Sep to Oct 2010 A voice for equity, inclusiveness and empowerment
How traffic lights brought a
Claiming your electricity rebate
woman Here’s to you
Paying tribute to carers
Wendy Adams is making Also in this issue:
a difference What next for the Bill of Rights?
SEAT gets to work
Family fun in Townsville
The Association in the noughties
OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE SPINAL INJURIES ASSOCIATION
Sep to Oct 2010
edition FROM THE
Home Hill crossing
Spotlight on research 7 n August we welcomed back the Governor-General Ms Quentin Bryce
Wendy Adams 10 Ms Bryce served as our patron for six years while she was Governor of
Queensland. It was a wonderful opportunity for Her Excellency to help us
Tribute to carers 12 continue our 50th anniversary celebrations and for us to thank her for her
patron, her commitment to disability issues remains strong. We continue to
value Her Excellency’s support and the time she gives to the Association.
Post Polio Week 20
This visit by the Governor-General also marked a new era for the Association.
type of event. Previously we have used the link for sharing information and
the advocate staff communication. We will be using this link much more now to engage our
publication of the Spinal Townsville area members and supporters and will continue to look to engage
Injuries Association our other regional members and supporters.
In July, the State Opposition Leader, John-Paul Langbroek, Shadow Disability
Services Minister, Andrew Cripps and Mr Cripps’ policy advisor, Tim Barnett
at a recent business function. CEO Mark Henley, John Mayo, Frances Porter
and I took the opportunity to discuss the National Disability Insurance Scheme
(NDIS) and help our visitors understand the challenges faced by people with
forward to continuing these discussions with both
the Opposition and Bligh government.
Your board is going to be very responsive to
the recommendations from our recent member
survey. Some changes are already being
implemented and l look forward to reporting to
you our new initiatives in the next few editions of
Medilaw is proudly supporting the advocate.
education and injury prevention
through the Spinal Injuries David Riley, President
Her Excellency and Robert Spencer
The advocate is sponsored by Medilaw
to contact to contact
The views expressed in the advocate do
Spinal Injuries Association. Vanessa Mannix Coppard PO Box 5651, West End 4101
PO Box 5651
West End QLD 4101 firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Sep to Oct 2010
accidents, and Stronger Together,
s this issue of the of assistance that they require. We will
designed to better meet the needs of
advocate goes to print, bring you more news of this soon.
people with a disability, their families
the results of the Federal
and carers in New South Wales.
Election are uncertain. What More welcome news is the government
is known is that,throughout announcement of the Medical Cooling
We recently recognised and thanked
the campaign, each of the and Heating Electricity Concession
those whose contributions make a
major parties made greater Scheme. This rebate is explained
real difference to the Association.
commitments to support for more fully on page 4. While it is not as
In June, we recognised the many
people with a disability than high as sought, it is a start and we will
volunteers, including our SEAT
during any other election pursue a better future outcome.
presenters, member network
campaign. Both Labor and the
facilitators, post polio support group
LNP indicated their support of The Productivity Commission has
convenors, and, of course, Board
a proposed National Disability ended the consultation period of its
members and others, who willingly
Insurance Scheme (NDIS), inquiry into a proposed long-term care
give so much of their time and
pending the outcome of the and support scheme for people with a
energy to the Association. In July,
Productivity Commission’s inquiry. severe disability. The Association made
we welcomed to the Woolloongabba
While these commitments are a submission and I know a number of
encouraging, it is only post- members responded individually to the
special event to acknowledge their
election that we will see how well Commission. The campaign for this
work with us. Many of our suppliers,
they are delivered. We will wait scheme -- which may take the form of
including TechnologyOne, Metro
and see, and keep you informed. a National Disability Insurance Scheme
Ford and Tailored Consulting, deliver
(NDIS) -- is gathering strength with the
exceptional service and additional
At a State level, the June budget appointment of both State and Federal
support and it was great to have a
offered some good news. An campaign coordinators. Former New
chance to thank them.
extra $3.2 million of funding for South Wales government minister
personal support and housing John Della Bosca takes up the Federal
Results of the recent user needs
role and brings a wealth of experience
extra $1.5 million allocated to in disability, being respons ble for
University, are being considered by
the Spinal Cord Injury Response the introduction of the New South
the Association. You can read more
program) is a welcome outcome Wales Lifetime Care Authority, which
about this on page 14. Thanks to
that will help people with spinal provides treatment, rehabilitation and
everyone who participated in this
cord injuries live with the levels care to people injured in motor vehicle
Your Orthotic Solution
Improved Comfort, Safety and Stability for Sitting, Standing or Walking
Orthotic Solutions help clients with weakness and instability resulting from Polio or spinal injuries.
We design, manufacture and service Orthoses ranging from pressure relieving insoles to custom made
AFOs, KAFOs and Calipers using plastics, lamination techniques or traditional metal and leather designs.
Services provided by Orthotic Solutions can be funded by MASS, DVA or Workcover for eligible persons,
or by private funding arrangements including Private health insurance.
Please call us on 07 3356 4676 for more information and to make
an appointment to visit our Stafford or Holland Park clinic.
Sep to Oct 2010 3
The Medical Cooling and Heating Electricity Concession
Scheme: what it means for you
Get your form from www.qld.gov.au
ontinued increases in Queensland resident and have a
electricity costs have qualifying condition (which includes The form can be obtained from the
put pressure on many spinal cord injury) that requires cooling Queensland Government website
households, particularly those or heating to prevent the symptoms of (visit www.qld.gov.au and search
that include people living on low their condition worsening. They must for ‘medical cooling’) or by emailing
incomes. The situation is worse email@example.com
for people, such as many of be residing at their principal place
our members, whose medical
condition makes them dependent air conditioning unit. How do I receive the rebate?
on air conditioners or heaters hold a current Pensioner Quarterly payments will be made
to keep their core temperature Concession Card (issued by by electronic funds transfer to the
stable and their health in check. Centrelink or Veterans’ Affairs), applicant’s nominated bank account.
Now a new rebate from the State or a current Health Care Card
Government will help ease the (issued by Centrelink), and Do I have to reapply?
burden, offering $216 a year to You will have to reapply for the
people whose injury or illness the payment of the relevant concession every two years.
means they need to use electrical component of the electricity bill
appliances to help control their permanent medical condition will
body temperature. The rebate is worth not need to obtain a new medical
What is the concession? $216 a year.
status or living arrangements remain
How do I apply? unchanged.
assistance to low-income
To apply for the concession, complete
Queenslanders with a medical
the application form and arrange for You will be contacted six months
condition which requires the use
your medical practitioner to complete before your concession approval
of electricity for cooling or heating.
