Independent living

Independent living

Independent living

Liverpool NOVA Transition trainees have been exploring what it means to live independently, and how they can work towards it. It’s about the transition from living at home: gaining the life skills and knowledge to become independent and self-reliant. Here’s how Cindy put it: 'Living independently means growing and inspiring without having to count on someone else for support.'

At Transition, we cover four important aspects of independent living:


At Liverpool, the trainees explored different ways of getting around, including public transport and driving. We practised using apps to identify bus routes and look up timetables, and learnt how to update Opal cards. Some trainees gained their driver’s licence.


Doing some research helped us to understand what was at stake with buying compared with renting. We looked at rental accommodation and houses for sale in different areas, then used a mortgage calculator to look at how home deposits work, and how much money you would need. As an example, if you were buying a $700,000 home, you would need a deposit of $70,000 or more.

Looking after yourself

Along with practical aspects such as personal hygiene, we also discussed wellbeing (that is, good health physically, mentally and emotionally). The trainees created posters about what wellbeing meant to them personally, then worked up the courage to present their ideas to each other.


You need a range of skills and understanding to manage money successfully. We learnt about:

  • identifying the Australian notes and coins and how to add them together to make a particular amount; working out the change we should receive after making purchases
  • how to open up a bank account, including the 100 points of ID that is required to verify your identity, the age you must be to have one, how internet banking works.
  • shopping for groceries and household items within a budget
  • how to save money to buy phones or clothes, and how to look for specials in supermarkets
  • different ways you can receive bills (e.g. text, email) and how you can use apps to pay for bills
  • interpreting an electricity bill: how to work out how much you’ve used, when payment is due, and what to do when you need more time to make a payment
  • tax time – what you have to do.

At NOVA, we know that independent living skills support a working lifestyle. In turn, staying in employment helps people stay independent. That’s why we spend time working on these skills.

'I have learnt more at NOVA than I have in school, such as budgeting and travelling independently' – Natalie

Liverpool NOVA Transition

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