Donations &


Partner with the ConnectAbility Community

ConnectAbility recognises, values and acknowledges our community and corporate partners. Without this assistance we would not be able to offer as many quality outcomes for local people living with a disability.

There are a number of ways organisations and individuals can assist whether through including someone with a disability in your community group or workplace, a volunteer role, workplace giving program, supporting fundraising activities or specific projects. If you are interested in discussing the possibilities to enrich someone’s life and bring a new dimension to your organisation please call (02) 49621000 or email

ConnectAbility ensure that as much as possible all funds raised go directly to providing outcomes for individuals or the groups choosing to be supported by our organisation.

Please read through some of the stories from those that have chosen to donate to ConnectAbility and how this has impacted upon individuals and the community. The people, how and what they choose to donate and the partnerships created are all different. What they achieve is huge. They all give local people and their families’ greater confidence, independence, choice and control over their lives and the knowledge that they are a valued member of our community.

We are grateful for their support. Please think about ways you might be able to assist and do not hesitate to contact us either through our website or by calling our office directly.


Leaving a bequest to ConnectAbility is the perfect way to support our organisation and make a lasting impact.

Leaving a bequest does not need to be complex or difficult. In fact, it is one of the simplest ways to make a gift to a not for profit organisation or charity.

A bequest may take the form of a specified cash amount, a list of securities or property, or a percentage of the estate. No matter what form the bequest takes, the estate and possibly the preceding tax year realise the tax benefit.

We recommend you seek professional advice when preparing your Will.

Thank you for considering supporting ConnectAbility with a bequest. For more information about leaving a gift to charity, please click here

ConnectAbility Supporting the Community


The Commonwealth Bank has supported sport wherever possible, it keeps people healthy and helps achieve dreams. It also unites our communities. In 2016 our local Commonwealth Bank met a need to keep funding alive for the Women’s Pro surfing event. Colin Law from the Commonwealth Bank had the original idea of crowdfunding the Surfest women’s event with the Newcastle and Hunter business community showing its support for the Surfest Women’s Pro by crowd funding the event to a WSL QS6000 level. Surfest has for three generations placed Newcastle on the national and international stage. The crowd funding initiative is just another part of that rich history of this iconic event.


Donations & Partnerships - Disability Services & Aged Care Support - ConnectAbility

ConnectAbility support people to have inclusive lives in their communities doing what they love. We were invited to join other businesses in supporting Surfest 2017. This was a great opportunity for ConnectAbility and the people we support to directly participate in this community event. As a not for profit and registered charity many businesses would not have even asked us to be part of the crowdfunding initiative. We are thankful that Colin Law sees past our meagre budgets and looks at our bigger picture. The small amount invested brought the achievement of goals and was a highlight for the people we support. While ConnectAbility haven’t had the “winning” surfer we think we have still “won”. Everyone who attends has a great day. We have people down there nearly every day following the competition. We also received promotion at the event as part of the initiative and attendance at promotional activities. We look forward to participating every year.


Volunteer Certificate - Donations & Partnerships

Nickie – Ongoing Commitment

ConnectAbility support people to have inclusive lives in their communities doing what they love. We were invited to join other businesses in supporting Surfest 2017. This was a great opportunity for ConnectAbility and the people we support to directly participate in this community event. As a not for profit and registered charity many businesses would not have even asked us to be part of the crowdfunding initiative. We are thankful that Colin Law sees past our meagre budgets and looks at our bigger picture. The small amount invested brought the achievement of goals and was a highlight for the people we support. While ConnectAbility haven’t had the “winning” surfer we think we have still “won”. Everyone who attends has a great day. We have people down there nearly every day following the competition. We also received promotion at the event as part of the initiative and attendance at promotional activities. We look forward to participating every year.