It is designed to assist individuals expires.
will have to meet any costs involved
with the increased electricity costs
with this yourself). A parent or legal How can I get more information?
incurred by frequent operation
guardian can complete an application
of an air conditioner in order to
regulate body temperature. The and search for ‘medical cooling’, email
years. A legal guardian or person firstname.lastname@example.org
concession is not limited to one
holding a power of attorney may also
person per household, but all
complete the application on behalf of
applicants must meet all of the
an adult applicant.The person with the
eligibility criteria outlined below.
qualifying medical condition must be
listed on the form as the applicant.
Who is eligible?
The applicant must be a
Gala dinner goes gold
Don’t miss Celebrate Spinal Injuries Awareness Week with us
Join us on Saturday, 13 November at the Hilton Hotel, Brisbane to celebrate
a splash of gold – celebrates the Spinal Injuries Association’s 50th ‘golden’
Soul singing sensation Lisa Hunt is returning for an encore performance; the
special guest speakers to entertain and inform. Tickets go on sale this month –
book online at www.spinal.com.au, email email@example.com or call
4 Sep to Oct 2010
The opening of a highway crossing in a Queensland town is anything but pedestrian.
ome Hill is a North Queensland A three-year campaign that began Hill. In years to come, we’ll be able to
town, just south of Ayr and with a cup of tea in the backyard say we were here when Home Hill’s
home to about 3,000 people, of a member saw the Association’s
including several Association Executive Manager — Community
members. It’s known as the water Relations John Mayo join forces with John Mayo said the opening of the
capital of Australia and its town logo Scott to advocate for what would be crossing had implications beyond
boasts that the sugar cane town is Home Hill.
‘the sweetest place in the world’. By a button-activated, time-controlled
all accounts, Home Hill has always “It is hard to believe in this day and
been a pretty good place to live permit the safe crossing of the main age that pedestrians are locked out
-- except that you couldn’t get from street by pedestrians. of the right to participate in their town
one side to the other without risking because there is no safe designated
your life. Association board member Designing the crossing was a pedestrian access to cross the main
and Townsville Member Network collaborative effort involving Main street.
Roads, the Association and the
Burdekin Shire Council. Main Roads “It was critical for the Association to
“The main street of Home Hill is Minister Craig Wallace descr bed the engage in this matter and establish
the Bruce Highway (Highway 1) – it process as a great example of ‘what the precedent in Home Hill to secure
divides the eastern side of the town, can be achieved when everyone pulls people’s rights. As part of that journey
where most people live, and the together’. we have discovered there are other
western side of the town which houses Queensland towns with no pedestrian
many businesses and services only In June, Scott joined Mr. Wallace in crossing in their main street — and
available on that side.The lack of a opening the landmark crossing that, in
safe, convenient crossing denied being accessible to all, has effectively from Home Hill’s outcome.”
Home Hill residents equal opportunity brought the Home Hill community
to public facilities and services, while together. John says the dilemma for any town
property owners and tenants missed without a safe crossing is that there
out on sales.” “It means we have a safer access for will be some business services on
the whole community, not just one side of the main street that are
for those of us in wheelchairs exclusive, ie. not available on the
Helen Basse and Scott Stidston (front)
— it’s been a long time opposite side. In Home Hill that
with Craig Wallace and David Atkinson
coming,” said Scott. included the only women’s clothing
shop, banking, insurance, information
Resident Helen Basse said
the crossing meant she could John explained that the crossing
resume her volunteer work at was a long time coming because of
the town’s information centre. initial reticence from Main Roads,
the Council and the local business
“I have limited mobility and this association.
crossing has opened up my
life — I can come up into town “The matter had to be tested in the
now and easily use the public Anti-Discrimination Commission.
facilities and cross safely to the When agreement was reached
information centre.” through conciliation, the funding and
design took time.
Craig Wallace paid tribute to
the efforts of the Association “Now the crossing is installed,
and others in making the everyone is saying it’s great — and
crossing a reality. Minister Wallace was genuinely happy
when he and Scott Stidston jointly
“The real heroes on this historic
day are those community
members who drove this “The Association was pleased too”.
project from the start,” he said.
“It’s an historic day for Home
Sep to Oct 2010 5
bill of rights
WHAT HAVE WE GOT INSTEAD?
embers may recall the energy bau ked at the recommendation for said Centre Director Professor Sarah
the Association applied in a Human Rights Act that would allow Joseph. Professor Joseph noted it
regards to Australia adopting judges to assess Commonwealth was strange that the Government
the UN Human Rights Convention laws, policies and practices for human chose to establish the committee, only
as part of the process to achieve an rights compliance”. (CathNews.com, to reject its major recommendation.
Australian Bill of Rights. 23 April, 2010).
The Shadow Attorney-General George
The Rudd Labor Government rejected “In the long run the question will Brandis has said the Government has
the establishment of a Human be whether or not politicians, thrown away $2 million endorsing a
when dealing with complex and concept which never had community
controversial issues such as asylum support, stating that Mr McClelland
National Human Rights Consultation seekers or Aboriginal rights or backed the move towards a Bill of
panel, chaired by law professor Father detention questions with security, Rights, only to have his own party
faithful to those obligations when
The introduction of a Bill of Rights there’s not the prospect of some
or Human Rights Act was what judicial oversight,” he said. and truly to the Charter of Rights mast
the disability sector wanted and and he’s been humiliated by his own
importantly, such an Act was the major Professor Brennan stated that if the Cabinet,” he said.
recommendation made by the panel. Government’s game plan proved to
Instead, the Government’s response, be ineffective, the case for a Human
announced by Attorney-General the Rights Act would only become Opposition’s position on the
Hon Robert McClelland MP proposed stronger. human rights issue, stating that the
a large expansion of Government Opposition was encouraged by the
spending on the human rights Dr Helen Watchirs, ACT Human Rights fact the Government did not endorse
‘industry’, in both the Government and and Discrimination Commissioner, the Bill, reminding the public about the
non-Government sectors. along with the Australian Human amount of time, energy and money
Rights Group (AHRG), both agreed that has been wasted in attempting to
Mr McClelland said the Government more human rights education and a support the idea.
believes a human rights framework, new Parliamentary committee are a
rather than legislation, is more positive progression towards better Points from the Government’s
appropriate, and that all new bills protection of human rights, but stated proposed Human Rights
introduced to Parliament will have that these actions by the Government Framework:
to be compatible with Australia’s
international human rights obligations. Human Rights Act.
the Hon Robert McClelland, published
“The Government believes that Liberty Victoria expressed further a document called Protection and
the enhancement of human rights disappointment at the Government’s Promotion of Human Rights in
should be done in a way that as far rejection of key human rights Australia, upon receiving the National
as possible unites rather than divides recommendations made by the Human Rights Consultation panel’s
our community, and the framework is Brennan committee, descr bing the recommendations.
designed to achieve that outcome,” he refusal to support a Human Rights
said. Act as an indicator the Government “The Consultation has demonstrated
does not consider human rights a top that there are strong views on the
“Nevertheless, as you’ll see, the priority. merits of a Human Rights Act. It has
also shown that there are many other
recommendations of the human “We are profoundly disappointed that ways to protect and promote human
rights consultation committee and we the Government has decided not rights including through enhanced
believe [it] will make a real difference.” to adopt a Human Rights Charter. education and improved parliamentary
The powers of the Australian Human scrutiny.
