It’s a ‘wonderful life’ for Rennie

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Woman with short grey curly hair and wearing glasses and a blue and purple flowered top sitting on a park bench smiling at the camera with a tree behind her.

Renata ‘Rennie’ is a different woman to who she was just 12 months ago. 

Thanks to a multitude of supports which have helped connect her with her community of Broadford, Victoria, the NDIS participant is living her best life and she wants everyone to know about it. 

Rennie at cafe quote icon in teal rectangle white play icon

"Ever since I got on the National Disability Insurance Scheme and started getting supports, my life has been wonderful.


“I think I’ve grown and matured a lot thanks to all the support I’ve received. 

“I’m a lot more cheerful and adventurous.” 

When Rennie lost her mother, Sharon, to pancreatic cancer in 2022, she was in the depths of despair. 

“I saw a grief counsellor and she couldn’t get me out of the house or try new things because I was too anxious and I didn’t have the confidence,” she said. 

Rennie has multiple physical and cognitive disabilities, including bipolar disorder and tremors. 

When Sharon died, Rennie was not only left without her mother, but a best friend and carer. 

“She was my great support,” she said.  

“I used to say to her ‘who loves you?’ and she would say ‘my baby loves me’. And she used to give me lots of hugs and kisses, reassurance and guidance.”  

Rennie was at rock bottom, until Intereach – the NDIS partner in the community – and Broadford-based NDIS support provider Local Country Care, helped Rennie access the Scheme. 

Intereach Local Area Coordinator Anna said Rennie came to her planning meeting as a shy, timid and emotional woman.  

“She was very modest in what assistance she was looking for,” Anna said.

“During her meeting, she started to open up about her life.  

“Upon receiving funding, Rennie’s world changed. She is now leaving her home and doing social things and is more confident in her outlook on life.  

“Her GP noted the change in Rennie, not just physically but emotionally too. Rennie is confident and plans her day now and looks forward to getting out and about.  

“The new Rennie is so different from the first Rennie that I met at her planning meeting. Rennie is living her best life now.” 

Her NDIS funding allowed Rennie to engage a support coordinator through Local Country Care. 

Rennie Hobbs and Sue Tivey

She’s expressed how she’s had a great experience so far and her life has changed since getting funding,” Local Country Care owner and support coordinator Sue said 

“Rennie is an intelligent woman, full of cheek and a joy to be around. 

“She has the best sense of humour and we just love her to bits.” 

Being around Rennie, it’s immediately obvious she loves to laugh and doesn’t take herself too seriously. 

“My brother makes me laugh at myself,” Rennie said. 

“Sometimes when I’m off medication, I get side effects where I move my body up and down. My brother would sing the ‘Oompa Loompa’ song and call me an Oompa Loompa and that makes me feel a whole lot better.


I would rather someone have a laugh with me than stare at me and think something is wrong with me, or fuss over me. As long as they can laugh with me.” 

Rennie’s newfound joy and enthusiasm for life is infectious, and she is a familiar and friendly face around her community. 

Whether it’s shopping, doing water aerobics, going to the gym, meeting friends for lunch, or just strolling through town, Rennie has a wonderful support network. 

And when she started raising money for the Pancare Foundation, which funds research for upper gastrointestinal cancers, in memory of her mother, the community rallied behind her.  

Dressed in a purple tutu, fairy wings and feather headpiece, Rennie took to the streets of Broadford last September, walking 68km while selling raffle tickets as a symbol and awareness of the 68 Australians who die from gastrointestinal cancers each day. 

Rennie called the walk ‘Sharon’s Pure White Lily Walk’ in honour of her mother’s favourite flower, raising more than $1000 along the way.


Rennie fundraising

It was so much fun and I got to meet so many new people,” Rennie said.  

“I think Mum would have been proud of me.” 

Thanks to her perseverance and multitudes of support, Rennie is ready to take on the world. 

“I’m happier and more confident and have grown as a woman,” Rennie said. 

“I’ve matured as a person and am willing to try new things. 

“My anxiety levels have gone down a little bit and if I am anxious, thanks to the NDIS and my grief counsellor, I am able to self-talk … and concentrate on the positive things.

Rennie Hobbs at Rocky Horror

“The NDIS supports have been beautiful, supportive, nurturing, non-judgmental and a whole lot of fun. They just treat me like one of the gang.” 

“All the friends I’ve made through the NDIS, they all have their own worries and disabilities. And it’s nice not to feel like an outcast or not worthy of friendship. They may not have bipolar, some of them have physical disabilities and I think it’s great because they’ve accepted me as their friend, and I love that. It’s all acceptance.”