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Meaningful Lives

Our Story 

Meaningful Lives is an initiative of MiLife-Victoria Inc (MLV), designed to build a best practice approach in disability support.  

MLV is a not-for-profit organisation that has delivered disability services for over 30 years. However, in 2021 under new leadership, we realised that we needed to do things differently. 

While dedicated to outstanding support quality, we recognised that wasn’t what we were delivering.  

Day services were about MLV offering a small number of activities (such as cooking, art and craft or trips to the bowling alley) to small groups of people. The variety was limited and was designed around what we wanted to offer, rather than what people wanted to do and what would make their lives meaningful. 

A typical day at MLV involved the people we support (at best) going bowling or making chocolate crackles or, (at worst), staring into space or falling asleep.  

We were focused on caring for people. Making sure they had enough to eat, that they were clean and dry, that they rested if they were tired, that they had fun. 

We recognised that this didn’t allow the people we support to have choice and control over their lives.  

And we realised we had an opportunity to do more than just take care of people. We wanted to become dream-makers. 

We committed to delivering meaningful supports that help people become who they want to be; to learn the things they want and need to see their dreams come true. 

We realised that we would need not just to reform, but transform our service into something new.  

We trained under Sara Murphy, the Chief Executive Officer at TransCen in the United States, who has made it her life’s work to transform day services and help people with disability live a meaningful life that they choose. 

No more programs, no more activities, no more caretaking. We developed a model based off Sara’s amazing work which ensured that each person we support gets a tailored service that’s as unique as they are and that focuses on making their dreams a reality. 

As a result, Meaningful Lives was born. MLV spent the last year building its service offerings to ensure that every program is focused on each individual and what they choose for their life. We’re proud to say that not only have we transformed our day service, but we have used this as a stepping stone to support adults with disability to find and keep the jobs they deserve in the open market. 

We’re excited to launch our suite of Meaningful Lives services because this is the future of exceptional service delivery. 

Our Vision, Our Why, Our Purpose 

Vision: People of all abilities living life to the fullest 

Purpose: To partner with community so that people of all abilities have all their needs met and can live their best life, for their whole life. 

Why we believe what we believe: we are all human beings and each have a unique ability to flourish when given the right support 

Why we do what we do: MLV strongly believes that people of all abilities deserve to live life to the fullest.  This means living a meaningful adult life where people have the opportunity to contribute value to their community. We believe the best way of achieving this is to provide personalised, tailored support which is as unique as the people we serve. We believe in making dreams come true, not in taking care of people. 

What we do 

We deliver several programs and services that are tailored to each person’s unique dreams and needs. 

Our aim is to provide the support that adults with disability want and need to see them live a life that’s meaningful for them. We are here to make people’s dreams come true and there are some fundamental things that often need to be in place to get there. 

For most, this involves being as independent or self-reliant as possible and not relying on paid supports forever. For many, it will also involve earning their own money and contributing value to their community.  

Our current service offerings include: 

Discovery – This is the start of your journey with Meaningful Lives. Discovery is the starting point for all services we provide and is key to getting to know you at a deep level so that we can design services that are as unique as you are. For more information on our Discovery service, click here. 

Aspire – This is a new and innovative approach to delivering day services. No more isolated settings where people congregate in segregated centres. No programs that we choose and you have to fit in with. You’re in control of what you want to do, how much of it you want and when you want it. 

This high-quality, tailored, personalised support helps you live a meaningful life. We use our Discovery process to understand you and design unique supports designed to teach you the things you want and need to learn to make your dreams come true. All supports are delivered in the community and we focus on helping you build relationships with new communities so that you can reduce your reliance on paid supports. For more information on our Aspire service, click here. 

WorkLink – Our WorkLink services are all about getting those who want to work and earn their own money into paid employment in the open market.  

We have a number of service options to help do this. We understand that everyone is different and so we offer various programs to support with work-readiness: 

Pre-Internship - We provide a two-year transition pathway for those preparing to leave school and enter the adult world. We work with your school to provide hands on work experience in local industry to build your employability skills. Once you have completed the Pre-Internship, there’s an option to transition into our Internship program and/or one of MLV’s other suite of Meaningful Lives services. For more information on our Pre-Internship service, click here. 

Internship – A step up from the Pre-Internship service, we offer a more intensive program to help adults with disability learn the employability skills they need to get sustainable employment. People supported access up to 15 hours of work experience in local industry to prepare them for open employment. This is an excellent next step for school leavers after graduating from the Pre-Internship program and/or for those who need some extra help before launching in to Customised Employment. For more information on our Internship service, click here. 

Customised Employment – Our Customised Employment service sees specialist job coaches tailor a job role which builds on your strengths and meets the employer’s needs. You’ll receive hands-on job support for as long as you need. Supports fade over time as you become more skilled and confident but can always be dialled back up if you’re hitting a rough patch. For more information on our Customised Employment service, click here. 


Contact us

For more information about our services, please don’t hesitate to contact us by phone or email and one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be able to help: 

Ph: (03) 9775 7333 

Email: [email protected]