Leading human rights activists Rights Commission, except in the area
have expressed disappointment in of expanding its education role, have The Government is committed to
the Government’s response. Law not been enhanced. It also seems that
Professor, Father Frank Brennan a number of the committee’s other
stated that “the Rudd Government has recommendations have been ignored,” foster an Australian culture where
6 Sep to Oct 2010
the fundamental human rights must preserve the sovereignty of
of all people are respected and Parliament
protected, and access to information and
ensure a range of mechanisms education about human rights is
are available to promote and critical.”
protect those rights. (The Hon Robert McClelland, MP
In April 2010 the Rudd Government
respect for human rights
underpins Australian society and
issued a document known as
our future as a safe and inclusive
This framework document contains
more can be done to ensure explanations which describe ONLINE.
fundamental human rights are exactly what this framework holds
considered by Government; for the Australian public instead If you would prefer to
any change to enhance the of a Bill of Rights. For more read the advocate online, go to
protection and promotion of information, visit www.ag.gov.au/ http://www.spinal.com.au/in-the-
human rights and responsibilities humanrightsframework. news/advocate-magazine/
The Community Yellow Envelope
An exciting new initiative in North Queensland health care
It is because of all these issues that Townsville health and community service providers have initiated the Yellow Envelope Project.
health directive) from the person’s home to hospital, and back again when the person is discharged.
providers. Training commenced in May 2010 with all of these groups now trained.
Staff from about 20 disability provider agencies in Townsville (including the Spinal
injuries Association) have participated in the training, and the Association is using the
envelope with the approximately 50 people we work with in the community.
The project will be evaluated in October 2010, incorporating feedback from people
with disabilities, their carers, older people, community providers, GPs and hospital
and ambulance staff.
The Yellow Envelope Project is funded by Queensland Health through the
Connecting Healthcare in Communities (CHIC), and is a community and health
provider partnership. The Spinal Injuries Association is a member of the project
working group in Townsville. The Yellow Envelope has been successfully undertaken
and is operating across community and residential care services in New South Wales
and now in Townsville. If the Townsville project is a success, the Association will
explore ways to establish the Yellow Envelope Project in other parts of Queensland.
For enquiries or further details, please feel free to contact Cathy Lengyel, NQ
Manager on 07 4755 1755.
Sep to Oct 2010 7
Why spinal cord injury research enough to establish the appropriate Kwon and his colleagues also tried to
often disappoints pre-clinical evidence. The majority of pinpoint some of the bias in the way pre-
Interest in spinal injury research respondents considered that large animal clinical research results are interpreted.
to protect and repair the damaged models, such as cats, dogs, rabbits, One issue was the problem that negative
sheep, etc, were necessary to obtain results are generally not published. One
decades. We are all aware that there meaningful pre-clinical evidence. In the
are unproven and experimental case of invasive cell transplant therapies it can cast on researchers, especially
procedures being offered around the the addition of primate models was when the research is the main focus of
world, which have been attracting a also deemed necessary. Some of the their career or place of work. Another
lot of community, as well as media, issues with this kind of comprehensive reason may be the reluctance of high
attention. Nevertheless researchers experimentation are the accessibility impact journals to publish such data.
and clinicians are still working hard and availability of these types of models. Whatever the reason, not publicising
The paper also discusses the enormous negative results slows progress because
for spinal cord injury. Often these expense involved with conducting knowing what doesn’t work can be
treatments are felt to be just ‘around these types of experiments. Kwon and as important as what does and, if it is
the corner’, although we have all his colleagues commented that “the unknown, the same studies may be
heard of promising outcomes from repeated unnecessarily. The survey also
pre-clinical studies which then fail large animal or primate studies simply highlighted concerns about modifying or
when they reach human trials. unattainable.” repeating results to obtain the desired
outcomes. Respondents were divided
Canadian researcher Dr Brian Kwon and colleagues surveyed clinicians on the need for researchers being ‘blind’
Kwon and colleagues have and scientists about the types of models when assessing experimental or control
published a survey of the opinions that were required to obtain clinically groups.
and perspectives of 324 clinicians meaningful evidence and found there was
and scientists working to develop a need for different types of models to Spinal cord injury clinicians and
promising interventions which will be tested, as well as different severities researchers are driven by one goal
translate into effective treatments for of injury, so the variation in human injury – to discover effective treatments for
people with spinal cord injuries. The could be replicated. For potential trials on individuals with a spinal cord injury.
aims of the survey were to establish cervical injuries there was seen to be an Currently, promising pre-clinical
what pre-clinical evidence is needed interventions often go to trial without
to get a treatment into a successful cervical injury model. The contusion injury replication by different labs or duplication
clinical trial, how this evidence could model was thought to best represent in different animal models. Kwon and
be obtained and to identify some human spinal cord injuries due to the fact his colleagues have uncovered some
of the biases that are involved in that most injuries in people are caused by interesting information on the opinions
interpreting this evidence. They a sudden blunt trauma that bruises, rather and perspectives of clinicians and
discuss the similarities with the stroke than cuts, the cord. Respondents were scientists. They suggest that a framework
community, where inconsistent and asked to predict the time window between for guiding pre-clinical studies would
sometimes inadequate pre-clinical injury and treatment in animals that be helpful and stress that the extensive
experimentation resulted in many would be relevant to humans. For acute dialogue between spinal cord injury
treatments failing in clinical trials. (early) interventions, the time window of researchers and translators needs to
hours to days was thought to be similar continue.
As a response to these failures in animals and people. However, for
the stroke community introduced chronic trials, where treatments may This ar icle is a review of this academic
‘evidentiary milestones’. It is clear
that spinal cord injury research lacks majority thought a delay of six weeks
clear guidelines or a practical and to three months was acceptable in Community. By Brian K. Kwon, Jessica
realistic framework to maximise the animals; however another large section Hillyer, and Wolfram Tetzlaff. Journal of
chances of developing treatments of respondents required a delay of 12
that will work for individuals with a months or more. Clinically meaningful
spinal cord injury. evidence was thought to consist of an
improvement in behavioural ability, which
The authors suggest the spinal can include hind-limb locomotor function
cord injuries research community and reduction in neuropathic pain. There
needs to establish ‘how much is was a strong requirement to replicate
enough?’. There was no doubt results in an independent laboratory Please note that research news is
about the necessity of live animal before a treatment is moved into a clinical included for information purposes only.
experimentation but it was apparent trial. The Spinal Injuries Association does not
that rodent models were not always
professional medical advice.
