About Us

Our History

Limbs 4 Life is the vision of Melissa Noonan and Jacinta Dyson who recognised that amputees needed an organisation that provided up-to-date information and formalised peer support.


 

Pictured left to right : Jacinta Dyson - Programs Manager,
Don Elgin, Melissa Noonan - Executive Officer.

Since incorporating in 2004, Limbs 4 Life has proven to be an important and in-demand organisation with links to amputee support organisations internationally and in other parts of Australia. The value of our work has been recognised by a range of philanthropic and corporate supporters and was acknowledged by the Federal Government in 2009 when Limbs 4 Life was honoured with the National Disability Award for Social Inclusion.
The Limbs 4 Life founders met after Melissa lost her right leg (above-the-knee) in an accident and was admitted to the rehabilitation centre that Jacinta worked in. During her rehabilitation Melissa craved up-to-date information about her condition and wanted to meet other amputees who had overcome their disability to resume an independent life, a service that wasn't available in Melbourne at that time. Through her own experience, meeting others like her along the road to recovery and learning about the increasing incidence of limb loss in Australia, Melissa realised that the community needed a service that would allow amputees to connect with information and others who had been through a similar experience.

After working in rehabilitation for a number of years, Jacinta also felt there were gaps in the support provided to amputees and their families. Jacinta believed that in combination with good physical care, amputees would experience a more holistic treatment approach if it was one that included peer mentoring and access to independent information. Over time, and often during Melissa's rehabilitation sessions, both women discussed the development of an amputee support organisation that could fill the gaps in current services.

Once Melissa was discharged from rehabilitation, development began in earnest, with many evenings and weekends spent planning the formation of the organisation. During this time Melissa and Jacinta also recruited a passionate and committed group of supporters who shared their vision, and the team spent many months bringing the organisation to life. A little over one year after Melissa’s accident, Limbs 4 Life was formally established as a charity.

Our Mission

To provide information and support to amputees and their families while promoting an inclusive community.

 

Information

Limbs 4 Life provides information to our members and stakeholders via a number of different formats.

Our publications are distributed nationally to prosthetic facilities, hospitals, community groups and amputees. The organisation ensures that our website is regularly updated with content to support the needs of our community. The recently developed 'Connect' handbook and 'Amputees in Motion' education and awareness project provides insight into living with, adapting to and managing limb loss to bring about systemic change.

 

Support

The early intervention Peer Support Program certifies people living with limb loss to assist those on their journey to recovery in the initial stages of limb amputation or prior to surgery.

The AMP-Link forum provides a virtual form of peer support for those living in rural and regional communities and bridges the gap for those unable to access direct one-on-one peer to peer support

 

Inclusive Community

Limbs 4 Life promotes community inclusion and positive mental health via social events and activity programs which are structured to assist people living with limb loss to regain their independence and build confidence in a safe and comfortable environment.

 

Our Vision

To ensure that no amputee goes through the process of limbs loss alone and has access to an organisation that can facilitate their needs.

Our Work

Limbs 4 Life believes that no individual should go through the trauma of limb loss alone and should have access to an organisation that understands their circumstances, can arrange connections and provide up-to-date information. Limbs 4 Life offers a range of programs and services that assist amputees, their families, their care givers and health care professionals.

 

Peer Support

This program matches amputees in hospitals and rehabilitation centres to trained Peer Support Volunteers. Peer Support Volunteers are individuals who have lived with limb loss and willingly give of their time to support others in the early stages of recovery. Our Peer Support Volunteers are assessed for suitability, undergo a police check and then take part in a training program to prepare them for their work as a peer mentor. Peer Support Volunteers provide the support that only someone who has also gone through limb loss can. Peer Support Volunteers can also help family members or care givers who want to better understand how they can assist a loved one who has experienced (or is about to experience) an amputation

 

Educational, Social and Sports Programs

Social and sporting activities are a quintessential aspect of the Australian lifestyle and provide a way for participants to remain healthy, active and connected to their communities. Limbs 4 Life runs a number of social and sports programs and activities designed specifically for amputees of all levels of ability and mobility. Social and sporting activities are tailored to help with on-going rehabilitation - assisting with balance, flexibility, general wellbeing and community connections.

The organisation also offers regular access to educational forums and events to keep amputees and their families informed about their situation.


Amplified and E-news

Amplified and E-news publications include a range of engaging and informative articles aimed at empowering amputees their families and care givers with free and accessible information.

 

Website & Social Media

Our website is yet another way that Limbs 4 Life is helping to ensure that amputees and their care givers can access information. The website is updated regularly; providing information, links, news and details about current events. You can also find us on Facebook, Linked in and follow us on Twitter

Our Future

Due to increased rates of diabetes and vascular disease the number of limb amputations taking place in Australia is also increasing. In an effort to meet the demand and ensure that all amputees are empowered with information and support, over the coming years Limbs 4 Life aims to:

  • Expand the Peer Support Program
  • Conduct regular consultations with groups of amputees and care givers to assess their needs and explore issues important to them.
  • Identify and develop new programs to meet the health and wellbeing needs of amputees.
  • Increase public awareness of amputation, including public education about the causes and prevention of limb loss.
  • Build strong links with government policy makers to advocate for positive improvements to the lives of amputees.
Visit our Support page for more information about the ways that you can assist Limbs 4 Life to achieve these goals

Board of Management

 

Our Staff

 

Melissa Noonan

CEO

melissa@limbs4life.org.au

Melissa is an above-knee amputee with a background in sales & marketing. She has completed a Diploma of Community Education/Disability and an Acute Trauma Counselling course. Melissa holds a number of board positions within the disability sector. Since co-founding Limbs 4 Life she has been credited with a number of awards and been recognised for her work within the community. She is regularly in demand as a guest speaker to medical, corporate and community organisations. Melissa is passionate about working with amputees and creating systemic change within the amputee health community.

Fay Keegan

National Manager – Peer Support Program

fay@limbs4life.org.au

Fay is a below knee amputee with a background in social work in areas including mental health, child and family therapy, relationship counselling and trauma. She has worked in Sydney and in rural communities in NSW. Fay has a degree in Social Work, a Master of Arts in Cultural Psychology and qualifications in Relationship and Family Therapy, Mediation and Training.

Fay appreciates the benefits of Peer Support through the mentoring she received when she became an amputee. Fay is now working within Limbs 4 Life to expand the organisation’s Peer Support services nationally.

 


Fiona Waugh

National Manager – Children, Youth and Family Services

fiona@limbs4life.org.au

Fiona has managed and established a variety of programs and partnerships in the education, youth and welfare sectors. Fiona is passionate about supporting children, young people and families to reach their potential and achieve their goals.

Fiona was the founding Chairperson of Limbs 4 Life and has tertiary degrees in commerce and public policy. Fiona is now working within Limbs 4 Life to expand the organisation’s services to children, young people and carers across Australia.

Kylie Franson

Peer Support Program Coordinator.

kylie@limbs4life.org.au

Kylie was born with a congenital upper limb difference and has a background in the not-for-profit sector. Kylie has also run diversity programs in schools for many years and has been a Peer Support Volunteer with Limbs 4 Life since 2010.

Kylie is passionate about supporting people with a limb difference to achieve positive outcomes and is now working within Limbs 4 Life to expand the organisation’s Peer Support Program nationally.

Annual Reports

Limbs 4 Life Inc