National Community Cooperative Pilot Project

The National Community Cooperative Pilot project is a 2-year project Enliven Community has received philanthropic funding to deliver.

It aims to evaluate the impact for participants that being a part of an independently facilitated Community Cooperative can have for their understanding and ability to exercise choice and control, in the onsite supports that they share.

It is being independently evaluated by the Living with Disability Research Centre (La Trobe University). 

Who we’re working with

The pilot is being delivered in 8 locations nationally. There are 4 SDA apartment properties (in the 10+1 model) and 4 share homes.

The onsite support providers we’re partnering with:

  •         Life Without Barriers
  •         Nextt
  •         Healthscope Independent Services
  •         Yooralla
  •         Possability/Lifestyle Solutions

We are also partnered with Enliven Housing as the SDA provider of 4 of the sites. 

Aimed participant outcomes

The Pilot Project aims to increase participants’ understanding of what is in their control, what they have choice over, and for their improved capacity to exercise this. It only focusses on shared supports and ‘systemic’ experiences (the experience of more than one participant/member).

Other aims for participants:  

  •         Build an identity as a consumer of their services via NDIS and comprehend the power of this;
  •         Increased understanding how acting as a group (a cooperative) further amplifies their voice; and
  •         Understanding of what is important to them in their supports, whether or not this is being met, and if not, understanding ways in which they can address this. 

A Community Cooperative is made up of people who share onsite supports (the members).

Community Cooperatives come together to talk about the onsite supports they share, what is and isn’t working, and what they would like to do about that. They are facilitated by an Independent Facilitator

What is delivered

Independent Facilitators bring together the members to form a Community Cooperative, and facilitate a series of activities to build their knowledge, skills and capacity around exercising choice and control.

Activities are targeted at taking participants on a learning journey to address the aimed participant outcomes (see above).

We know that every cooperative is made up of individuals, and every individual is different. Participants join Community Cooperatives with different backgrounds, skills, knowledge, desires and needs. We intentionally designed the program to be highly flexible and adaptable for this reason. Cooperatives have the power to prioritise different topics based on their desires, needs and knowledge gaps. 

Each cooperative participant has 9 sessions with their Independent Facilitator – 3 of which are individual and 6 are as a group.

What is an Independent Facilitator

Independent Facilitators are people who are independent from support providers, focused on facilitating the Cooperative on their learning journey and meeting their needs. You can read more about their role here – The role of the Independent Facilitator explained.

The Cooperative is owned by the members, and supported by their facilitator. For this reason, cooperatives are asked their expectations of their facilitator, who will amend their practise to meet this. 

What does the Pilot Project hope to achieve?

Independently facilitated Community Cooperatives increase both choice and control, and safeguarding for people with a disability. They also promote additional supports (contributing to NDIS scheme viability) and help NDIS participants make their funding go further.

Through our learnings from the pilot, we not only will be able to improve what we do, but empower more organisations to facilitate this service.

We envision a future where all people with a disability who share onsite supports have access to this empowering service, and are actively working to empower the Australian disability sector to achieve this. 

Our Steering Committee and Advisory Groups

The following governance groups advise on and make decisions on the Pilot Project:

  •         Steering Committee (blend of people with a disability, and sector representatives from Enliven Community, Nextt and Possability/Lifestyle Solutions)
  •         Sector Advisory Group (representatives from Scope, Participate Australia, Possability/Lifestyle Solutions, Yooralla, Unisson, Healthscope, Life Without Barriers, Aruma, Enliven Housing)
  •         Lived Experience Advisory Group

I’m in a Community Cooperative facilitated by Enliven Community. Does this mean that I’m in the Pilot Project?

Not necessarily. The Pilot Project is of 8 Cooperatives across Australia. Services received from facilitators on Pilot Project sites, are a little different to those who are not. Participants in the Pilot Project were given related information and signed documents at the beginning. 

If you’re wondering whether your Community Cooperative is in the pilot, or have any further questions about this pilot, you can contact us at or 1300 210 220.