The Hearth Story

Founded on personal experience – Justin’s story

Hearth began through the lived experience of founder Justin and his son Tristan, built from scratch from 2017 to transform disability support, constantly evolving through experience with hundreds of support workers and participants and strengthened through deep sector collaborations, including with leading universities.

Justin had little experience with disability before he and his wife learned that their son had Cerebral Palsy. They both realised that Tristan required specific support to match his needs. Hearth was founded to provide responsive support without the hassle, while understanding that every person with a special need is truly different and unique. The initial focus of Hearth was recruiting, employing, matching and training support workers. In 2021, the services were extended to incorporate Allied Health and Housing. This was based on a need for Hearth participants and the rest of the sector. The “Hearth way” of participant support works best when the entire team comes together to support and enable the participant’s goals.

Justin continues to wear two hats every day. One, as a founder of Hearth and the other, like many, a parent of a person with a complex disability. Justin took over the full coordination of his son Tristan’s support from his wife when he founded Hearth (she coordinated the first 10 years). This provides ongoing and constant learnings for Hearth.

About Us

Hearth provides Support Worker, Allied Health and Positive Behaviour Support services across Metropolitan Melbourne, covering Melbourne’s Inner East, Outer East, North West and Bayside.

Hearth introduced a fresh and innovative approach to disability services. A number of things set Hearth apart from a more traditional provider, including the Relationship Manager role, the passion for support worker matching to the participants needs and interests and quality of the central support team including expert compliance.

Allied Health and Positive Behaviour Support is new in 2021. We have established an initial team, but will be constantly recruiting to match the significant demand across Melbourne.

We are in the exciting first phase of “Hearth Housing”, working on establishing in both the East and Northwest Melbourne. Once the initial houses established in 2021 and the model proved, we plan to be able to scale across metro Melbourne.

Hearth Mission & Vision

We will provide quality support services (NDIS Registered) which enables participants to realise their strengths and lead fulfilling lives. Our services focus on participant-centred long term sustainable support that allows participants to lead fulfilling lives at home and in their community.
Our vision is to lead Australia when it comes to supporting individuals with a disability to lead their best life.
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Our Leadership Team

Justin has a passion to make a difference in the lives of people with a disability and believes there is an opportunity to continuously improve every aspect of the sector. With an extensive corporate career in Finance and Strategy, including as a Fellow of the Society of CPA’s (FCPA), Justin had developed the skills and network across 25 years to establish Hearth in 2017, a leading quality NDIS provider. He also brings to Hearth lived experience together with an unrelenting desire to continuously improve.
Hearth’s vision was conceived in early 2017 by its founders. Celie was a member of the founding team who created the vision and then brought it to life. Celie’s extensive corporate skill set was drawn upon to navigate the complexities of the NDIS to ensure Hearth realised its ambition of becoming a NDIS provider, which occurred in August 2017. Back in those formative years Celie lead the development of Hearth’s systems and processes essential to deliver and sustain a quality service under the NDIS framework. As Hearth continues to rapidly grow and evolve Celie continues to lead continuous improvement and innovation across the organisation.
Lisa joined Hearth following an extensive career in human services. She also has extensive lived experience and constant passion to make a difference for our participants and support workers. Lisa brought deep capability in psycho-social disability into Hearth.
Edward joined Hearth in 2019 and brought with him leading expertise in quality and compliance. His experience has enabled him to create Hearth’s sector leading systems and processes. Essential for a NDIS registered provider to deliver and maintain a quality service. Prior to Hearth, Edward worked for several large organisations across a broad range of industries including disability, scientific & healthcare services. Edward has a passionate commitment for governance, integrity and human rights and is a strong supporter of choice and control for all people. Edward holds a Bachelor of Applied Science, Biomedical Science, and a Master of Business Administration from RMIT University.
Terri brings specialist Human Resources advice and experience to support Hearth’s large workforce of Support Workers and Relationship Managers. Terri leads and promotes a strategic investment in our people to deliver high performance, creating solid relations with our team based on a culture of trust, cooperation, inclusion, and wellbeing.
Rory joined Hearth in August 2019 and was instantly attracted to Hearths entrepreneurial spirt and dynamic work environment which is fuelled by the opportunity to make a tangible difference to people’s lives every day. Prior to Hearth Rory had an extensive corporate career working for several global and domestic manufacturing organisations. He has extensive experience in all aspects of marketing & communications and holds a Master of Business Administration from Swinburne University.
Rebecca joined Hearth in July 2019. Rebecca has over 20 years’ experience in finance across numerous organisations and sectors including banking and construction. Rebecca has spent her time at Hearth immersing herself in all things NDIS which continues to evolve on a daily basis. Rebecca holds a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of South Australia.

