Meet the BDI team.
A team of volunteers who are committed to connecting all with technology
Richard Stubbs OAM
Life was good for Richard Stubbs in 1991. As a Commonwealth Bank executive he had a great career and was an active member of his community. But then one day a car collided into the back of his car and life has never been the same since. Richard became a near paraplegic (46% impaired.) and found himself without a job, and seemingly without a future. Although Richard has had numerous operations since then and often he finds the pain barely tolerable, he now runs a thriving, award-winning organisation devoted to helping others who have physical disabilities. Beyond Disability is located on the Mornington Peninsula and runs self-help programs to connect housebound people who have disabilities with their families and their communities by using computer and internet technology. Participants are provided with affordable computers and internet access. Interactive online communication enables people who are isolated by their disability to engage with others in a meaningful way every day. For many it is their lifeline to the outside world. Covid was difficult as our volunteers could not make home visits. So our tech people opted to help local groups affected by fire and flood and refugees. Over 150 laptops/computers were donated by BDI. Beyond Disability is a community organisation in every sense and relies on the support of its local community in particular to help the organisation survive and thrive. Major supporters over the years such as Stateless Systems, Dame Elisabeth Murdoch, the Myer Family, Federal Government, Lord Mayor’s Fund, local Councils, Microsoft and Newman’s Own Foundation have enabled the organisation to support an increasing number of people over the years. Volunteers play an enormous role in the success of the organisation by transporting equipment and training people to use the internet, email and chat forums. Since 1997 the organisation has assisted more than 400 families and individuals and is now calling on community groups and individuals to help expand into other areas of Victoria thanks to support. Beyond disability is proud to have provided well over 100,000 volunteer hours to people in need and contributed over $3.0 Million to the community. So what now for Richard Stubbs? He has built a new, successful and fulfilling life and along the way has been awarded an Order of Australia, the Rotary International and alsoTattersall’s Enterprise Awards for assisting people with disabilities. ‘I’ve been pretty busy over the years and really need a holiday ’says Richard with a wink! To become involved with Beyond Disability call Richard Stubbs 0417786087 email firstname.lastname@example.org. To find out more about the organisation visit its website at www.bdi.org.au Picture caption: Beyond Disability Founder, Richard Stubbs has opened up the world to many peopleCopywrite Beyond Disability Inc 2023
My husband and I came from England way back in 1966, never once regretting our decision to relocate to Australia, where my three sisters already lived. My working life was spent in a clothing factory first as a cutter and then as a pattern cutter. Retiring early for health reasons I began to write and have been doing so ever since. After the death of my husband, I was looking for something to do that would get me out of the house. Writers lead a very solitary life. I answered a plea in the local newspaper for donations when I had a printer that needed a home, and before I knew it became part of the team of Beyond Disability volunteers in the program that was the brainchild of our CEO Richard Stubbs OAM. Knowing barely the basics about computers in those days I’ve benefitted from having so many knowledgeable teachers over the years, and met so many wonderful people among our past and present clients.
English Industrial Pharmacist who emigrated to Australia in 1973. Retired as Director of Operations, L’Oréal Australia in 2000. Married with two children. Hobbies include vintage audio renovation - see VAR, photography, DIY and cycling. Joined BDI in May 2006
I have been a volunteer with BDI (RPDS) since its inception. I am the mother of 2 adult children. I coach netball, and mentor trainee umpires to progress for their badge. My hobbies include jigsaw puzzles, aromatherapy, numerology, catching up with friends.
My name is Ian George.. I grew up in a country town in North Eastern Victoria with a background in the electrical power industry (The old SECV if anyone remembers :o) My interest in computers really only started for me in the late 90’s early 00’s after catching up again with an old SEC collegue who introduced me to my early days of Windows 98, email and 28.8 K dial up modems of all things. Later, interests turned to open source software and I was introduced to a Linux distribution known as Lintmint around 2010 and haven’t really looked back. I had been looking to volunteer my time to a suitable Linux support group in my area but wasn’t able to find one and that’s how I stumbled onto BDI from an Internet search in late 2011. In that time with BDI I have seen a change from mostly laptops and desktop computers to things like Android phones and Tablets and the rollout of the National Broadband Network (NBNCO) My reason to volunteer in computers and the internet? Being able to help a client appreciate what can be done with a device and the Internet. One example that comes to mind was a single gentlemen who was a little down on his luck who had family at distance in Australia and family in India and could see what a computer with a web camera could do getting in touch especially overseas.
My name is Gary Bogaart, retired, and live in the beautiful East Gippsland region of Victoria. Being a volunteer with Beyond Disability Inc. (BDI) has given me an interest in helping people of all ages and cultures. I was originally asked by a former BDI member, a number of years ago, to become a volunteer with BDI. And here I am today. BDI helps numerous people of all ages and abilities, as well as ex-service men and women. In my spare time I enjoy digitising and collating old print photographs, as well as travelling and renovating anything and everything. I am here to help whenever I can, so if you need help from BDI, go to www.bdi.org.au and they will explain all and put you in contact with a volunteer like myself.
My name is Peggy Stocks & I’m a Volunteer with Beyond Disability. Before retiring in the U.K & emigrating to Australia 20 years ago if I heard the word Volunteer I immediately thought Salvation Army or elderly ladies sitting in Charity shops. I was encouraged by a Beyond Disability Volunteer to attend a meeting & realised that there were many varied small Charities needing help that offered different interests. I have now many interests in my life ,friends, & met some interesting people & I can choose the hours I volunteer The people that choose to become Clients of BDI ( Beyond Disability ) are fortunate to pay a subsidised monthly payment , be provided with modern equipment & help when needed. So whether you are interested in becoming a Volunteer or becoming a Client try contacting us.
The long road to BDI. I started out life near the German city of Wiesbaden not long after the second world war. At 2 my parents immigrated to Australia. This was fortunate as only a few years later the ship sank on a return journey to Europe. Many years later, after growing up on a poultry farm in Healesville, I graduated as a chemical engineer at, what is now, Swinburne University in Melbourne. I spent the next 34 years working as a loss prevention consultant for a Multinational Property insurer which involved a good deal of global travel. Upon retirement, I began cleaning out all my accumulated computer equipment and while looking for a suitable place to donate it, stumbled onto Beyond Disability Inc. Thus began my life as a volunteer. It continues to be a fascinating and rewarding journey, helping those experiencing hardship in one form or another. In recent times, in addition to providing on going service to our regular clients, we have managed to refurbish donated computers and laptops and then re donate them where needed, including bushfire victims, mothers in domestic violence situations, single mums struggling to make ends meet and more recently still, Afghan and Ukrainian refugees. In partnership with the GIVIT organization, we have so far donated over 90 with plans to continue into the foreseeable future.