Welcome to the National Resource Centre for Circles of Support and Microboards (NRCCOSAM)


Welcome to the NRCCOSAM web portal created for you, with input from people with a disability, families and Circles of Support and Microboards (COSAM) organisations across Australia. At this site there are tools to help you locate and connect with a COSAM organisation near you, read interesting stories about how circles and microboards work, download useful information and watch informative videos about cosam’s. The content and tools will help to decide if you would like to establish your own circle or microboard.

What is a Circle of Support and Microboard?

A Circle of Support and Microboard (COSAM) are essentially a group of people that assist and support a person with a disability to live the life they want. While similar in outcome, Circles of Support and Microboards function differently.

A Circle of Support involves a group of people coming together to support, plan out and action the goals, interests and needs of a person with a disability.

A Microboard is an incorporated association formed around a person with a disability that helps them and their family to achieve their life goals.

Both types of support networks not only help in the day-to-day activities of the person at the centre but also form a safe network of trusted people, give encouragement and enrich the lives of people that may otherwise feel isolated.

This website provides information to help you better understand COSAMs with examples of how they work, how to establish them and organisations that provide support.

Find a COSAM organisation

Stories


Jamie-Lee is impressed with the outcomes from her circle. Jamie-Lee said, “The circle was great, they helped with my jewellery business ideas. I loved all the friends who supported me with my vision. I also enjoyed the yummy afternoon teas.” Jamie-Lee’s circle provides a great opportunity for people to build relationships, have meaningful discussions about what is and isn’t happening now and plan for what her future might look like. Friendship is very important to everyone and opens the doors to so many opportunities in life.

Jamie-Lee , Circles of support


David is very social and has a busy weekly schedule of activities. He loves to socialise, drink cappuccinos, craft beer and practice photography. David’s Circle has no family involvement. His circle consists of his support network. A Leisure Buddy he has known for more than fifteen years, his art mentor, volunteer mentor and best friend, who lives around the corner. David’s Circle meets Saturday afternoons every 4-6 weeks at a pub over a beer. David and his Circle prefer a very informal format, and like to chat and progress goals at meetings. “We are the closest thing that David has to a family” – Circle Member

David , Circles of support


At a BBQ ten years ago, Paul’s parents talked about establishing a network of friends and family who could contribute to Paul’s life. From then on, a whole series of events occurred for Paul, his team and his Microboard. I hadn’t realised that meeting Paul would have such an amazing reciprocal effect on my own life and my career. A personal highlight was travelling to Canada in 2015 with Paul, some of his team and some Microboard members to attend a global conference on citizenship. This work is incredibly rewarding and fulfilling. It wouldn’t be so rich without my interaction with Paul.

Felicity , Microboard member