Sep to Oct 2010
support of the SEAT program.”
Funds raised from SEAT at WORK
presentations are invested into the
school-based SEAT program which
shares crucial safety messages with
children throughout Queensland. The
to speak to 120,000 primary and high
At a glance
he Association’s SEAT at has made me have a look at my life Of those people who sustain a work-
WORK program, which and where I can mitigate risks to avoid
is all about sharing injury possible injuries occurring. It is easy to 70% never return to work
prevention messages and raising sit in a site induction and think you know 60% are aged between 25 and 34
disability awareness, is helping everything but when you see the effects years
reduce spinal cord injuries from the on a disabled person’s life and realise it
boardroom to the worksite. could happen to anyone, then it makes
you have a closer look at your own life
and pay more attention to inductions and
The program’s goal to reduce
safety issues in general.”
Queensland’s rate of spinal cord
injuries sustained ‘on the job’ has Watpac also donates funds from its
been bolstered by the ongoing workplace vending machines to the
commitment to workplace safety by Assocation.
Watpac and ENERGEX, SEAT at
WORK’s strongest supporters. ENERGEX invites the SEAT at WORK
team to give presentations twice a year to
Construction and development each induction of new apprentices. The
giant Watpac has invited SEAT at team has also visited depots to speak to
WORK presenters Robert Spencer other workers on the importance of not Lessons with a laugh at
and Geoff Lemon to speak to staff cutting corners. Workers have praised the ENERGEX
‘honesty and genuineness’ of presenters,
importance of workplace safety and while one described the presentation
the consequences of sustaining as ‘the best I have had while working at
a permanent spinal cord injury. ENERGEX’.
Managing Director Greg Kempton
its goal of being a good corporate Tarvit said SEAT at WORK reinforced the
citizen. messages given to apprentices during
their initial six-month training which
“We’re proud to be supporters of focused on safety.
the Spinal Injuries Association, not
just because of the good work the “Seeing and hearing someone who
Association does but also for the has been injured brings it home to
value it adds to our organisation,” the apprentices and shows them the
said Mr Kempton. consequences of their actions. It makes
them realise accidents really do happen.”
“SEAT offers our employees a
real-life example of people who’ve SEAT Marketing Manager Sheila
sustained a serious permanent Andrews says the support of Watpac and
injury who speak honestly about the ENERGEX is invaluable to the SEAT
trauma they’ve experienced and the program and shows the companies’
challenges they face in their everyday strong focus on safety.
“Watpac and ENERGEX have
demonstrated their commitment to
of a bad decision.” Mr Kempton said providing the highest possible safety
Watpac believed that the ongoing standards for their employees and in
relationship with SEAT would help driving home the message that every
keep safety at the forefront of individual has a responsibility for their
workers’ minds. own safety and that of their colleagues.
Feedback from staff has shown “We applaud Watpac and ENERGEX for
the impact of the presentation their ongoing commitment to reducing
workplace injuries and their continued
Sep to Oct 2010
MEMBER PROFILE Wonder
How much difference can one person make? Lots, when that person is Toowoomba’s
own Wonder Woman, Wendy Adams.
want to go out. My friends invited me Society. She loves Toowoomba
ou probably recognise out but I didn’t want to go. I wanted to and says it’s a fairly accessible city,
Wendy Adams. The vibrant stay home. After a while they stopped although it wasn’t always this way.
Toowoomba member is asking. And I didn’t want to be around Much of its accessibility initiatives are
a busy woman – she is a SEAT people in wheelchairs. I wanted to be due to Wendy’s access advisory role
presenter, runs the Toowoomba around ‘normal’ people.” with the Council as well as her own
Member Network, volunteers efforts to improve her ability to get
at Toowoomba’s Early ventures to the shops with her around.
mum and sister didn’t bolster Wendy’s
board of Warrina Services courage. “We were at Kmart and I “I remember a friend and I went out
(an organisation that supports remember an old lady actually moved and marked down all the broken
people with a disability to live me out of the way to get to the red
independently) and has acted light specials!” them all,” she says.
as an access advisor to the
Toowoomba Regional Council. She laughs about it now (Wendy’s Despite the rewards of being
Why so much? “It keeps me on always laughing) but those where everyone knows your name
my toes,” says Wendy with her experiences left their mark and she is (especially Wendy’s), regional living
ever-present smile. “And a lot of keen now to tell newly injured people, brings extra challenges for people with
the things I do, I do because I like particularly young women, that ‘there a disability.
is light at the end of the tunnel’. She
has visited Brisbane’s Spinal Injuries “Getting help is harder,” admits
Part of Wendy’s drive to help Unit and spends a lot of time advising Wendy. “Getting equipment is one of
people comes from her own people by phone of the assistance the hardest things when you have to
experiences. Sustaining available to them. “People are always pay for the cost of shipping it to you.
quadriplegia in a car accident at taking my number down and passing
the age of 17, Wendy recalls the it on to friends they know who need
dark days following. “I always said advice.” access ble public transport when I
I never got depressed. But I know
now, looking back, I did. Wendy’s a country girl, a shearer’s survived back then but we did.”
daughter from Dirranbandi on
“It was such a relief to get out of Queensland’s Western Downs, who Wendy notes that community attitudes
the hospital – I hated the hospital moved to Toowoomba at 15 to work in towards people with spinal cord
– but when I got home I didn’t the mailroom of the Heritage Building injuries have ‘improved tenfold’ since
10 Sep to Oct 2010
Wendy in the What’s Up in
Tell 50 in our 50th year!
EAT and the Motor Accident
(MAIC) were excited to last
month launch the campaign.