Adrian supports ConnectAbility with Return & Earn

ConnectAbility customer Adrian is always involved in what is going on in his community. He and his support workers saw an opportunity for him to be able to be more involved through the Governments Return and Earn program. Flyers were delivered to the businesses around ConnectAbility letting them know that we would be happy to recycle the bottles and cans that were filling their recycling bins following staff meals. Adrian now takes these items to our local Return and Earn Centre and carefully puts each item through. Funds then go to ConnectAbility for use in activities for customers. Not only does it stop our landfills being inundated with recyclable material but assists ConnectAbility in being able to offer additional activities and resources to the people we support. Adrian does a fantastic job and loves to interact with the generous businesses that leave their materials with us—especially the team at Aecom Warabrook.

disability services, aged care support, in home aged care, family counselling

Supporting an icon

Patrick is a volunteer worker for Westpac. For well over two years Patrick has been dedicating his Friday mornings to complete volunteer work for Westpac.

As part of his volunteering Patrick has been attending the Westpac Broadmeadow base to wash the Westpac vehicles. When the new base opened at Pelican Patrick was quick to put his hand up to assist there as well.

In addition to the vehicles Patrick has also been tasked with washing the green tractor used to pull the Westpac chopper in and out of the shed which he was very proud to do.

Patrick now works at both sites week about. Over the years that he has been volunteering Patrick has formed strong relationships with many of the Westpac Rescue employees and is considered to be a very valuable member of the Westpac community. WELL DONE Patrick. ConnectAbility are proud of your commitment to supporting your community.

Donations & Partnerships - ConnectAbility
Donations & Partnerships - ConnectAbility

Who Can – The Commonwealth Bank Can

Once again the Commonwealth Bank proved their commitment to enhancing outcomes within their local community for people with a disability.

In 2016 Colin Law, Commonwealth Bank Executive Manager Business Banking SME identified that ConnectAbility could use some assistance to raise funds to support and enhance customer programs and projects. He understood that additional funds would ensure the people who come to ConnectAbility would be able to achieve their goals and dreams. The Commonwealth Bank have always had a strong relationship focused community program. They look at activities and fundraising events where the charity and the bank can work together within the community to achieve outcomes as this provides more sustainable projects. Wine and Dine for Disability was born. In 2018 we celebrated the third year of this unique event that harnesses the generosity of the business community. Over 130 people came to Marina Views Function Centre—generously donated for the night— to enjoy a night of fine food and wine mixed in with a little fundraising. For many of the guests this was their third year supporting the event and key relationships have been made for ConnectAbility and between the guests. Colin and his team organised for five of the top Hunter Chefs, wineries and Callaghan College Hospitality students to support the night. Wines were matched with the food and the Callaghan Hospitality students capably provided front of house and back of house support. The evening was a huge success with over $15,000.00 raised on the night. From the funds raised ConnectAbility has been able to purchase technology for education and fun. This has allowed ConnectAbility customers to learn new skills, make independent choices and have fun taking photos or improving hand eye coordination playing games. The night was again so successful that the Commonwealth Bank agreed that the event will run again in 2019. All the chefs and winemakers are keen to be back on board. Feedback from those who attended was extremely positive with comments on how great the food and wine was and that they had a wonderful night. Without the generous support of all who participated there would be less opportunities for people with a disability in the Hunter.

With Special Thanks to;

  • Colin Law and Danielle McCosker and all the Commonwealth Bank staff who assisted.
  • Marina Views owners and staff
  • Callaghan College Hospitality Students and Teachers

Our 5 wonderful Chefs;

  • Andy Wright from the Cellar
  • Mark Hosie from Rustica
  • Chris Thornton from Restaurant Mason
  • Tom Robinson formally from Rascal
  • Tim Montgomery from Rascal

Beer & Winemakers;

  • Deiuliis Wines
  • Tullochs wines
  • Peter Drayton Wines
  • IronBark Hill Brewhouse
Donations & Partnerships - Disability Services & Aged Care Support - ConnectAbility

And also:

  • Yvonne Mullane from YCM Photography who not only donated her time on the night but all the images
  • Musicians Chris and Anne Dawson


Everyone who attended on the night and promoted the event for us or donated prizes for the night. ConnectAbility love to think that this has become a “must” on the calendar of local people who not only want to support a charity but want to have a fabulous night out. Please support the organisations that support us. Looking forward to seeing everyone in 2019 and beyond.

