seed funding to shoot her crowdfunding video, and with the assistance of the rest of the local Linker team was able to get over 20 volunteers who all have disability or trauma backgrounds to participate in the shoot.

The video was shot at Albury Wodonga’s Jazz Basement over a six-hour period on 11 November 2018, with the volunteers participating as make-up artists, photographers and models.

Nikki described the event as “being like a bride at a wedding”.

“I loved our cool venue. I loved our moody smoke spray. I loved my face – I nearly cried having to wash away such an amazing work of art,” she says.

Now that the video has been made, the crowdfunding campaign is well and truly under way.

You can watch the crowdfunding video bly clicking here, and follow Blind Grit’s progress on the label’s dedicated Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/blind.grit.

Nikki aimed to raise at least $7,000 to launch her line, with any extra money raised going towards paying the volunteers for their time. As this article was being prepared Nikki had already raised more than $9,000, so she is well on her way.

Last but not least, look out for the signature ‘Grit and bare it’ T-shirts – they will make a nice addition to this year’s Christmas stockings!
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Your Stories

We love to hear from you about your experiences, your dreams and your passions.

Click the button below to share some of these with us and the community – it can be a poem, video link, story or whatever you like.

Submit Your Story

Australia's first blind fashion designer Nikki Hinds

Blind Grit by name, true grit by nature

Look out New York, Paris and Milan – ‘Blind Grit’ is out there and heading your way! Blind Grit is the label and brainchild of Australia’s first legally blind fashion designer, Nikki Hind, and with the help of Ability Linkers at North West Alliance partner Intereach in Albury Wodonga, Nikki (above) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise money for her first ‘for sale’ fashion line aimed at the athleisure wear market.
Mike and Mat composing their poem

Creative passion rises above the flood

For Ability Links participants Mike Smith and Mathew Daymond, dreams came true on the first weekend in November 2018 when they were able to attend the prestigious Artstate 2018 Bathurst with the support of Ability Links Far North Coast (FNC). The two men are artists with Lismore-based arts company RealArtWorks.Inc. Mike is a musician and songwriter who has been blind since birth, while Mathew is a visual artist and lives with schizophrenia. Both also have an intellectual disability, and both are passionate advocates for their community and its recovery from the devastating floods of March 2017.
Barsha has been helped into employment by her Ability Linker.

Catering is the passport to Barsha’s new life

It’s a long way from Bangladesh to Mudgee, but with the support of Ability Links Barsha is making the transition. Barsha migrated with her family to Australia from their home in Dhaka, the capital of Bangladesh, in 2016. Barsha and her husband wanted a better life for their two children and believed the open spaces, fresh air and good education system in Australia would give their children the best opportunities.
Narelle is keen to pursue her artistic passion.

Art the bedrock for Narelle to rebuild

After relocating to a small town in southern NSW, a change in Narelle’s health brought her career to a halt, resulting in disability and isolating her from her community. To keep mentally active and busy Narelle pursued her love of art and craft, but she felt isolated and disengaged from the outside world. With the help of her Linker she regained her sense of self-worth and since then Narelle's personal growth has been remarkable.
Emily helping out with kitchen jobs

Emily’s hands make light work of business

Emily is a young woman with Down Syndrome who lives in Dubbo. About a year ago her family saw an opportunity for Emily to engage even more with her community through the micro enterprise concept. With the support of Ability Linkers at LiveBetter and the Community Leadership Program in Adelaide, Emily and her family set up a microbusiness and engaged a personal assistant to help Emily get involved in niche work opportunities in and around the regional NSW centre.
Nate with his guide dog Keno

Life’s a whirlwind for ‘Hurricane Chef’ Nate

‘Hurricane Chef’ Nate has moved mountains in his quest to pursue a career as a chef. Now he has realised another dream – to produce and publish his own cookbook. ‘The Cookbook and Story of the Hurricane Chef’ features a collection of Nate’s favourite entree, mains and dessert recipes, along with his tips and tricks and a description of his food philosophy. But it is far more than that. Nate – who is diabetic, totally blind and has two cochlear implants to allow him to hear – recounts his life story and the passion for food which has allowed him to overcome adversity.
Michael Jarrett (Micklo)

Micklo builds stronger bridges back to community

Respected Aboriginal community member Michael Jarrett (Micklo) came to Ability Links seeking advice on strengthening his family and community connections. Micklo was happy with the effort the Linker has shown to support him, his family and his community. “Everyone is healthier, and more connected,” he says. “We are hopeful for a positive future for our mob.”
Ability Linker Gordon with his fishing buddies

Catching up to catch some fish

They mightn’t catch too many fish, but Gordon Cox and his crew of monthly fishing buddies don’t care too much about the ones that got away. For them, it’s more about the chance to catch up with each other and enjoy a great day out.
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