In 1996, at 29 years of age, Rocky Mileto sustained a severe spinal cord injury from a tackle in a game of rugby union.

“I had the ball, it was one on one. Just the wrong angle, wrong timing,” Rocky said. “It was that easy, that simple.  Most injuries, rugby or rugby league injuries, are really simple.

“You could be in a car accident and roll 15 times and have a broken collarbone, but you bump your head playing rugby and you have this level of disability. And everything’s gone, nothing in the fingers, no feelings, no sensory or motor response. I can’t feel my legs, can’t move my legs.”

Over the past 23 years since his accident, Rocky has seen many changes in the disability support sector and has even been inspired to start a charity, Hearts in Union (, which supports people injured through playing rugby union.

Since joining the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in June 2018, Rocky has been supported by Social Futures’ Local Area Coordination (LAC) program in his home town of Orange.

Now, as Rocky goes through the NDIS plan review process, he reflects on how his life has changed and what the NDIS has meant for him, his wife and their 12 year old twin sons. 

He reports that the care made available to him through his NDIS funding has been of great benefit to him and his family.

“The care is absolutely fantastic – you get more care,” Rocky said. “That is without a doubt better.

“If you’re not well and you’re in bed, you need someone to sit there just so you don’t have a blocked catheter and autonomic dysreflexia (a form of hypertension that can be life-threatening). To avoid that is really important – you don’t want to be on your own and not able to help yourself.

“Because the level of personal care I need is now fully funded, it allows my wife to go to work and that in turn reduces the financial pressure on us,” Rocky said.

Rocky is currently looking forward to undertaking some home modifications and receiving new equipment, especially his long-awaited bed – all funded through his NDIS plan.

“Because the level of personal care I need is now fully funded, it allows my wife to go to work and that in turn reduces the financial pressure on us”


NDIS Participant

Using his NDIS plan

Rocky’s NDIS supports have helped her/him:

  • Access the personal care he needs
  • Free up quality time with his family
  • Reduce financial pressure on his family.

Social Futures is a National Disability Insurance Scheme Partner in the Community.
Our Local Area Coordination services connect participants to the NDIS in regional New South Wales.

To contact your nearest LAC call 1800 522 679

Read more participant stories

Rob’s come along in leaps and bounds

At 67, Broken Hill man Rob Lindsay has lived with an intellectual difficulty all his life. “There just weren’t assessments for that sort of thing when Rob was younger”, said his sister Joan. “At school, he didn’t keep up, that’s just the way it was. When he left...

read more

Jack’s Story: Gazing into a new future

Jack Pellizzer is in his last year of high school in Broken Hill. He likes school and, like most 18-year-old boys, he also likes music and movies. But until recently it was difficult for him to tell people what he liked and wanted. Jack has a number of undiagnosed...

read more

Elise moves into a home of her own

Moving into your own home is a special milestone but for Elise Miller, it holds extra significance. Elise has finally had the birthday party she's dreamed of for so long, with friends, family and other supporters celebrating in her new purpose-built home. The sociable...

read more

NDIS opens up a whole new life for Tasel

FOR many of us, 2020 may turn out to be a year we’d rather forget. But for Maclean woman Jacques Sears, things have never been better. Ms Sears, also known as Tasel, is deaf, but with the help of the National Disability Insurance Scheme her life has changed for the...

read more

Madeleine lands her dream job

Madeleine Thompson dreamed of becoming a nurse when she was still in primary school. Now she’s living the dream, having recently secured a permanent role as an Assistant in Nursing at St Joseph’s Nursing Home in the northern NSW town of Lismore. “I’m really enjoying...

read more

Get new stories from NDIS Participants in your inbox

* indicates required

Delivering services around COVID-19

Social Futures is committed to the continuation of delivering support services in a safe, practical and innovative way while navigating COVID-19.