Supporting Independence and growth within the home and community



six seeds photo

Six Seeds will change the lives of young people

The Six Seeds project launched on Friday 8 March by Gai Brodtmann MP at Tandem House is a remarkable project that will change the lives of young people with moderate to severe disability.

“This project has a strong focus on the needs of young people with a disability through a community partnership model” said Gai Brodtmann MP.

“It is about providing choices and options, where currently there are none. It is not about handouts.  It is about building confidence and self-reliance through inclusive, meaningful and creative activities” said Lynne Harwood, CEO Communities@Work.

Six Seeds will create a series of commercially focused initiatives that will ultimately be developed into a viable and sustainable business venture.

“Six Seeds will involve a series of outcome based projects designed to offer inclusive and meaningful opportunities to young people who would otherwise fall through the gaps in our disability system” said Cheryl Pollard CEO Tandem.

The first Six Seeds pilot project will produce a delightfully scrumptious Valentine’s Day Rocky Road. The sales of the Rocky Road will be invested to seed future projects.

Six Seeds is the collaborative effort of four highly regarded community service providers: Carers ACT, Communities@Work, Koomarri and Tandem, together with environmental NGO, Greening Australia Capital Region, and with the generous support of respected law firm Snedden Hall & Gallop and bankmecu, a financial co-operative owned by its customers, building stronger communities.

For more information on this program or activities, please visit www.sixseeds.org.au



 Tandem receives $5000 donation from Hands Across Canberra

Tandem was one of the lucky recipients at a recent Hands Across Canberra event receiving a cheque for $5000 towards the “Spruce Up” being undertaken at Tandem House to create an inviting garden and playground for guests that is a fun, safe and accessible outdoor space.  For further information visit  www.handsacrosscanberra.org.au





On August 10th, Prime Minister Gillard, Ministers Macklin and Shorten and Parliamentary Secretary McLucas released the Productivity Commission’s final 1,000-page report on Disability Care and Support. While supporting the Productivity Commission’s vision, the Government has yet to endorse its recommendations or commit the additional funding required to implement the NDIS beyond an allocation of $10 million to support a newly-established technical advisory group. It will respond to the detailed recommendations in the report at a later date.

To find out more, go to http://www.nds.org.au/.

National Carer Strategy released

The National Carer Strategy was released by the Australian Government on Wednesday 3 August. At the heart of the Strategy is its vision that “Carers are valued and respected by society and that they have rights, choices, opportunities and capabilities to participate in economic, social and community life.” The ten-year Strategy, which complements the National Carers Recognition ACT 2010, outlines six key action areas and commits $60 million. You can download a copy here.

Productivity Commission– Disability Care and Support report released

The Productivity Commission presented its final report to the Australian Government on 31 July. You can access a copy here.

Social Policy Research Paper no. 43 - The costs of caring and the living standards of carers 

Social Policy Research Paper no. 43, The costs of caring and the living standards of carers, has been released.

This paper, written by the Social Policy Research Centre at the University of New South Wales, reviews the Australian and international literature on the costs of care. Research has shown that the role of informal carer has both direct and indirect costs to the carer. Direct costs comprise monetary expenses associated with the provision of care such as transport, additional heating and cleaning costs, and reduced spending on leisure activities. Indirect costs comprise opportunity, time and health costs.

The paper examines the data available and the additional data that would be needed to analyse the direct and indirect costs of care. Most existing research fails to disaggregate the costs associated with taking on the caring role from the costs that arise due to disability. The final section of the paper assesses the living standards of carers using data from two waves of the Household, Income and Labour Dynamics in Australia (HILDA) Survey.

Read a copy here



Lions Youth Haven Solar Joint Venture officially launched by Simon Corbell MLA 

Lions Youth Haven Joint Solar Venture Launch

The Solar Joint Venture partners are joined by Mr. Simon Corbell MLA (l-r: Cheryl Pollard, Lawrence McIntosh, Simon Corbell MLA, Lynne Harwood, Frank Brown)


The Lions Youth Haven Solar Joint venture was officially launched on Thursday, April 21st by Minister for the Environment, Climate Change and Water and Minister for Energy, Mr Simon Corbell, MLA.

For more information, go to the Events page.



Disability Care in the ACT (Stateline 7.30), April 15th, 2011

Relief is on the horizon for parents looking for afterschool and vacation care for their children and young adults who live with a disability. The Greens moved a motion last week on the issue calling for action, and the government says it’s working on a solution, having given itself a deadline of school term 1, 2012 for implementation of any potential action as determined by a study yet to be commissioned, looking into the potential for programs and related costs.