With the most common cause of
spinal cord injuries due to road
trauma and the most common
demographic to sustain this type
of injury between the ages of 15
and 30, is aimed at high
school students who view a SEAT
her own accident more than 20 years She says Member Networks serve a presentation between August and
ago. valuable role in getting information November.
and updates out to people, citing
“We’re not hidden in our houses the recent Government heating and
anymore. We’re out in the community cooling rebate as an example.
encourage the thousands of
so there’s more awareness.
students they speak to in that
Sometimes people will still come Wendy also works at Toowoomba’s
four-month period to download a
towards me with a frown on their
short video from our website, which
face; it’s l ke they don’t know how to she is currently the editor of the
contains powerful injury prevention
approach me. So I just smile.” organisation’s bimonthly magazine.
messages about the realities of
road trauma. These students will
a week. I absolutely love it. I enjoy
Wendy in Toowoomba’s then be encouraged to share
meeting up with the other guys and
Ruthven Street this video with at least 50 of their
providing advice to people.”
friends (given it’s the Spinal Injuries
Association’s 50th anniversary) via
It’s hard to believe Wendy has much
Facebook, Twitter, blogs or any
other social networking site that
one of her many community roles,
her favourite shows (which include
, Students who share the video will
Housewives and Home and Away), then go into four monthly draws to
going to the movies or feeding her win a $500 cash prize!
addiction to Facebook.
Once the video goes online, it can
“Facebook is the best thing that ever be easily shared among young
happened!” says Wendy, who says people throughout Queensland and
she’s caught up with many old friends beyond – an amazing legacy for
on the social networking site, including SEAT and MAIC.
some she hadn’t seen since before
One of Wendy’s great passions is her accident. See the video at www.spinal.com.au.
her role as a presenter for the Spinal
Education Awareness Team (SEAT), Keeping up with friends is important
a program she discovered more than for the self-confessed ‘people person’
10 years ago while living in Childers. who actively works to improve her
“I love SEAT. I love going in and community, not just for people with
teaching the kids about being safe. I a disability but for everyone. Wendy
always say, if I can help one child from dreams of a society where everyone
being injured, it’s worth it.” is accepted for who they are, a
While Wendy jokes that she was favourite sayings, featured in the
‘roped into’ becoming Toowoomba’s
Member Network coordinator in
2005, it’s a role she enjoys although “One day I hope people don’t see Star of Tell 50, Finbar Mills (right) ,
admits ‘it’s a big job’ and it can be my disability. They just see me as on the set of the video
challenging to engage local members. a person and they don’t see my
“Toowoomba’s the sort of town where wheelchair at all.”
people don’t want to come out of their
warm houses and go to meetings!”
Sep to Oct 2010 11
Ben says sometimes carers need to
‘take a step back and realise it’s up to
the injured person to take control of
their life. It’s their journey’.
Injury: Post polio syndrome
Carer: Ellie (wife)
Harry and Ellie Chalk, of Goodna on
the Brisbane-Ipswich border, have
Harry and Ellie Chalk
two daughters, Tammy and Robyne
been using a wheelchair for about the
Here’s to you
last 20 years and Ellie, 56, has been
his carer ‘since day dot’.
“We’ve only had paid carers for about
10 years. We receive four hours help
a day but it’s not really enough. We’ve
Carers are the unpaid – and often unsung – heroes of our community. put in for more hours but we keep
getting knocked back. They don’t tell
ost people with a spinal “I always let Teri know that I’d be us why,” says Ellie.
cord injury require at having a shower in the next half an
least some support as hour or so, so she has plenty of time Harry’s health is not good and he
they go about their daily lives. For to do it. needs care 24 hours a day, leaving
many of these people, the person Ellie with few opportunities to go out
who provides this support – their “I try not to be too heavily reliant on by herself or look after her own needs.
carer – is an unpaid spouse, my partner, not that she would mind – “I’m worn out. I don’t get a break at all.
family member or friend who often she would go to the ends of the earth I don’t get resentful, because I’m not
carries out this role continuously for me.” that way inclined but I do put myself
without a break. We spoke to three last.”
members about their experiences. One of the things Ben loves most is
when Teri gives him a massage. “‘Teri
Ben Riley has shown me a lot about caring for
Injury: Paraplegia my body, especially my paralysed
Carer: Teri (partner) area, and it’s always good to have “I like to do things fast. For me, carers
your muscles and posture adjusted.” need to be able to come in and pick
Ben says he concentrates on what he up the job very quickly and understand
partner Teri and their daughter, can do, not what he can’t. what my needs are.”
Charli, 6 in Gympie where Ben
works as an occupational health “I mean, when me and Teri and Charli Harry and Ellie are critical of the
can support each other throughout amount of paid support available to
Ben is also a SEAT presenter and our lives, our poss bilities are endless people with a severe disability.
does some other motivational and all of a sudden the impossible
speaking at events. He describes becomes possible. There is no ‘I don’t “It could improve,” says Ellie. “Put the
himself as ‘100% independent’ – think I can’ – it’s more ‘How can I?’” politicians in the same situation and
he lived by himself before he met Ben’s mum works as a carer and he I don’t think they’d cope. They sit in
Teri – but says ‘when someone’s says he is full of admiration for the
there, I will use their services to work they do. idea.”
the best of my abilities’.
“How can you put it into words? Despite the challenges of their
While Ben can handle most of his Carers offer so much more than just situation, Harry and Ellie share a
personal care himself, he does a clean bum and sanitised hands, it strong relationship, a great sense of
need Teri to assist in tasks such can be a deep level of companionship, humour and enjoy their life together.
as get the shower head off the trust and understanding. “I never worry about anything, I just
hook so he can have a shower get on with it,” says Harry.
or hold his wheelchair still when “It’s important for the person cared
transferring on a steep slope for to realise that that the support “There’s no point sitting in the corner
or gutter, and says these are worker is working in a vulnerable and moping about it. Have a bit of fun.
examples of ‘where give and take confronting situation as well and they, I don’t get out much but we do all
comes in’. in turn, need to be supported.” sorts of things at home. We’ve got
the computers. I love music. And Ellie
12 Sep to Oct 2010
often does little building projects. Mary. “We have our arguments and While Peter and Mary say they ‘have
“Carers do a great job. It can disagreements,” offers Peter but, says everything we really need’, they agree
Mary, “We’ve over it in a moment.” that the carer’s pension could be more
street and I try to be supportive and that they are lucky that a friend
of Ellie.” Peter, who worked for many years, and Peter’s sister, Helen, help with
can handle a lot of his personal care some home maintenance tasks such
Peter Hamilton himself and still drives to the local as mowing and vacuuming.
Injury: Paraplegia shops. He keeps busy with computers,
Carer: Mary (mother) music and TV while Mary spends “We’re lucky. Some people could have
most mornings volunteering as an problems.”
Peter and Mary Hamilton live English teacher at the local Baptist
in Sunnybank on Brisbane’s Church or working in the canteen of
southside in a house they bought the QEII Hospital. She was involved More than one in eight Australians
for its accessibility after an in the Sunnybank Theatre Group for are carers
accident left a then 21-year-old 20 years and still enjoys going to see
The house marked their move to “There is so much you can do if you
‘the big smoke’ from home town want to,” says Mary. “People should
Jandowae in the state’s west. never say they’re bored.”
