A troubling New Year ahead at Austin Street




Austin Street in Alphington has been a happy home for James Macready-Bryan now for 13 years.  The aim of the home was to keep young people with an ABI out of aged-care nursing homes and hospitals by providing intensive support for residents’ complex health needs, which has always included 24/7 Registered Nursing

With policy changes within the State government and the federal NDIA, the 24/7 nursing support James and his housemates require is now under threat.  There is a new model of care being proposed which expects residential support workers to perform the duties of a Registered Nurse after limited training.  JMB are committing funds to fight this, potentially with a legal battle next year.

Long-serving advocate of  James and Austin Street residents as well other ABI victims, Jacqui Pierce, points out:

Registered Nurses have years of training and are able to see subtle warning signs residents with ‘narrow’ margins of health are vulnerable to. With every interaction, they implement a prevent, monitor and treat model, and it ranges from day-to-day detections of minor changes to early detection of potentially fatal aspirational pneumonia. 


James’ mother, Robyn Brewin writes:

From the moment he was assaulted, James has had and will always require full-time nursing, and that was over 17 years ago.

Now the NDIS want to implement a different model of care, where the RN will teach support workers to do the tasks she is currently doing.  There are currently around 27 support workers circulating at Austin Street, and at least half of them are casual. Training each of them in the life-saving procedures required in the fragile lives of the residents is just not viable.

We worked for so long to get young people out of nursing homes, and now with this withdrawal of funding, the only other option will be to return them

This is possibly the one last big fight we have to do for James, and we’ve had many over the years. I would like to thank the Foundation and everyone who helps to support us both with funds and emotionally. I won’t stop fighting, and I’m also grateful I’m able to with the support of the Foundation. 

Robyn Brewin.  November 2023

James, Robyn and Phil Brewin at Lightscape, Botanic Gardens