Customer Michael photographed by his support worker Gail



For Rocky Bay customer Michael and his family, the journey into Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) has been a significant and emotional chapter of their lives.

Michael, now 40, has been a valued customer of Rocky Bay since he was 18 years old, enjoying the supportive environment Rocky Bay offers.

Michael’s mother, Jeannette, reflects on the journey to getting Michael into SDA.

“It was emotional, and we still miss him, but it’s been good for him,” Jeannette said.

Michael had experienced respite with Rocky Bay before ensuring Michael’s transition into SDA and time away from his family home wasn’t completely foreign.

Michael now lives at Rocky Bay’s SDA home in Gosnells, having moved in around December, with roommates of a similar age who share his interests, including football.

“We did the move gradually, with staff allowing us the time and space to go at our own pace,” Jeannette said.

“He is in a three-bedroom home with a group of people the same age as him and who do the same things as him.

“He’s got lovely support workers who have been with him for many years. Gail, for example, has been with him for roughly 14 years,” Jeannette said.

The story continues...

Gail has been an excellent support to Michael over the many years, documenting their special relationship each year and creating scrapbooks to showcase the adventures Gail and Michael go on together.

A heartfelt initiative from Gail, this allows Jeannette and Gerrit to see, in images, how Michael spends his time with his Rocky Bay support workers.

In his new home, Michael’s days are filled with activities he enjoys, supported by a dedicated team of Rocky Bay staff.

“Team Leader Talei is just brilliant she is on top of everything,” Jeannette said.

“She is a great communicator and is straight on the phone to let me know when things happen,” Jeannette said.

The need for secure, long-term accommodation for Michael became more of a priority as Jeannette and Gerrit grew older.

While the transition was difficult for Jeannette and Gerrit, the move created a balance whereby Michael can spend the day out with them on Sunday, stay over on public holidays and Jeannette and Gerrit can visit the SDA whenever they like.

How we helped

The switch to SDA was not without its challenges, especially navigating the complexities of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

“It’s been a huge challenge dealing with the NDIS,” Jeannette said.

“I didn’t know it was going to take so long to navigate, it took us five years. There is so much paperwork, complexities, etc. It was exhausting.”

Reflecting on how Michael’s move into SDA has impacted their lives, Jeannette noted they are still getting used to the change and having plenty of free time after being used to doing things for Michael.

The couple recently travelled to the UK for a four-week holiday, making use of the newfound freedom!

As such a valued Rocky Bay customer, the team is thrilled to know Michael is settling well into his brand-new home.

To discover more about the work we are doing in the SDA space, visit Shift’s website here:

A few words


It was emotional, and we still miss him, but it’s been good for him.

- Jeannette


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