During his recovery in the Princess Alexandra Spinal Injuries Unit, Malakai Tava was known for his passion and determination to better the lives of people with spinal injury and other disabilities.
Due to funding arrangements and legislation at the time, Malakai was told that upon his discharge from the Spinal Unit that he would be placed in a group habitation setting (a nursing home) if his family was unable to provide care for him. Frustrated that people with spinal injury were forced to live in nursing homes, at such young ages and so far from their families, Malakai undertook a campaign while still in the Spinal Unit, to push legislators, health and government bodies to provide better care and funding packages for people with spinal injury and their families.
The campaign was a success, and many years of advocacy and improved legislation later, along with a small team of people with spinal injury, family and friends, Malakai successfully founded Spinal Home Help Incorporated (SHH) in 2013, a volunteer run service provider and peer mentoring organisation for people with spinal injury and their family. We envision a future where all Queenslanders with spinal injury have the confidence and supports to engage with their communities and live life to the fullest, and continue to work hard to achieve that goal.