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David ready to have a go with NDIS

David Barrett is ready to accept help from a support worker for the first time in his life.
David Barrett takes Goober out for a stroll after his first NDIS review.

With his casual wit and knack for the mechanical, Bundaberg’s David Barrett has been a busy man his whole life.

Three months before his 18th birthday, David suffered a serious spinal injury swimming at Bargara, which left him with only limited use of his upper body. Learning to live with C7 quadriplegia was a challenge, but not one beyond David’s ability.

He adapted to his situation, learning to drive, navigate his home and provide for himself all over again. David maintained his passion for cars, continuing to service his own vehicles for decades and building up a considerable collection of tools and equipment for his shed, which he modified to suit himself.

It has been 40 years since the accident. Today, David is independent, with a circle of friends who live locally. He cares for his mother and takes his dog, Goober, out for a walk most days along Elliott Heads Rd.

“It’s like what the cannibal who kept bringing his breakfast up said: ‘you can’t keep a good man down,’” he joked.

“And you always get a bit of help from your friends. It’s that give and take that makes it work.”

 When the NDIS first came to Bundaberg, David was hesitant to make full use of it, and spent his first plan learning how the new system would operate.

Having just completed his first review, he said he was ready to consider expanding his supports to include a support worker, for the first time in his life.

“I’ve never had personal assistance, housekeeping and such like. But it’s something that’s in the pipeline at the moment.”

If you are looking for support navigating the NDIS, contact your Local Area Coordinator for the Bundaberg region – IWC – on 1300 492 492.

Alternatively, you can visit IWC at 184 Barolin St (Monday-Friday), Isis Cultural Centre in Childers (Tuesday-Wednesday) or the Youth Activity Centre in Gin Gin (Wednesday-Thursday).


About the author

IWC's major focus is to improve and support Indigenous and non-Indigenous people, and the vulnerable and disadvantaged people across the Bundaberg and Wide Bay / Burnett.

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Postal address
PO Box 1963
Bundaberg, Qld 4670

184 Barolin St
Bundaberg, Qld 4670
Phone: 1300 492 492
Fax: 07 3009 0478

It’s good to know I can get what I need, not being told when my therapies are, or where I’m going. In the past, that’s how it’s been. As I see it, the NDIS is the only way to go.

Giovanni, NDIS participant