You’re in the driver’s seat at Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo

Hunter Disability Expo May 2021

After the runaway success of 2018, the Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo has changed venues but is back for 2021 in Newcastle on Friday 21st and Saturday 22nd May at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre.

This year our face-to-face expos will return in 2021 in a COVIDsafe way. The practices we have become familiar with – physical distancing, hand washing, extra cleaning, crowd management, health questionnaires and contract tracing  will all form part of the COVIDsafe practices you can expect to see at this year’s Hunter Disability Expos.

The Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo is a welcoming hub where thousands of people get the support and information they need to maximise their goals and supports. A one-stop shop for innovative programs, services, aids, disability equipment and technologies, people leave the expo with greater clarity and enthusiasm for the future.

“People come to the expo feeling understandably cautious about how to utilise their funding to enhance their lives in meaningful and practical ways,” says spokesperson for the Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo and Social Impact Institute Senior Advisor Kathryn Carey.

A recent government-commissioned review found that the transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) has been “confusing” and “too complex and difficult to navigate”. This is particularly true for Newcastle, one of the trial sites for the NDIS. In addition, people’s needs have changed over time and it can be confusing to understand the full breadth of support available.

Businesses are responding with better and more innovative offerings. “There has been so much growth locally, and opportunities for people have expanded rapidly,” says Just Live! founder from Beyond Boundaries Rehab Ms Stewart.

Now, more than ever, people with disability are demanding to see, feel, touch and road test equipment, products and aids before purchasing. They are hungry for the greater choice and control promised by the introduction of NDIS.

“We intentionally work with representatives from the local disability community to ensure that Expo offers real, meaningful solutions and increases inclusion for all people in their community. We are thrilled to work along side Carly Stewart (Beyond Boundaries Rehab) and Chantelle Robards (A Simple Warrior) who originally started the Expo back in 2017, and also with Kay Dean – the local NDCO coordinator,” Kathryn Carey says.

The Expo will be informative: a one-stop shop where you can ask real questions of real people. You can also expect a vibrant, friendly atmosphere over the two-day event in Hunter, with all-ages entertainment, live performances, workshops and demonstrations.

“I found it very inspirational to go to the stands. Absolutely fantastic and informative. I needed to see and talk to the people I needed to talk to face to face. Everyone I saw has gone beyond my expectations… and I am so appreciative of them for going that extra mile,” said one recent Expo attendee.

Expo emcee Mel Harrison, Founder of Sitting Low, Reaching High, and ambassador Nathan Basha are just two of the faces of the Expo. Nathan is a homeowner, filmmaker, motivational speaker and works as a radio presenter at Nova FM, Sydney. He also just happens to have Down syndrome. Nathan says, “I might have Down syndrome, but that’s not who I am”.

Entry is FREE for attendees. Register online for fast access on the day and follow the Just Live! Hunter Disability Expo Facebook page and our events guide for regular updates.

Expo Highlights

  • Friday and Saturday, 21 and 22 May from 9 am to 3 pm, Newcastle Entertainment Centre
  • Opening Ceremony begins on Friday, 21 May, 11 am
  • Stage performances by all-ability performance groups
  • Heaps of entertainment
  • A range of expert speakers
  • Workshops and demo spaces
  • Over 120 exhibitors

About Carly Stewart and Beyond Boundaries

Beyond Boundaries Rehab is headed by Carly Steward and has a team of highly experienced staff, including occupational therapists, physiotherapists, speech pathologists, social workers, allied health assistants, and a paediatric rehabilitation specialist. All staff share a passion for working with people and children with a disability.

About Chantelle Robards and A Simple Warrior

Chantelle Robards is a freelancer with years of advocating and consulting in the disability sector. Check out her website A Simple Warrior.

About Social Impact Institute

Social Impact Institute‘s series of expos across Australia bring together seniors and people with a disability with product and service providers, government agencies and advocacy groups. We are proud that our expos have enabled thousands of Australian people living with disability to gain greater control over their lives and the services and products they need to live their lives to their fullest.