Michael and Mathew are moving in!

We’re supporting two new residents to move into a new Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) home in Cairns, Far North Queensland.

February 20, 2024

We’ve proudly partnered with Apollo SDA and Home in Place, to help more people with disability find their forever home in Smithfield a suburb of Cairns in Far North Queensland.   

Aruma will be providing support in four of the seven new purpose-built Specialist Disability Accommodation (SDA) homes that will cater to people with a disability who have high support needs. Michael and Mathew are two of the first residents hoping to move in early March.  

Michael has been looking for a new home for over three months now, as his current home in Yorkey’s Knob does not suit his needs, and he is disappointed in the service provider. 

“I’m feeling very excited to move and get out of the place I’m in now. I don’t think they care about me. They look at my budget, and I say to them, ‘it’s not about my budget, it’s about me.’ The team at Aruma have bent over backwards to get me into this house. It shows me that they care about me,” said Michael.  

Michael uses a wheelchair and looks forward to the new home, enabling him to have more independence.  

“Before my accident, I was living in a townhouse. After the accident, I was in hospital for three months, and then I moved into the home I am in now with a different provider. Where I am living in Yorkey’s Knob, I can’t get to the shops in my wheelchair on my own. I need to wait for a support worker to come and drive me there. But I should be able to get there myself in the new Smithfield home,” said Michael.  

The home is also located close to beautiful parks and walking trails along the restored banks of Avondale Creek. Residents can enjoy the outdoor lifestyle at home with a central communal open space and a hydrotherapy pool.   

Michael continued, “I’ve also liked getting to know one of my future housemates, Vaughn. I’ve met him a few times so that everyone is a bit more familiar with each other when we move in. It’s such a difference to moving into the last home where I felt I was plonked in with no preparation.”  

His other housemate, Mathew, is also looking forward to the move, and his mum, Jennifer McLaine, shared that it has been a long journey to get here.  

“Mathew’s life has always been in the ‘too hard’ basket. The NDIA consistently knocked us back until we went through the administrative appeals tribunal. There were over 365 pages of reports and assessments that we had to provide over a year. Finally, we were approved for SDA funding and around the same time, we found out about this SDA home in Smithfield,” said Jennifer McLaine.  

When asked what this new home means to her and Mathew, Jennifer shared:  

“I’m most looking forward to finally having piece of mind that Mathew has a place of his own. I’m in my 70’s and to know that once he is in there, it’s his forever home, well that’s all I’ve wanted for the last 20 years.”  

According to SDA demand data, right now, there are more than 35 people with a disability in Cairns alone looking for a suitable property that meets their needs. That number only increases throughout Far North Queensland. 

“The community here is calling out for support to accommodate growth in suburbs such as Smithfield. In collaboration with Apollo SDA and Home in Place, we are pleased to be able to respond to this demand by offering homes that give people with a disability much-needed stability and security,” said Sandra Pointon, Aruma General Manager Business Development.  

We invited media to visit the new home. Check out the Channel 9 and Channel 7 news coverage.

If you or your loved one is interested in learning more about this home or our other vacancies in Queensland, click here.