While eligible, Peter has never More than one-third of carers
had any paid carers and he and While happy in her role as carer of her
his mother describe themselves 67-year-old son, Mary admits that she
as ‘very independent’.
be perfectly honest, I’m quite happy
“I have a routine and I’m quite to be at home”) and doesn’t want to
capable,’ says Mary. “We’ve consider what will happen when she is
lived as normal a life as anybody no longer able to look after Peter.
could. While we can do it were caring for.
ourselves, we will.” “I don’t think about it. I know it’s there
but I don’t think about it.”
Mother and son are ‘always www.carersaustralia.com.au
laughing and smiling’, says
Announcing new sponsor Medilaw
he Spinal Injuries Association is thrilled to announce it has a new sponsor – Medilaw, a national company with its
national clients. Medilaw’s partnership with the Association will see it supporting our education and injury prevention
work and sponsoring the advocate.
Association CEO Mark Henley said that Medilaw’s sponsorship would help the Association advocate for people with a spinal
cord injury and continue to share injury prevention messages with Queensland children.
“We are delighted with Medilaw’s generous support and are particularly excited about their desire to build a long-term
sustainable partnership,” said Mark.
year. The more children our presenters can reach out to with their personal and very powerful stories, the better our chance
to further reducing injuries that will have a lifetime of consequences.
“It is fantastic that Medilaw shares our commitment to injury prevention and education. As we are celebrating our 50th
anniversary this year, they are also celebrating a special anniversary – their 10th anniversary.”
results of injuries, illnesses and disability, including spinal cord injury,” he said
“We look forward to the opportunity to work with the Spinal Injuries Association to make a difference to those people living
with a spinal cord injury and to support the education of children to help prevent future injuries.”
Medilaw’s sponsorship of the advocate will also help improve the content of the magazine by making available a pool
of medical experts. Medilaw’s specialist consultants include orthopaedic surgeons, pain specialists, neurosurgeons,
psychiatrists, urologists and respiratory physicians.
Sep to Oct 2010 13
MEMBERS’ SURVEY REVEALS
Housing, access and equipment top the list
survey of more than 1,700 members and clients of the Association has revealed the major issues facing
the Association; services available to people with a disability; policy and funding; healthcare; regional needs; and the
experiences of families of people with a spinal cord injury.
The Association’s Executive Manager — Client Services Frances Porter thanked everyone who had completed the survey
“We appreciate the time people have taken to contribute their thoughts on how we can improve and best support and
empower people living with a spinal cord injury in Queensland,” she said.
“Understanding what our members and clients are most concerned about will help focus our advocacy efforts and decide
where our services can be enhanced and expanded.”
Frances said that one of the most str king points to emerge from the survey results was the high number of members who
reported that their meets were not being adequately met.
“About one-third of members are not getting all the services they need, with many saying cost is the reason,” said Frances.
“The researchers who carried out the survey noted a big difference between the ability to cope of people injured before 2005,
when the Spinal Cord Injury Response (SCIR) program was introduced, and those eligible for this funding. People without
“This issue highlights the urgent need for the introduction of a National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) to provide long-
term support for people with a severe disability and ensure they do not have to go without the services they need to enjoy a
good quality of life.”
The survey was supplemented by focus groups held in Cairns, Bundaberg and Brisbane, including one with families of
current Spinal Injuries Unit patients. The families, all of whom had come from outside Brisbane, spoke of their stress, isolation
and alienation and suggested that opportunities to meet with others in a similar situation might be helpful.
The Association’s Executive Management team have been analysing the information from the review to formulate future
strategic plans to address the issues raised by members and clients. Lack of services or coordination of services in regional
areas was particularly highlighted by the focus groups as well as in the survey, so different strategies are being investigated
and considered to increase the services to people outside the Southeast corridor.
CEO Mark Henley says he appreciates the honesty of members who participated in the survey and focus groups.
“This information will ensure that we take on board, not only the positive feedback but also the negative, and we will continue
to keep people updated with future developments through articles in the advocate.”
Travel and Transport
have transport that is reliable to get us out of our homes. Taxis can pick you up three hours late and often not at all. Buses
are also unreliable. The taxi fares are too expensive even with the taxi cards. Our limited income is taking this out of our
Parking and Parking Permits
Accommodation and Housing: “Ensure all people with disabilities have appropriate housing and personal care support.”
14 Sep to Oct 2010
Regional services: “We pay the same membership, we are the same members but we don’t get anything in return. We need
a base closer.”
Brisbane and Moreton regions were home to the highest number of respondents (65%), followed by the Wide
Bay/Burnett region and Far North Queensland
Most respondents were aged over 40 years
Almost half of respondents sustained their injury more than 30 years ago
Approximately one-third of respondents had some needs that are not being met. About half of these people
cite cost as the reason, while more than a quarter say that the services they need are not available where they
When asked to name the main issues facing people with a spinal cord injury, housing (63%) topped the list,
followed by access (61.4%) and equipment (60%).
Respondents said the Association’s main strengths are advocacy; service; and employment support
Respondents said the biggest gaps in services available to them were in the areas of physical therapy;
personal care; and gardening and home help/maintenance
When asked if they could change one thing to make life better for people with disabilities in Queensland,
accessibility; policies and funding; and public awareness were the top responses
Sep to Oct 2010 15
CELEBRATING 50 YEARS
The noughties saw the Association become a force to be reckoned with and a
recognised leader in disability advocacy.
disability, urging people to ‘stand up to 2005.
millennium brought challenges a government that is under-nourished
and was marked by milestones in both knowledge and spirit.’ The While post polio syndrome (PPS)
that highlighted the Association’s Association also lobbied for increases members will tell you that the battle
in the Medical Aids Subsidy Scheme to make the medical profession fully
government and advocating for (MASS), with John Mayo talking to the recognise their condition is ongoing,
members. media about a 16-year-old boy waiting much effort during the noughties
seven months for a new wheelchair and was put into increasing knowledge
Growth was a key theme of the a woman faced with being admitted to of PPS among doctors and other
decade with the Association adding hospital when she was forced to wait health professions. The beginning of
several more services such as its Peer four months for a shower chair. the decade saw Christine Tilley and
Support program, the Community other post polio members work with
Linking program and expanded During the 2004 Federal election Queensland Health to develop an
others such as Employment Options campaign, disappointed by a lack of educational and training package that
and the Spinal Advisory Service. By commitment from both major parties went some way towards increasing
2002 the Association was outgrowing regarding disability, CEO Mark Henley awareness of the condition in the
its Kangaroo Point building and the wrote letters to then Prime Minister
search was on for bigger premises. John Howard and Opposition Leader drop in members reporting a lack of
The Association sold the property Mark Latham describing their stance awareness of their health issues.
