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Our Team

At Habitability, our STAycations are designed to take you to your desired destination, increase your capacity and help you reach your goals.

Our team of highly experienced professionals from the mental health and disability
sectors are deeply committed to providing a higher level of care and client experience. With backgrounds in NDIS service provision, social work, and disability care, Habitability’s caring team are ready to help clients achieve their goals, taking them places.

Our Team | steve smith | Habitability

Steve Smith

Managing Director of Habitability

With more than 22 years’ experience in the mental health, and aged care/disability sectors in Australia, New Zealand and the UK, Steve deeply understands the needs and challenges of diverse individuals. Steve has held positions within the Australian Red Cross Migrant Support Programs, a cross- section of Substance Misuse agencies in addition to roles within the NDIS sector, working with clients from a broad cross section of societal and ethnic diversity.

After several years exploring options to provide a truly unique NDIS accommodation service that focused on the individual participant and their goals, in 2021, he established Habitability. His deep connections in the accommodation industry combined with his extensive background in the mental health and disability sectors, made NDIS STA / respite a natural fit. Steve and his team strive to help to improve the lives of NDIS participants, with tailored NDIS STA experiences that have earned glowing reviews from clients.

Why I enjoy working for Habitability – Habitability offers me an opportunity to make the vision that brought me into the industry a reality. Assisting participants to realise their goals and aspirations through the vehicle of STA – is a calling that I am extremely thankful for. By fostering a team that delivers NDIS STA/Respite services within an empowered and equitable, (service delivery framework) – my vision is realised, day to day. The joy our team collectively feels when a participant contacts us to tell us of the positive effects, their STA has had on their physical and mental health – is priceless.

Jade Smith

Operations Manager

A qualified Social Work professional, Jade has many years of experience working with diverse client groups in the UK and Australia. Jade uses her own life experiences to create a caring and empathetic practice that helps clients realise their goals and ambitions, finding a pathway to a fulfilled life. Jade has the unique ability to connect with clients ‘where they are at’ and create rapport which facilitates co-working partnerships that move clients towards positive outcomes. Jade does this in an inclusive and culturally sensitive manner that makes clients feel comfortable, cared for, and listened to.

Why I enjoy working for Habitability – Habitability is a family run business with real principles and morals, and I enjoy working here as every member of our team has passion and commitment to provide a service which delivers what it promises.

Our Team | Jade Smith | Habitability
Our Team | janette | Habitability

Janette Varley

STA Coordinator

Janette brings more many years’ of experience in community and social services in Australia and New Zealand. This includes periods working in youth justice, addiction, domestic violence, sexual assault, the disability sector and Indigenous health.
Her own life’s experiences with drug and alcohol addiction started her quest to give back, resulting in a 25 year career helping others that ultimately led her to Habitability.
Janette was drawn by the Habitability model, which allows participants the opportunity of exercising their right to flexibility, choice and control. As an STA Coordinator, her primary role is to ensure the STA experience runs smoothly for the participant and is as stress free as is humanly possible.

Why I enjoy working for Habitability – I love our Habitability Team and the heart that everyone has for making a difference in people’s lives. I give thanks each day for the opportunity Habitability has given me to do this very rewarding and satisfying work, the positive feedback, and thanks we receive from participants reinforces the importance of doing this work and what a privilege it is to be a part of such a caring and devoted team. To coin a phrase from our awesome Director Steve, I love being a “Habitarian”.

Louise Smith

Intake & Assessment Coordinator

Louise is a Registered Mental Health Nurse (RNMH) and has practised in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with a primary speciality in dementia care.

She says that her heart lies in helping individuals, which lay behind her decision to choose a career in this specialist field of nursing. This is also why she feels right at home at Habitability, which offers a unique participant-centred model, where relationship-building is critical, resulting in many participants coming back for repeat STAs!

Louise’s role as intake and assessment coordinator usually places her as the first person a participant will speak to from Habitability. It’s her responsibility to undertake a comprehensive assessment of an individual’s needs and requirements for their STA.

Why I enjoy working for Habitability – Habitability places choice and control in the hands of participants and supports them to achieve their stated goals. We all gain tremendous satisfaction from this. The importance of STA for our participants cannot be underestimated and I’m privileged to play a role in this.

Our Team | louse smith | Habitability
Our Team | nicci varley | Habitability

Nicci Varley

Customer Service Agent

Nicci comes to Habitability with an extensive and varied background in customer service and a drive to help participants gain the most from their STA experience. Her mum, Janette, has been part of the Habitability Team from the start and Nicci shares her passion for helping people.

Nicci’s role involves working directly with participants and coordinators to help create a relaxing and therapeutic STA. She says her goal is to create a personal connection with every participant, so that their next STA is always as good as the last, if not better!

Sean Weatherburn

Coordinator

Professional background
Sean has a background in mental health and has worked with adults and young people in both residential care or out in the community. He has spent a considerable time working with teenagers. This includes alcohol and/or drug concerns in residential care or in the community, Helping them gain basic qualifications and skills through youth development programmes, or assisting young offenders with rehabilitation.  

Sean’s role is to support the service user from the initial enquiry all the way to the start of the STA. This involves discussing all aspects of the desired STA and creating a unique and personalised experience. 

Sean says that he has a passion for helping people, and feels that the skills he’s gained, coupled with his naturally warm personality, makes it easy to build rapport. This enables partnerships to be formed and the ability to work towards positive outcomes.

Why I enjoy working for Habitability
It is great to work with such a passionate team who work so hard to ensure that service users get the best possible support and experience from their STA.

Our Team | Sean Weatherburn 1 | Habitability

How We Work Within the NDIS STA Framework

Habitability works with participants ‘where they are at’ on an individualized level, to design tailored NDIS STA packages.

NDIS participants are able to use their funding for STA/Respite or ‘Getaways’, as we sometimes refer to them, under the core supports of their NDIS Plan.

When participants, support coordinators, and plan managers contact us , our team connects with them directly to determine the individual participant’s needs, goals, and aspirations. The team then conducts a comprehensive due diligence assessment which encompasses intake, eligibility, and risk assessments, in addition to accessibility assessment if required. From there, we work on designing your tailored package, whether it be a resort in a tropical location that helps build confidence in a new environment or a bustling city apartment that helps improve independent living skills.

To our dear and valued clients, we are all about helping you achieve your goals. Whether it’s increasing your social connections, enhancing your confidence in participating independently in the community, or maintaining healthy family relationships, we can help make it happen.

“ In a sector that thinks people with a disability should just accept the bare minimum, Habitability raised the bar high and have set a high standard for me to expect.” Khadija G

Speak with our STA Booking Manager to discuss your options based on your NDIS funding.

What our Users Say

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