Hello and welcome! My name’s Martha Siede, and I’m the Chair of Kinela’s new Advisory Committee. Some of you may also recognise me from Kinela’s marketing material (more on that later…)
As both an NDIS participant, and someone who’s worked as a support coordinator, I’ve had a lot of experience with the NDIS through its formative years. I’m so excited to be sharing this knowledge with you now via Kinela’s new series ‘Ask Martha’, to guide you in getting the most from your plan and funding (and life!).
But first, a little about me.
At birth, I stopped breathing temporarily, and the lack of oxygen to my brain led me to be diagnosed with Dystonic Cerebral Palsy. Throughout my life since, my health and wellbeing have been extremely important to me. I have a busy life, and I’m forever on the hunt for ways to improve my energy levels, mood, and mental clarity through healthy habits.
When I became an NDIS participant myself, I was excited to finally have more control over improving my wellbeing and independence.
But I soon realised that despite its amazing benefits, the NDIS can be a complex beast. I learned firsthand that it can be tough for many people to understand how best to use their funding to achieve their goals. The more I researched, I also learned that for many individuals, potentially life-changing services can be hard to access for a number of reasons — a big one being geographical location, and a lack of providers in many regional and remote areas of Australia.
I quickly became passionate about finding ways to help other NDIS participants navigate this complexity and find services that really work for them.
Joining the mission to make healthcare more accessible
I first became a Kinela meal delivery customer, as well as a dietetics client, a few years ago while I was still working as a support coordinator. From the onset, Kinela was an energetic, intelligent, and committed bunch of people who were really listening to their customers’ needs. I was hooked, and eventually started referring my NDIS clients to their services as well.
Referring participants was easy — I knew they would be respected and treated well by the team. They had great customer service, great food and an innovative approach to allied health I had never seen anywhere before.
Then, 18 months ago, I was asked by Kinela to be part of a photo and video shoot for their rebrand project (cue my face appearing in quite a few brochures since then!) This was where I met Karn, Kinela’s founder and CEO. I got to know him, and shared my love for the company, as well as my enthusiasm for supporting other NDIS participants like myself.
After many discussions, we realised that there was an opportunity for me to bring my detailed knowledge of the NDIS, and help the company better support and advocate for their clients. In August 2019, I officially joined the Kinela team.
I’ve recently had the privilege of forming and leading the Kinela Advisory Committee — a passionate and diverse group of people living with disabilities who’ve been chosen to represent the voice of our community.
Together, we’ll be working closely with the Kinela team to create the best possible experiences and products for people living with a disability. This is a really proud moment for me — not only because we’re creating a forum for our community’s voices to be heard, but also because we have the power to influence tangible, positive change for people living with disabilities.
So please join me as a collective voice! Ask questions, get informed and be a part of the solutions of tomorrow. I hope you’re as excited as I am to start sharing ideas together.
What kinds of topics would you love to see addressed through this column over the coming weeks and months? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!