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Empowering Through Peer Mentoring

A head and shoulders image of Adrian, a smiling man with beard and glasses, and Nicole, a smiling woman with long blonde hair, standing in front of a leafy fence.
Adrian O’Malley and Nicole Newton, Peer Facilitators & Mentors

Our peer mentoring program plays a vital role in providing tailored support to individuals with physical disabilities. Unlike systemic advocacy, which focuses on broader systemic issues, peer mentoring is about one-on-one support, guidance, and empowerment for people with disability and their support network from someone who has lived experience of disability.

People come to us for mentoring for many reasons. Some are looking for practical advice on navigating, accessing and understanding the NDIS. Others seek support to advocate for themselves, getting past disability-related barriers or achieving goals.

The most fulfilling part of mentoring for us is being immersed in real and meaningful work that is frequently life-changing. Whether it’s helping someone gain access to the NDIS after repeated rejections, building confidence to speak up for themselves or providing knowledge that empowers their personal choices, the joy of seeing someone overcome and thrive is unparalleled.

Being able to share our own experiences and knowledge to help someone else navigate their unique path is fulfilling. It’s a reminder that our experiences, both the challenges and successes, can be valuable tools for others facing similar situations. Our lived experience means we understand firsthand the impact that a supportive mentor can have. It’s a relationship built on trust and understanding, offering clarity and providing a space where you feel safe to be yourself, share your challenges, explore your goals and build your skills.

‘I’d been knocked back twice by the NDIS, injured my leg, had vision problems and was severely depressed. I had no purpose; I wasn’t getting up and just sleeping my days away… I called PDCN and Adrian helped me gather the information I had missing (for NDIS access) and within a week I was accepted!

‘Since that time, with your support, so many of my goals have come to fruition. I didn’t have the experience of playing with my grandkids and being “Nana” and that was one of the most important goals I set. Now I have a support worker here to help me, to lift my grandson onto the change table or wherever I want him to be. Before this I wasn’t able to babysit, so the kids always went to the other grandparents. Now I get to spend time with my grandkids every week. Life is so much more fun now. That was something I really wanted back in my life – fun. I can honestly say I’ve got that now, and I am so grateful that (my PDCN Peer Mentor) got involved and helped me get through it all… for the help you have given me over the last couple of years that has changed my life, and I could never have done it without you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.’

~ Cheryl, Individual Peer Mentee

To anyone considering reaching out for mentoring, our message is simple: don’t hesitate! Taking that first step to reach out for support can be daunting, but it’s also incredibly empowering. Whether you need guidance, encouragement, a listening ear or second opinion, we look forward to supporting you.

If you, or anyone you know, could benefit from a chat with one of our friendly PDCN Peer Mentors, please have a look at our Peer Mentoring page. Or you can call us on 1800 688 831, or email

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