TRUE STORIES: Carron Bullock – Patience, encouragement and understanding

Carron Bullock is Manager, Townsville and Surrounds for Cootharinga North Queensland.   She provides support to staff, customers and their families and has worked in the sector for over 35 years.  She welcomes the NDIS which ‘means our customers and their families have a greater say in what type of service they want and who delivers this.’

Carron Bullock (Community Support Manager - Townsville)

I entered the sector so I could learn how to be a positive role model and help make a difference in someone’s life.  I have enjoyed working with customers who moved from home into supported accommodation.  This was to learn how to cook and prepare their own meals, attend to basic household tasks such as cleaning and washing, and learn how to budget and pay bills and do grocery shopping.  Anything that would assist them to live by themselves.

The customer then moved out into their own home with very little support.  I still see some customers from the past around town and it makes me proud to know I played a part in their independence.  It’s rewarding to see customers are managing well and some are in new relationships.

I value the friendships I have made and the people I have met. Every single person I have worked with has taught me to be the person I am today. It hasn’t all been easy. I have been yelled and sworn at, told to mind my own business and told to get out. Of course I never went anywhere. I look back now and laugh with some of those customers. With patience, encouragement and understanding I was always there.


Carron Bullock

Cootharinga North Queensland



True Stories: Tania Hornberg – Preparing young people for the disability jobs of the future

Tania Hornberg - True Story

Tania Hornberg is a person with a spinal cord injury trying to lead an ‘ordinary’ life in rural Queensland in all its fullness, including accessing the support for leading an active community and social life.

For years, she has been held back by having the control of funding and design of services outside her own hands. The National Disability Insurance Scheme is set to put the power back in her hands, with new, targeted support and better coordination of access and services.

The introduction of the National Disability Insurance Scheme will generate a growth in the sector, with thousands more job opportunities. Tania believes it is a basic human right to receive adequate lifestyle support funding, and why she is committed to sharing here experiences with young people.

“For my quality of life and in my experience as a person with a disability, it is very important that we engage with young people and make them aware that there are good careers in the disability sector,” she said.
Tania Hornberg works part-time and has recently become a workshop facilitator with projectABLE, a free program for high school students offering an interactive disability awareness and an insight into careers in the disability sector.

Her openness, out-going nature and honesty have made her a natural for the role. Ongoing training and support will help her engage with school groups, and develop new skills for her advocacy work and career.

Tania, along with a team of projectABLE presenters in Townsville, recently held her first successful workshops with mixed groups of public and private school students. It was a fulfilling experience, she said.

“I’m proud of having the opportunity to use my skills to make people aware of the range of career options available in the sector. There are a lot of young people with the nature, the aptitude and the passion for advocacy work or to be good support workers or to design the next generation of wheelchairs,” she said.

“With the NDIS kicking off, people like never before have the opportunity to look at the type of services and support they might need, think outside the square. “They’ll be saying ‘this is what I need’ and we’ll need more workers who can deliver on what people like me need.”
Tania Hornberg

Contact projectABLE


True Stories: Martina Cross – There’s no business like show business

Martina Cross and Amy Lawrence performing their roaming act The Tattered.

For many people with disabilities, being able to communicate your thoughts, feelings and emotions can be a daily challenge. But thanks to CPL’s Screech Theatre, and one very dedicated CPL employee, people with disabilities have found their voice on the stage.

Martina Cross, Director of Screech Theatre first started with CPL five years ago as a support worker.

“I’ve have always been interested in drama and theatre performance – I was the child that was always dressing up and putting on shows for all my friends and family!” Martina said, laughing.

“I studied applied theatre at uni, which is a little different to traditional drama, because it uses drama and acting in the community for a reason.

“At CPL, we use theatre and drama for therapy and to help our clients improve their communications skills and confidence.

“I’ve been coordinating Screech Theatre for the last three years, and I love it because it provides an avenue for people with disabilities to express themselves in a different way. The confidence they gain in the drama room can be transferred into every day confidence,” she said.

Martina describes the best part of her job as “seeing performers overcome huge barriers to achieve things like speaking for the first time, or using a new communication device in front of an audience.”

“We had a performer last year who was 22 and was nonverbal – he had never spoken. But after four years of drama and performance training with Screech, he used his communication device for the first time in public, on stage. It’s these kinds of stories that make my job one worth having,” she said.

Martina explained that Screech Theatre is currently planning their next performance, which is a collaboration called ‘Beyond the yellow brick road’, which is based around the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy’s next adventure!

“I’m really passionate about having every client involved and participating – we modify activities for each session so all ability levels can be included.

“Screech Theatre’s participants are all interested in different parts of theatre too – from production, directing, costume and set design, dancing, singing and of course acting. I like to encourage each individual to pursue the parts of theatre they enjoy the most,” she said.

Martina Cross

CPL – Choice, Passion, Life