Downer EDI Rail

Downer EDI Rail at Cardiff is an excellent example of a community based organisation who value inclusion and want to create opportunities for the people who live in the Hunter.

As a major heavy industry, Downer has minimal opportunities to employ and engage with people with a disability on site, but that didn’t stop them from looking at other ways to support their community. They thought laterally and Downer has been able to assist through promoting ConnectAbility via their staff and networks such as during ConnectAbility’s Dine Out for Disability fundraising events or Downer staff open days.

This type of support is important to ConnectAbility as it gives long term outcomes and assists in breaking down social barriers towards, and for people with a disability.

There are also opportunities to exchange skills and expertise and provide diverse learning opportunities for both organisations. This included Downer looking at WH&S issues for people with disabilities and ConnectAbility looking at how people with a disability could be incorporated into heavy industry.

Donations & Partnerships - ConnectAbility
ConnectAbility Donations & Partnerships

Building Long Lasting Relationships

ConnectAbility are proud of the relationships we build. It is through these relationships that we learn more about the individual and how we can help them achieve their goals and life choices. We celebrate those staff and community members who have supported individual customers which has led to better outcomes and a great working relationship.

Recently Jenny Kimbley from Kaleidaskin at Hamilton visited ConnectAbility to provide staff with free training on how to provide safe and enjoyable head and shoulder massage to people. It included how to assess peoples skin and any specific issues for an individual that could affect the outcome for the person. Jenny is undertaking a degree in Health Science – Dermal Therapy. A great opportunity for staff to gain additional skills and for some of our customers to not only receive a massage but some thought they would give it a try and practiced on staff.

A big thank you to Jenny, from ConnectAbility.

Professor Frank Bates

Frank was a much loved original Board member and friend of ConnectAbility. He was instrumental in the commencement and growth of ConnectAbility to what it is today. Frank was known for his wit, calmness and for his enthusiasm for the work that we do. His law degrees and experiences, activities and the books that he wrote helped him support us for many years. He came to ConnectAbility as part of the establishment of the organisation. Frank believed in lifelong learning and wanted to see everyone able to learn new skills. Along with his wife Mary, they continued to support learning until Frank sadly passed away from illness. ConnectAbility were surprised and touched to find Frank had left ConnectAbility a bequest from his will. Knowing that we would soon be moving staff looked at what would be the best use of funds that would honor Professor Frank Bates  and live up to his achievements in life.

Professor Frank Bates - Donations & Partnerships

We are establishing the Professor Bates “Live to Learn” program.

The people we support will benefit from the resources such as a smartboard,  virtual reality systems and other learning tools. An example of use is the virtual reality system that allows people to shop and purchase grocery items, attend a concert  or experience an underwater world all in the safety of ConnectAbility. The experiences can then be transferred to the real world and put into practice. We think Frank would approve.  More people learning additional skills and in a way that is fun and connects them to the community.

Vale Frank.

Developing Skills – Creating Communities

Downer at Cardiff is a unique workplace. They provide maintenance and support to our rail infrastructure meaning that there is heavy machinery on site requiring strict WH&S processes. They also value the community in which they live and work. Downer became involved with ConnectAbility in a simple way—they invited a group of customers to visit the site. Following the success of this visit they approached ConnectAbility around having some of our customers provide grounds maintenance. The idea was to give a group of customers an opportunity to learn work skills that might allow them to one day achieve a goal of working independently.  The  team visited the site, looked at any potential risks and purchased equipment using funds donated to the organisation from our generous supporters. Downer also assisted in providing a ride on mower. The team completed induction and thought they were ready to go.  Not quite—Downer provided them with uniforms with their name and the Downer and ConnectAbility Logos.

Each week during the warmer months  and less frequently in winter the team visit the site and maintain the grounds. They were able to assist in getting new garden beds together for the official opening of the new premises and tackling areas that had not been used for some time, cutting away weeds and trimming overgrown vines and hedges. This has been life changing for the individuals who work on the project. The Downer staff see our crew as part of their extended team sharing lunch hours and talking to the crew as they move about the site.  General Manager for Downer, Gavin Foster, reported that the morale of the Downer employees has increased due to the pride they have in the site because of its improved appearance and their interactions with our crew. Gavin said it is important to him and all the Downer team that they feel, as a workforce, that they can contribute as a company to improving the lives of other members of the community through adding value.

