From special education teacher to business owner making a difference in the NDIS space

From special education teacher to business owner making a difference in the NDIS space


No one ever believed in little Kazz Rasmussen. Now, through Kazz & Co - an NDIS registered disability and special needs support service - she's instilling believe in herself and the regional Victorians who have been put into the too hard basket.

It was more than middle child syndrome. Kazz had four high flyer siblings. She was the “short little fat one”, the kid told by everyone that she had no value.

“Growing up, no one ever believed in me, to the point that I never believed in myself,” says Kazz.

The flip side of that experience was a natural empathy for the underdog, an innate desire to support humans who had been dismissed or underestimated.

This led Kazz to a career as a special education teacher, working in the classroom and consultancy.

“My passion has always been for supporting children and adults with social, emotional, behavioural and psychiatric difficulties, as well as students with complex special needs and those at risk.”

By 2017 there was an upswing in parents seeking Kazz’s guidance to navigate the NDIS. The idea for Kazz & Co was brewing.

But it was not until the death of her father around the same time that the idea to start a business gained traction.

With both parents now passed, Kazz was able to let go of the limiting stories of her childhood. This freedom was an invitation to flourish; permission to step into her own way of being.

Kazz & Co now has over 30 staff supporting individuals with mental health challenges who are striving for a fulfilling independent life. The Bendigo-based business also offers tailored independent living programs and individualised support in educational environments.

“We could be just ‘another NDIS service provider’ but what makes us unique is the fire in my belly. I am hands-on and incredibly passionate about going above and beyond for our participants.

“I’m their advocate, their voice and their cheer squad. We treat people holistically as an individual, not a number. One size does not fit all. Our participants are diverse in nature, as are our care support workers.”

Tailoring services does come with logical challenges behind the scenes. There’s not a stock standard schedule to roster when you put client needs first. Kazz is working hard to onboard staff so she can grow the business and continue to do what she does so well – connecting with people and meeting them where they’re at.

“I’ve never made out that I am a business woman. I need the back-end expertise in place to let me do what I do so well. In particular, I need the managerial and executive level staff who share my philosophies and vision, and can keep up the pace.”

Kazz is aware of the risk of burn out but she is also energised by the work that she does.

“I get a great sense of satisfaction knowing I’m able to support people and their families to achieve life goals, and to be their voice.”

Along the way, she’s also found her voice and has been able to celebrate her own achievements.

It was an emotional moment when Kazz came back at night to switch on the branded neon signage for the first time.

“No one has ever told my story of feeling crap as a child. So for me, to see my name up in lights, it was a proud moment to say, ‘See, I am worth something and look at me now’.”

And that is the possibility that Kazz & Co lights up in others.


Kazz & Co | Website | Facebook

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