The ORCA Project

An NDIS approved school leaver employment supports program for people aged 17 - 21 years in Brisbane. We give you the skills you need for success in the workforce and the chance to learn about the type of work that's meaningful to you.  
ORCA participants work with staff member

An approved NDIS program

We believe that all young people, including those living with disabilities, have unique strengths, skills, challenges, and interests. There is no ‘one size fits all’ approach here at The ORCA Project. 

Designed in consultation with real families in Brisbane, this approved NDIS program provides you with the skills you need for success in the workforce, and gives you the opportunity to learn about yourself, your interests and the type of work that's meaningful to you. 

Prepare for a lifetime of meaningful work

The ORCA Project aims to bridge the gap between the familiar environment of school and what can be a new exciting world of work. Our school leaver employment supports program provides:

  • A regular, predictable weekly program that provides you with a source of familiarity and confidence
  • A team of skilled staff with varied interests and experience who support you and your family on your journey
  • Passionate volunteers who bring their own unique experiences to the environment and can help to build social connections and explore work interests
  • Support for families through community connection, information sessions, help with navigating the NDIS and more
  • The opportunity to bring your own support person if you need extra support with personal care, manual handling, complex behaviours or anxiety, because you know what’s best for you.
Social and interpersonal skills have been shown to be some of the most important skills when it comes to retaining employment. At The ORCA Project, we focus on working with you to develop the soft skills you require for positive and meaningful engagement in work. We assist you to develop a range of tools and strategies to help with emotional regulation in the workplace, and help you develop the skills you need to become connected and engaged members of the workforce.
The ORCA Project also provides a range of onsite micro-enterprises or mini businesses in Brisbane, in which you can practice your skills and try different types of work. We consult with you regularly throughout the program and aim to involve you in the micro-enterprises that interest you the most.  

Accessing the program

The ORCA Project operates out of two locations in Brisbane:

  • Albany Creek Uniting Church (ACUC) in Brisbane’s north
  • Broadwater Road Uniting Church in Mansfield in Brisbane’s south.

You can begin your transition from school by starting at The ORCA Project during Year 12, or you can join us at any time after school when you are aged 17 – 21.

If you are still in grade 11 or 12 but think you might be ready to start The ORCA Project now, give us a call. We can talk about access to funding, and work with you and your school to determine if coming to The ORCA Project while still enrolled at school is the best option for you. 


 

Albany Creek Uniting Church Hall
Location
652 Albany Creek Road Albany Creek Qld 4035
Broadwater Road Uniting Church
Location
481 Broadwater Road Mansfield QLD 4122

Funding and payment

The ORCA Project can be included in your NDIS Plan under Finding and Keeping a Job - School Leaver Employment Supports funding. If you have employment goals, talk to your NDIS planner about including funds in your plan for achieving those goals. If School Leaver Employment Supports funding is not an option for you, please contact us to discuss alternative ways to access the program.

Cost of NDIS Services

Wesley Mission Queensland follows the NDIA Price Guide rules and prices. View the recently updated NDIA price guide on the NDIS website. 

(This link opens in a new window)

NDIS website

Find out what it's like at The ORCA Project

The ORCA Project is a two year part-time program

The ORCA Project is a two year school leaver employment supports program in which participants attend two days per week during school terms. The program typically consists of four phases.
Shows the four phases of the ORCA program
The first phase of the program is about learning work readiness skills that will help set you up for involvement in a range of industries through our onsite microenterprises. Just as important, this stage also sees you embark on a process of exploring your strengths and interests and developing strong, confidence-building connections with peers. 
The second phase of the program provides you with the opportunity to further build work readiness skills through participation in onsite micro enterprises. You also take the opportunity to explore your interests through workplace visits and work experience opportunities. 
The third phase of the program involves further involvement in work experience placements where you can practice and refine work skills. This is also the stage where you may begin connecting with Disability Employment Services (DES) providers and applying for work. 

The last stage of the program is about supporting you to exit our program and connect with meaningful work roles. This can include paid work, part time/casual work, traineeships or meaningful volunteer work, depending on what meets your work goals and interests. 

Why we're called The ORCA Project

Orcas live in family groups. Multiple pods come together to form community. They are strong, complex, intelligent, graceful and trainable creatures.

Orcas work together and use their own form of communication. Orcas are also known as Killer Whales, and the label means inaccurate assumptions are made about them. Sound familiar to your own situation?

To know they are dolphins and discover who they truly are takes time, interest and a willingness to let go of preconceived ideas.
ORCA logo showing two ORCA dolphins

Meet our friendly team in person or have a tour.

Call us on 1800 448 448.

Contact us.

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Please call 1800 448 448 or complete this form.
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