The outcomes for the members of the crew have surpassed the original expectation of developing work skills. The members have learnt to work as a team and take responsibility for themselves and each other. They understand work safety and have developed a good work ethic. Skills have been developed in maintaining and working with the equipment and they take pride in a job well done. Additionally they now have a work story to share with family and friends that has lead to greater self esteem and wellbeing.  Their attitude has become “can do” around different areas of their lives and they feel a part of the workforce at Downer.  Having a uniform and sharing the spaces makes them a part of something bigger than ConnectAbility.

ConnectAbility are very proud of their achievements and grateful to all at Downer for investing in the crew.

Woolies Warabrook

ConnectAbility like to offer our customers as many experiences as possible and to be able to participate in community activities. One of the things many people enjoy is a “disco” where they can gather with other people with a disability for an enjoyable day of music, dance, friends and food. Woolworths Warabrook has been instrumental in ensuring these days continue by donating sausages and bread for the “Sausage Sizzle” at the discos this year. This donation has meant costs for individuals have been kept to a minimum and more  people have been able to be accommodated.  A big thank you for their community involvement and making sure that people with a disability get to share a great experience. 

Woolworths - Disability Services & Aged Care Support - ConnectAbility
Disability Services & Aged Care Support - ConnectAbility

WHO Printing

WHO Printing are well aware of the constraints ConnectAbility work within in relation to putting together printed materials. Each year they work with us to produce all the brochures, Annual reports or fact sheets that we utilise for our customers .

As part of their commitment to their community they also supply the materials and their skills and expertise at a discounted rate so that we can direct the savings into supporting our customers.

It is wonderful to have a corporate group committed to inclusion and equality within their community.

Nova Alliance Bank – Connecting Families

Nova Alliance Bank generously funded family connections. When families are separated by age and distance it can be difficult, especially when one person lives with a disability. For some of ConnectAbilitys customers this meant long times apart as parents aged and could not travel. Our customers did not have the means to travel to them. Enter the Nova Alliance Bank. They have provided a grant that has allowed us to transport and support some of our most vulnerable community members creating powerful moments of togetherness. We thank them for their generosity.

Donations & Partnerships | donations

Technology—both old and new.

Like every other young person the customers at ConnectAbility love to utilize technology for learning and fun. When deciding what might fit best for the majority of people we made a few key decisions. Arcade games— We purchased one old table style game (for those old enough to remember these were the type found in milk bars) plus a downloadable game system housed in an old stand up casing. What are the benefits of arcade games besides fun you ask? – hand eye coordination, the ability to learn to take turns and compete with friends knowing you may not win. It also offers those who find themselves with escalating behaviors a way of focusing on an alternate activity to assist themselves to calm down. The games also offer a way to boost memory and play with simple technology. They are also a fun activity when the weather prevents you from being out in the community. We have also purchased a virtual reality system. This allows customers to experience the world they may not be able to access in real life. You can go diving, motor racing, fly or scale tall buildings. You can also learn to shop, attend a concert or walk in a forest. The customers are enjoying the opportunity to have the interactive experiences and widen their world. It is a simple matter of putting on a pair of special goggles that hook to the computer and sensors in the room. We have provided education to a number of staff so that they can assist customers and other staff with the system to ensure all customers can benefit from the equipment.

There have also allocated funds for the purchase of IPADS to support our Senior Solutions aged care customers. IPADS can provide inclusion for individuals through assisting them to maintain contact with family, friends and the community. Some seniors have never touched a computer or IPAD but will be able to learn to facetime or access Facebook, search the internet and watch programs using the iPads. Family can also know their parent or friend is safe by checking in on them. ConnectAbility will provide education to both the supporting staff and the customers so that they can effectively utilize the IPADS. We have also organised tech support through our ICT provider Dynamic Business Technologies for troubleshooting.

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