OnTrack Tasmania participants are individuals who are eligible for support under the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), and they come from all walks of life. One such participant is Gerard Dixon, a 44-year-old man who resides in an OnTrack Tasmania Supported Independent Living (SIL) property in the Sandy Bay suburb of Hobart. Gerard is an infectiously happy person and SIL Team Leader Mark describes Gerard as “Always up for a chat with the best mood”.
OnTrack Tasmania, with Gerard’s NDIS funding, provide the supports he needs and to live a highly independent life. Gerard attends the Young Guns lunch regularly. This is an opportunity for Gerard to call and organise his own taxi ride to attend the venue, wherever the Young Guns lunch is being held that week.
OnTrack Tasmania has been supporting Gerard to live independently for a year and the supports he has received through the NDIS has been life changing. Gerard described his support staff as “nice people.” The funding he receives provides for everything Gerard needs to live an independent life. He enjoys the simple elements of that independence like going to buy groceries for him to make his own food which includes a good dessert like the occasional apple pie and ice-cream after dinner.
He enjoys taking part in sports like basketball and grip ball. Gerard also enjoys helping in the community by volunteering two days a week to hand out magazines at the local hospital. Gerard also travels to Montrose to attend church every Sunday. On days that he doesn’t go out, Gerard enjoys staying home and watching action movies such as Mission Impossible starring Tom Cruise and classic 90’s comedy shows like Friends and Seinfeld on Netflix.
When asked if there were any goals he would like to achieve with OnTrack Tasmania, he replied that he is pretty comfortable with all the supports provided to him but he would like to learn the saxophone. With the help from the NDIS and OnTrack Tasmania, Gerard can live an independent and happy life communicating with his community.
Participants like Gerard are a testament to the importance of services like OnTrack Tasmania in assisting to provide the support participants need to live an independent lifestyle, pursue goals and to be a part of their communities.