Kymberly Martin
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Seton Villa opens first purpose-built SDA

Two new Seton Villa purpose-built homes for women with intellectual disabilities have opened in Sydney. The Specialist Disability Accommodation homes located in Ryde and Marsfield are designed with modern and well-appointed interiors to give residents a greater sense of home and community.

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Residents participated in decorating the houses by choosing their bedroom colours and furniture. Sisters Melissa and Carmel Robinson are now living together for the first time in 18 years.

Speaking at the event NSW Disabilities Minister, Gareth Ward said the pathway to this particular building has taken some time however housing for people with disability has undergone significant change.

“As a country we can be very proud of the way we treat people with disability today. The litmus test for any country or culture is how it cares for its most vulnerable. People with disability now have greater choice and control over their lives. It is not about dictating to people about what they need but asking them what they want.”

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As the first minister for disability to have a lived experience of disability he said the transformative nature of the NDIS is extraordinary the likes of which do not exist anywhere else in the world. “There is still a long way to go and I won’t be the first to say the scheme is not perfect, but it is a long way from where we were and the best days are ahead.”

Seton Villa this year celebrated 55 years since it opened its first residence. The charity organisation operates seven supported independent living houses with another five SDA-approved homes in the pipeline. Collectively these are part of an $11 million investment in Seton Villa’s asset redevelopment to ensure the homes build capacity and maximise independence and skills for the residents.

Caption: NSW Minister for Disabilities Gareth Ward, with Carmel Robinson, Susie Fraser and Melissa Robinson.