“This is more than just keeping a door open for an extra couple of hours. This is something we need to be very careful about. These children and yougn people deserve the best afterschool and vacation care that we can provide for them”

- Joy Burch, ACT Minister for Disability   

Watch the report here.


Tandem House Opening, 17 January 2011

Tandem House was officially opened by Mr Tim Mathieson at 11:00am on Monday 17 January 2011


Tandem House Working Bee, 16 December 2010

Click here to view the Canberra WIN News coverage

ACT business leaders, politicians and Tandem staff, today rolled up their sleeves to help Canberra’s newest respite service, Tandem House prepare for its January opening.

Black Mountain School Art Exhibition, 2 July 2010

On Friday, 2 July, ACT Minister for Disability, Housing and Community Services Joy Burch joined Black Mountain secondary special school students and teachers and the team from Tandem Respite Inc. to launch a permanent exhibition of magnificent artwork from Black Mountain School students that have decorated the walls of Tandem’s new offices in the Blaxland Centre in Griffith.

Launch of Tandem Cocktail Party at Eastlake Football Club, 26 March 2009

On Thursday 26 March, Tandem hosted a stylish cocktail party at the Eastlake Football Club in Griffith to celebrate its first birthday and formally launch the organisation.

A welcoming venue set the mood of the evening, with Tandem’s signature colours (purple and gold) used to decorate the room. Those that attended included Tandem staff members and support workers, Tandem clientele and sponsors and a few political VIP’s making a special appearance to show their support. Senator Garry Humphries, Senator Kate Lundy and Alistair Coe MLA were seen mixing amongst all attendees, with Member Annette Ellis giving a special speech detailing her involvement within the disability sector and her support of Tandem in the past. A few other guest speakers, including Tandem’s Patron Gary Beck, President Catherine McPherson and Chief Executive Officer Cheryl Daw, enlightened the crowd on Tandem’s past and present business and plans for the future. The evening continued with more mixing amongst the guests whilst the St. Edmunds Jazz Band played some smooth classic and original jazz numbers until the event concluded.


Tandem Clients attend the Prime Ministers XI vs. New Zealand Cricket Match, 29 January 2009

January the 29th saw the gathering of people of all ages at the Manuka oval in Canberra. The common interest amongst these people was a love of the game of cricket. The event of course, was the PM’s XI and the opponents our Kiwi cousins New Zealand. We at Tandem were lucky enough to be given a number of tickets, which were distributed amongst Tandem die-hard cricket fans and their friends and family.

Throughout the day, we survived hot and sunny weather and enjoyed a fantastic display of Australia’s up and coming cricketing talent. The PM’s XI won the toss and sent New Zealand in to bat. Between overs and McCullum’s contribution of 114 runs, sunscreen was liberally applied, water was guzzled and signatures sought from players. [Players exchanged signatures for a few of Richard Frans (pictured) last minute bowling tips]. As lunch drew near thoughts turned to the nearby Manuka pool and the bathers we hadn’t thought to bring.

Set a target of 272 to win, the PM’s XI won the match with 13 balls to spare. The highlight being the 153 run partnership put on by Man of the Match George Bailey and Captain Justin Langer. Overall, whether people stayed for a short period of time or for the whole day, all agreed what a fantastic time they’d had.

Tandem would like to extend a big thank you to Cricket ACT, in particular, Mark Vergano, who made such a wonderful opportunity available to Tandem cricket supporters and their friends and families.


Robin Bontjer wins ACT Disability Award!

Tandem would like to say a big congratulations to one of our long term support workers Robin Bontjer who recently won an Inaugural ACT Disability Award for her work in the sector.

Wheelchair Acessible Taxis

Are you happy with the service you receive when using Wheelchair Accessible Taxis? If not, The Road Transport Authority would like to hear from you. They have a set of standards wheelchair accessible taxis must meet and can be found at www.tams.act.gov.au then follow the links: Move, Public Transport, Taxi Services & Information and Wheelchair.

Contact Email: taxiservices@act.gov.au
Road Transport, WAT Services,
GPO Box 151 Civic Square ACT

Tandem Carer launches book on Mental Health Recovery

Paul Kauffman along with Rupert Gerritsen have recently launched their new book “Odysseus” Labours: A Rehabilitation and Recovery Guide for those who have a Mental Illness and their Carers”.