for more than four times what it paid as ‘disgraceful and embarrassing’.
for it and moved to what was then Pressure from the Association and the The Spinal Education Awareness Team
known as Allgas House and what is Unmet Needs Campaign saw every (SEAT) continued to grow throughout
political party then releasing a disability the noughties, visiting its one-millionth
Woolloongabba. student in 2005. SEAT entered the 21st
election campaign. century with the beginning of its multi-
media presentations and the release of
February 2005 coincided with the launch Later that year, the issue around its DVD. In 2010, one of
of the Association’s new name. After adequate support for people with a SEAT’s founding presenters Wayne Leo
years of debate, the Paraplegic and spinal cord injury reached a dramatic reached the milestone of speaking to
Quadriplegic Association of Queensland climax. Supported by the Association, 250,000 Queensland children.
became the Spinal Injuries Association. six patients of the Spinal Injuries Unit,
Recalled Des Ryan, who was all with quadriplegia, refused to leave Over the last 10 years, the Association
the Unit until adequate at-home support has worked hard to increase its regional
previous name – wow, what a mouthful! was available to them. It was a stand-off presence. In 2001, the Association
And people didn’t know what it was. We that received national media coverage bought land in Townsville to build a new
needed to rebrand … It was one of the on programs including
best things we did.” and Channel 10 news, and resulted impressive fundraising, particularly by
in what would be a milestone for both Judge Bob Pack, Fraser Montgomery
A new name helped raise the the Association and people living with and others in the NQ Supporters
a spinal cord injury in Queensland.
stronger now that at any other time The introduction, in 2005, of the Spinal Board member and Townsville Member
in its history. The support of high- Cord Injury Response (SCIR) program Network Facilitator Scott Stidston said
changed lives, allowing people injured this was a ‘huge’ leap forward for NQ
of Queensland, and ambassadors from that date to receive support that members. “It meant we were really
including the Classic Wallabies, who would allow them to live in their homes. establishing a presence in NQ. It was
came on board in 2005, has helped Malakai Tava, one of the ‘gang of six’,
increase awareness of the Association who had helped convince then Minister
and what it does. for Disability Services Warren Pitt to Access has always been an issue
make the funding available, said of the for people with a spinal cord injury
Throughout the 2000s, the Association but during the noughties, it seemed
became a much stronger political didn’t want him to only give me a funding
advocate that was not afraid to speak package. I wanted the people who left – though not without what Executive
up for people with spinal cord injuries in hospital after me to get it too.” The Manager, Community Relations John
Queensland. In 2002, the Association Association continues to work to secure Mayo described as ‘gentle assistance’.
campaigned against proposed cuts to better funding for people injured before In the Southeast, John led the
16 Sep to Oct 2010
Tourism Queensland, also conducted
regional tourism workshops.
In 2005, the Association supported a
member who won her action against
the body corporate of her prestigious
apartment to provide her with equitable
access to the building. At the time, the
Anti Discrimination Commission Susan
Booth described the decision as the
most important legal precedent since the
latter part of the decade, the Association
Julie and Malakai Tava with Association also worked with airlines to improve
their policies regarding passengers
with a disability. The Association also
At a glance
Association’s push for equitable access supported and welcome increased State
for Brisbane’s Roma Street Parklands, In 2000, members Kelvin Haller
Government funding and allocation of and Scott Stidston (both from Ayr)
the newly redeveloped Queen Street maxi taxis in regional areas without
Mall, Brisbane’s busway tunnels and carried the Olympic torch on its way
Suncorp Stadium. Member Ben Lawson to Sydney
“This will change people’s lives.”
initiated the action against the State
In 2002, the Governor of Queensland
Government-owned stadium when the As the decade ended, the Association
seating area allocated to people using (Major General Peter Arnison)
was continuing its work towards creating
wheelchairs meant he couldn’t sit with an inclusive community, which includes
his friends at a State of Origin game. backing the proposed introduction of a To mark Spinal Injuries Awareness
National Disability Insurance Scheme Week in 2007, 50 members helped
differently just because I get around in a (NDIS). In 2010 Mark Henley said
wheelchair.” the top priorities of the Association empty wheelchairs, representing the
included ‘making sure our members number of Queenslanders sustaining
In the regions, access improvements have appropriate levels of support,
were achieved in Kingaroy, Noosa, the spinal injuries each year
the equipment they require, and that
Whitsundays, Mt Isa, Maroochydore hospitals and health services are In 2006, Louise Yates became the
and in the North Queensland parliament meeting their needs’.
in Toowoomba. In 2010, a landmark
after Des Ryan resigned after seven
pedestrian crossing in Home Hill ended
years in the role. Current President
years of inequitable access in that town community regarding the inclusion of
(see page 5). The Association, with
David Riley took up the post in late
people with a disability.” 2007.
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Sep to Oct 2010 17
Virtual playground for all abilities
industrial designer who has been
Executive Manager —
guide for lay people into TM. His
Children with a range of different consulting with the Association has presentation has been recorded and
abilities can now all play in a virtual designed an excellent door latch for members can request copies free on
playground. Located at people with limited hand dexterity.
www.allabilitiesground.net.au, the The design combines a D-shaped email@example.com.
All Abilities ePlayground is a free, door grab rail on the back of the toilet
online play environment offering door with lift-up, lift-down door latch Sir Leo Hielscher Bridges access
fun and games in new, innovative that works perfectly every time and The new $2.12 billion Gateway
and accessible ways. It can be requires minimal force from any part Upgrade Project in Brisbane is nearing
played using a range of devices, of the hand/lower arm to operate. Bitz
including touch screens and assistive hopes to publish a photo in the near Hielscher Bridge duplication complete
technologies like single switch and future. with pedestrian and cycle path
Puff2Play, in addition to the more providing cross river connectivity for
traditional gadgets like keyboards, Robotic exoskeleton option of pedestrians and cyclists.
mouses and joysticks. A Gold Coast walking
City Council initiative, the ePlayground A small New Zealand company, Rex Members wishing to access the new
was created by non-government Bionics, has spent NZ$10 million path can do so from either Lavarack
organisation Sonokids Australia developing a Avenue and Kingsford Smith Drive on
with support from the Department of product for the past seven years the north side of the bridge (limited
Communities (Disability Services). which it believes could potentially street parking available), and Lytton
Its concept emerged as a result of Road on the south side of the bridge
community participation in creation of The robotic exoskeleton known as (additional access and off street
the Kurrawa All Abilities Playground Rex is basically a pair of robotic legs parking available in late 2010 pending
– a project the Spinal Injuries that strap around the user’s legs and construction of new park under Sir Leo
Association was involved with in move the user’s legs via hand controls Hielscher Bridge).
