Paul is our Founder and Director who was born in Sydney. He has been a Cairns local since 1984. Paul became a quadriplegic through a swimming injury in 1988. He was also the Founding Director of the first advocacy incorporation in Cairns for people with disabilities. Paul has worked in government, real estate and ran a self-sufficient sanctuary on the tablelands – having four of six of Queensland’s missing frogs brought back from extinction. He also sings and recently went to Sydney and became a sitdown comedian.
Maree has worked in the Health sector since 1993 in both Tasmania and Queensland. She is very down-to-earth and has been with us since July 2015. Maree loves exploring and has travelled all over the globe, predominantly Germany and Thailand.
Leila was born in Australia and moved to Cairns at just seven years old. A Chef by trade, Leila’s culinary flare and has seen her working in a celebrity restaurant in London before returning to Australia with a new vision: to make a difference in an industry she felt needed change. Leila has a great sense of humour and spends her free time getting creative with arts and crafts.
Born and bred in North Queensland, April is Paul’s niece and our current CEO. April has a knack for numbers and will soon finish her studies to become a fully-fledged Accountant, with goals of making her way into Forensic Accounting in future. She is well-organised, a great cook, and enjoys spending her time with her friends and family. April has been with us since early 2013.
Born and raised in Innisfail, Luke travelled around Queensland before moving back to our beautiful part of the world to pursue new opportunities. With us since January 2018, he has broad technical expertise and especially has a knack for building and fixing computers. Luke is known for his laid-back attitude and his love for animals.
Carmen was born in Atherton Tablelands and has lived in the Cairns area her whole life, making her a ridgy-didg local! She enjoys meeting new people, having a laugh and spending her free time with her son and two dogs. Carmen has a compassionate, patient and tolerant nature – traits she has developed through becoming a mother and her experience travelling. She loves her job and is always keen for a chat.
Born in Los Angeles, Erica moved to the beautiful Cairns after spending some time as a Scuba Instructor in Perth. Formerly a preschool teacher, she has a kind and tolerant temperament which shines through in her work at Independence World. Erica loves sushi and spending her time outdoors.
Emma was born in FNQ and was a carer for Paul over 25 years ago. After spending the last 20 years in Melbourne focusing on her career in HR Organisational Development, she has now returned to her tropical homelands and has been the proud Manager at Independence World since March 2021. Emma is passionate about working with heart-lead businesses, creating a thriving team culture and an exceptional Client experience. She is a foodie and a green thumb, loves swimming and practicing Qi Gong.
Katie grew up in Cairns and has worked with Paul since she was 17. Saying that she always wanted to be a nurse and if she got a job with Paul, she would study to become one. Paul wrote a letter to the TAFE and Katie received a $6,500 Grant to study to become an Endorsed Enrolled Nurse. She Graduated and helped Paul to start his company. Katie went on to study at the JCU and is now a Registered Nurse and is now studying her Masters. She has worked with Paul since 2006.
Born in Miyazaki, South East Japan, Yuko discovered Cairns whilst travelling in 1998 and has lived here ever since. Yuko enjoys all things fitness, spending time with her children and has plans to travel more with her family in future. She loves Japanese television and music (especially Kat-Tun!)
Originally from Sydney, Vanessa moved to Cairns two years ago. Vanessa is very easy-going and friendly, with a passion for the outdoors and spending time with her three children. After doing some travelling, she came out of her shell and was inspired to swap her career in Finance for something she finds much more rewarding.
“I only can speak highly and positive about Independence World and the services they offer. I have been with them for a little bit more than a year now and it has been hassle free, personal and easy to deal with them. I have never had any issues with them and the Carers are well trained and prepared by the owner himself. The biggest advantage over other bigger personal Care agencies I find, is the owner himself living with a disability knows what the needs of his customers are and can relate to the different situation very well. Thumbs up from my side, would recommend IW to anyone who is in need of a helping hand.” Cairns, Queensland November 2016
“My relationship with Independence World has only been short, but in that short time they have been reliable and very professional. The reason I started using Independence World was because of how well they worked with their clients and no fuss attitude.” Cairns, Queensland February 2021
“The service from Independence World goes beyond what most care agencies would deliver. They treat me as an individual rather than another figure on their books, and have given me advice and support as only someone who has experienced the same difficulties can. They truly want to help, and if I had to use one word to describe them, it would be genuine.” Yeerongpilly, Queensland October 2016
Kevin Cocks AM
“My Compliments to Paul regarding both Jude and Gina for their professionalism and sense of humour, it was great working with them and it made my trip much easier. I think the culture that your organisation Independence World embeds, is highly reflected in both these ladies professionalism. Once again thank you for your support.” Queensland September 2017
Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner
“Yuko was polite, professional & did a good job. Holly was very polite, caring & had a very genuine friendly personality. I was very happy with her mannerism, her attitude to work & her feedback on what tasks she had performed & asking what else I would like done. Holly’s speed & quality of work was very good, the best I’ve had from all companies in every way. I am very happy with Holly.
You have some good genuine staff with caring attitudes, thank you Emma & Independence World.“ Cairns Queensland October 2021
Kim and Ariel
“At a time in our family’s life when quality support services were hard to find, we discovered Independence World. Within days of meeting management, we had a support team suited to our son’s needs. We found them to be very helpful and genuinely caring of our situation. We would not hesitate in recommending Independence World.” Trinity Beach, Queensland March 2014
I’ve been using the services of Independence World over the past 12 months and I’ve found The staff have exceeded my expectations in their flexibility and service delivery, I would highly recommend all of the services that they provide. Cairns, Queensland April 2022
My name is Anthony and I have had the pleasure of Support from Independence World for some time and I must admit, this organisation has been absolutely brilliant supporting me with activities. The guys I have encountered have been great and they are very accommodating to myself which is exactly what is needed. Cairns, Queensland April 2022
I found independence world only a couple of months ago and my life changed pretty significantly. I’m looking forward to every day these days cos they have some very cool people that work there and that’s really good. They seem more relaxed and less formal, don’t wear uniforms and stuff. Don’t go anywhere independence world cos I need you 😊😊😊😊😊 Cairns, Queensland April 2022
The staff from Independence World are beautiful inside and out. My support worker always has a smile for everyone that crosses her path and she goes above and beyond to help me with whatever needs to be done. She is extremely patient and understanding and I really don’t know what I would do without her. The management team always listen and strive for the best possible outcome for me. I appreciate their honesty and the respect they show me . Cairns, Queensland April 2022