About the NDIS

The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) is designed to empower people with disability to work towards their goals, to identify the disability related support they need to meet their goals, and to choose where they would like to buy their supports.

The NDIS has changed the way that disability services are delivered in Australia. It recognises that disability related support is an entitlement, and means you have a choice of service providers in an open market – it gives you more choice and control.

NDIS supports are funded to:

  • help a person to reach their goals
  • enable participation in the community (social and economic), and
  • increase a person’s independence.

If you enter the NDIS, you will go through a planning process with a NDIS representative, to develop your individual NDIS plan and determine the funding you will receive.

Frequently asked questions

  • What funding do I need to use Hearth?

    You can use your NDIS funding or Transport Accident Commission (TAC) funding. You are also able to pay for Hearth’s services privately if you are not eligible for the NDIS or wish to purchase additional support services.

    As a registered NDIS provider we are fully accredited to provide your support needs as outlined in your NDIS Plan. 

    For both NDIS and TAC funding, we do not provide respite or interim support, but long-term sustainable supports.

  • How does Hearth fulfil its commitment to continuous improvement of services?

    At Hearth, we are with you in person right from the start. Our commitment begins when we first meet families, guardians, informal carers, loved ones with the disability and Support Workers. We personally discuss needs and priorities, and help you find the right match and combination of supports.

    Even after support has commenced, we work to ensure training continues so that the support we provide reaches standards which match your goals.

    We will then continue to review, refine and forward plan so that the optimum level of support provided is sustained, ensuring reliability and certainty into the future

  • How does Hearth accommodate the specific needs of individuals with a disability of Aboriginal and Torres Islander backgrounds?

    Hearth recognises the importance of heritage, culture, language family and community to Australia’s indigenous peoples and their lives.

    Our disability care support for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders of Australia will reflect our aims to always grow towards a culturally informed approach, including respect for cultural protocols.

    Hearth will base its approach to working with our Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples on the following principles including:

    Supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients right to culture when accessing Hearth services

    Providing a culturally safe environment and experience for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients.

    Based on these principles, Hearth expects that its workers, independent contractors, volunteers and other stakeholders will:

    Show respect for Aboriginal culture, heritage and language

    Show understanding for the way its Aboriginal clients, their family and their community, live and work

    Recognise that the starting point for many Aboriginal people with a disability is that they do not self-identify as people with a disability

    Support its Aboriginal clients right to choose and control the planning, delivery and evaluation of Hearth services

    Ensure its Aboriginal clients are receiving the most appropriate service, which may include partnering with local Aboriginal community controlled organisations, so that we are working to self-empower the community around them

    Consult with its Aboriginal clients to identify ways to constantly improve Hearth services.

    Hearth management has a responsibility to ensure that its workers have access to the detailed policies underpinning our principles as outlined here.

  • Where can I provide Feedback?

    Hearth is constantly growing and evolving. We welcome your feedback and suggestions to improve our services.

    For feedback and related enquires please email us at feedback@hearthaustralia.com.au and we will be in touch soon.

    If you have a complaint, please contact your Relationship Manager or email us at feedback@hearthaustralia.com.au. You can also speak with our Head Office directly on 1800 894 013. Alternatively, you can lodge your complaint with the NDIS Commission at www.ndiscommission.gov.au or on 1800 035 544.

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