Skip to content

Mar 13, 2024

A role helping all young people with disability

News Work & Study

Hannah and Tyra work with Sam, Northcott’s Senior Manager for Research and Innovation, and a team of researchers and co-workers undertaking a research project into relationships between young people with intellectual disability and their paid support workers. As young people with intellectual disability themselves, the pair provide ideas on how to best carry out research with this cohort of young people. They participate in meetings with other researchers and have helped to design workshops so young participants with disability feel comfortable sharing their stories. One of their more challenging tasks is helping to translate complex written information into language that is easy to understand by young people with disability.


Me, Sam and Hannah work with Sally from Flinders University and Karen from the University of New South Wales. We talk about everyday harms, abuse and when things are not going well between a support worker and young person with intellectual disability.

We also work with Ruby and Rachel who are community researchers, like me and Hannah. We see them online on Zoom. I like that we all have different skills in how we work in a team and solve problems.

We are helping to plan workshops because we know what it’s like [for young people with intellectual disability]. It’s important that we tell the other researchers, so they know how to help young people.

The best thing about this job is helping people. It feels good to be helping to make things better.


I have also enjoyed going to places and meeting new people. When I first went to the city, it was new to me, so I got a little bit anxious about it. Afterwards I was okay. I’m definitely more confident when I get to meet new people now.


Me, Tyra, Ruby and Rachel are all young adults with disability. We are part of the research group because we have a better understanding about what looks right and what looks wrong for people like us.

I got this job is because I wanted to speak my mind and be heard. I wanted to be a voice for people like me to improve the system because there are some cracks that people are not aware of.

It feels really good to have this job. I like being a double agent.. I am a staff member on one day, then a customer on the other day.


My favourite thing has been going on to the university campus. I’ve been driving past the uni for the past 26 years going to the Children’s Hospital for appointments. I’ve dreamed of just stepping one foot on there. To be able to go there and be in a meeting room, it’s like my dream came true. We work for Northcott, but we’re part of their research team. So, in a way, we’re staff of the University of New South Wales.

About the project

Northcott is proud to be a research partner in “Confronting everyday harms: preventing abuse of people with disability”, led by the Flinders University Disability & Community Inclusion research team.

“Everyday harms” is the term used to describe the little interactions which can either build or break a support relationship. These actions, which can include ignoring somebody, silencing a person or simply not acknowledging them, can have a huge impact on the quality of paid support.

Hannah and Tyra’s research project is identifying these types of actions and looking for ways to turn them into positive practice so they do not become forms of abuse or violence for people with disability.

The research is being delivered in collaboration with Flinders University, University of NSW Sydney Social Policy Research Centre, University of Melbourne, NDIS Quality and Safeguards Commission, Northcott, VACRO, Purple Orange, SA Department of Human Services, Bedford Phoenix Inc, Mable, Disability Advocacy Network Australia (DANA), Novita, and genU. The project is funded by an Australian Linkages Grant.

Work & Study

Accessibility and Inclusivity

We respect and honour Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Elders past, present and future. We acknowledge the stories, traditions and living cultures of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on this land and commit to building a brighter future together.

Read more about our commitment to reconciliation

Montrose is now part of Northcott!

Welcome to our new website.

If you have any questions, please speak to your Service Manager, Service Coordinator or call us on 1800 818 286.