Who We Are
SWARA is a Not-for-Profit learning and life skills centre which aims to empower people of all abilities to reach their full potential in a loving service environment. The SWARA family welcomes all people with low-medium disabilities. For more information on joining our family, please submit an expression of interest in the Contact section.
We believe everyone can embrace who they are,
define their future and can change the world.
To be an enduring community leader, empowering people of all abilities to reach their full potential in a loving, service environment.
To enhance and connect creativity, human dignity and leadership.
Loving service in action.
The Pink Twins' Legacy
SWARA was founded in 1975, by Pink Twins Dorothy and Moyia O’Brien who saw the need to help families and communities. They used their own funds, and those of loyal supporters, to establish SWARA in the Roma Street Parklands. The Twins understood that many people with disabilities need, first and foremost, a sense of value, of belonging, and of relationships that are secure and not too dependent on conformity. These two wonderful ladies identified that, often, the greatest handicap was the lack of self-esteem, and the experience of isolation and rejection that befell many in our community with disabilities.
The Twins would often talk about finding a spark in another, and fanning that spark until it becomes a roaring flame. We at SWARA are committed to recognising and nurturing sparks and flames in all who walk through the door at 101 Park Road, Woolloongabba. We will work on that human potential. In everyone, and not just our clients. And we will celebrate as we make those flames roar. We will do this through Loving Service.
“The Pink Twins are no longer with us, at least not in person. But I have every confidence and belief that they are with us in spirit. I also feel they would recognise the new challenges faced by the organisation they founded, and would be thrilled (using their expression) with the Loving Service SWARA’s precious clients continue to receive despite the present, dynamic environment” (TP O'Brien's Chairman Report, November 2018).
The Pink Twins' Legacy
Meet The Team
I come from Regional NSW and have worked in the Community Service Sector since 1999. I have found myself in a position of privilege, sharing the lives of so many people over the years to support and assist them on their life journey. I am passionate about social justice and inclusion of all people to enjoy the benefits they deserve. I believe in equity, dignity and supporting people to be the best version of themselves.
Senior Support Worker
I first started working at SWARA in January 2009 after working for many years in the Community Service Sector as an aged care nurse. Over the years I have been given the privilege of becoming a Senior Support Worker, WPHS and First Aid Officer. Working at SWARA brings out my calming, peaceful, and loving nature. I love helping people and bringing out the full potential which is in every client to achieve their own goals and pathways.
Senior Support Worker
I began my time with SWARA as a volunteer over 10 years ago. I immediately fell in love with everyone here and it felt like a second family to me. I shortly after became an employee. I enjoy being with the clients, showing people around and introducing others. I am proud of SWARA and the beautiful place it has become. It is an absolute privilege to work here and be a part of the SWARA family.
I started as a mentor to one of SWARA's participants and was then asked to join the SWARA team as the art coordinator followed by the choir. I have a passion for inspiring clients to create original and meaningful works.
I came to SWARA in 2016 as part of my placement for my degree in Education. I enjoyed helping everyone learn so much that I didn't want to leave and have continued on coordinating the Learning Skills programs.
I started as a student and fell in love with SWARA's participants as well as the team. I didn't hesitate when I was then asked to join SWARA. I feel grateful to be a part of this team.
I started at SWARA as a volunteer after graduating from high school and soon became a staff member. I am studying a bachelor of speech pathology at UQ and a certificate IV in disability. I have a true passion for working with those in need to help them achieve their goals and maximise their quality of life.
I started at SWARA after completing my studies and have since made very strong connections with SWARA's participants. What I love the most about working at SWARA is the opportunity to serve and make a difference in people's lives.
My background in inclusive education, as well as my studies in social science and counselling, provided me with a passion for social inclusion. My goal at SWARA is to support people with diverse abilities to feel confident and included, giving them the capacity to self-advocate.
After my first visit to SWARA I was captivated by the uniquely supportive environment. I knew it was where I wanted to work as it was unlike any other programs I had seen. A few months later I was presented with the opportunity and SWARA continues to impress and energise me!
I am a caring, fun and loving lady with a passion for helping people achieve their goals, SWARA lets me help participants become all they can be. My major role at SWARA is to coordinate our Community Inclusion programs to help participants enjoy new experiences.
I began working at SWARA after completing a degree in Pyschology and Business Management. SWARA is a nurturing environment which also aims to challenge clients to grow. Seeing this improvement is what I find most rewarding.
I fell in love with SWARA as soon as I began my student placement in 2014. It's amazing to see how much growth the clients show everyday. I'm grateful to be part of such a loving, nurturing environment.
I have a passion for art, language and music as well as a sincere need to drive those in need. When I came across SWARA I instantly saw the value in how life skills activities could provide increased independence and a sense of community for participants. I am grateful to be part of this wonderful team.
I love working at SWARA. It gives me the opportunity to help people reach their full potential and goals, in a fun filled environment full of laughs in a great team!
Many years ago, I started volunteering at SWARA as I had a connection with the Pink Twins. I am thrilled to be a member of the SWARA team as a I truly embrace supporting all the participants to reach their goals to independence.
I started at SWARA as a student on placement and was grateful to be asked to join as a staff member post placement. I have found that this unique, caring and non-judgmental space caters for all personalities to thrive and grow. I value connection, growth, development and helping people to live their fullest life, whatever that means to them.
SWARA Adventures is a newsletter that is written by the clients of SWARA every three months. This newsletter attempts to capture and summarise the main events that have taken place at SWARA over this period. Each Newsletter has a particular theme and a brain teaser relating to that theme. Thank you to all of the clients that have assisted us in creating this wonderful summary, we really appreciate your help. Please click on the links on the sidebars to view the newletters!! Extracts from previous newsletters can be found below.
NDIS and SWARA
The Federal Government introduced the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) through the NDIS Act 2013. Participants set their own goals and pathways and will be funded to achieve those goals. The system supplies funding directly to participants who can self-manage or have NDIA manage their funds, providing more choice and control over the services they select.
At SWARA we work with participants and their carers to identify goals, develop pathways and work with individuals to achieve their aspirations. In addition, our goal at SWARA is to ensure our participants not only have access to services from SWARA, but also to other services in the community.
For details regarding NDIS Pricing and what is included in each support category click on the links below.
SWARA Support Pricing
For easy reference, click the link below to view specific SWARA Support Pricing (as per NDIS Support Catalogue).