contributing its access knowledge. The situated near the user’s waist.
ePlayground’s accessibility features Members should be aware that until at
have already seen it recognised as Hayden Allen, a motorcycle racer who least the end of November, there will
best practice by international awards sustained paraplegia in an accident be no disability parking available at
program ACCESS-IT. and is now an employee of Rex either the northern or southern sides of
Bionics and a recent Rex user, says the bridge for those wishing to access
Access action that being able to talk to someone at the new path. Disability parking will
eye level has made a big difference be available in the Queensport Rocks
member Andrew Briggs, the Charters to his life socially and that Rex has Park under the southern side of the
Towers Central Business District has delivered valuable changes medically. bridge once construction of the park
undergone an access audit in August. “In a wheelchair you’re prone to is completed in late November. Those
In Brisbane, the Association has getting infections. Now I’ve had time wishing to park and access the new
been engaged in the design of three on the Rex I don’t seem to have those path can do so from this park. There
new City Cat terminals which should complications anymore,” he says. The will only be on-street parking available
device will be available for sale in New on the northern side of the bridge on
across the State. In Rockhampton, Zealand by December 2010 and will Kingsford Smith Drive and Lavarack
Des Ryan and Rebecca Rodger are come with the price tag of US$150,000 Avenue.
linking transport services with shopping (AUS$172,000).
centres. In Brisbane, Queensland Rail When using the new pedestrian and
has agreed to a workshop to overcome Epic TM outcomes cycle path, members should be aware
station lift failure issues experienced The Transverse Myelitis Day (17
by wheelchair users, following May) USA video link up with the The pathway has a width of
advocacy by member Ben Lawson. 4.25m. The cycle and pedestrian
new vistas for access to information, path will be divided by a 200mm
Door latch design awareness and contacts. University of solid white line and associated
Arising from a design brief for an Texas SouthWestern Director Dr Bill pavement markings
automated public toilet, a NSW Greenberg provided an exceptional The pathway has a length of more
Sep to Oct 2010
than 3km from Lytton Road to I am completing studies to become a
Kingsford Smith Drive the path – intersections and registered psychologist and am required
There are four rest areas corners feature a banded surface to complete a small research project. I
offering shade and views east treatment to alert users to the myself have complete paraplegia and
towards Moreton Bay changed conditions have always been curious if people
Access to the path is on both Use the correct side of the path cope better if they were to blame for
the north and south sides of – pedestrians are to stay on the their injury.
the Brisbane River eastern side and cyclists to the
There is a constant grade on western side of the pathway The below link will take you to a very
the cycle path and variable Pay attention to signage – it will be short 10 questions to help me assess
grade (rest landings for at eye-level and on the path this hypothesis. Please visit the
mobility device users) on the Remember water and sun following website. The questionnaire
pedestrian path protection
There are CCTV cameras, Advisory speed limit of 10km/h Thank you!! Brenda Kerr
help phones, lighting and
drinking fountains for path For more information and a map, visit
Be careful when entering
‘Pedestrian and cycle’.
Coordinator, Information Service
Emergency REDiPlan – equipped if evacuation is determined Each chapter covers most imaginable
Household preparedness to be essential. As well, an emergency possibilities, including checklists,
mergency Management and has pages for personal details,
Queensland (EMQ) isolated. emergency contact numbers, and
joined with Australian to record information for each
Red Cross to develop a booklet strategy on two fronts — one for you component of your plan.
for preparedness in emergency and your household, and reciprocally
situations. for your neighbours. Red Cross has a series of booklets
The booklet is aimed for people The booklet can be downloaded from community, eg, seniors and children.
with disabilities, but in fact the Booklets are available in Easy English
booklet is for every person — we au/emq/css/REDiPlan.asp. format, so check the following website
each should be prepared for the for more information, or to download a
unknown, and have plan/s in place
in preparation for the unexpected. www.redcross.org.au/ourservices_
Four main factors form the basis resources.htm#household_
in your household will know what Medical Cooling and Heating
to do in an emergency. Electricity Concession Scheme
A reminder to ensure you claim your
in advance assists emergency rebate under this new scheme that
situations to be less stressful, can save you some of the costs of
and assists to limit unnecessary running your air conditioner. Check
events. page 4 for more details.
ensure you are ready and
Sep to Oct 2010
a long way from the ‘horr ble calipers’
POST POLIO NEWS indictment – it’s about protecting the
energy you do have.”
He said that most medications to
treat PPS were ‘very disappointing’
POST POLIO and encouraged people with PPS to
minimise their deteriorating function by
AWARENESS WEEK “If you know wa king 500 metres to
your favourite coffee shop is going to
wear you out, stop halfway and take a
ehabilitation physician Dr Members at Dr De Graaf’s presentation your coffee much more in the end.”
Stephen De Graaff visited
the Association’s Brisbane
Wisdom from Dr De Graaf
presentation on post polio syndrome
(PPS), which included information on People who contracted polio when
managing the condition and surgical
options. old and experienced a mild form
of the disease are less likely to
About 50 members attended the develop PPS
presentation which was also video- In the past, people with PPS
linked to members watching from Pain Services at Epworth Healthcare may have been advised to avoid
in Me bourne, explained to members exercise but ‘sensible’ exercise
members was universally excellent the importance of modifying their can increase strength
with comments including ‘what a lifestyle to better cope with PPS. Some people with PPS have
knowledgeable person — when is found Coenzyme Q10 lessens
he moving to Brisbane?!” and ‘very “There are no magical cures,” he said. fatigue. It’s expensive, so Dr De
pleased and very impressed — he “We have to adapt and adjust … You Graaff advises trying it for two
spoke our language’. don’t have to vacuum the house every months while keeping a diary
day, you don’t have to wash the car of how you feel. You can buy
Dr De Graaff, who is the Director of every week. Coenzyme Q10 from health
“We want quality not quantity.” Statins (prescribed for high
cholesterol) can increase muscle
He remarked that ‘polio survivors’ weakness. Talk to your doctor
often struggled with adopting this about the risks.
mindset after a lifetime of pushing
themselves and working hard after
dealing with the challenges of polio.
Dr De Graaff said that while many
people with PPS were reluctant to use
orthotics or wheelchairs, he reminded
them that orthotic devices have come
Gold Coast post polio group convenor
Lyn Glover with Dr De Graaf
If you have a story you’d like to
share with other members, or some
feedback on the magazine, please
don’t keep it to yourself. Email
20 Sep to Oct 2010
competition to be the next Australian MEMBER NETWORK NEWS
FAMILY FUN DAY top model!
An initiative of the Townsville The aim of the day was to provide The day was a highly successful one
Burdekin Member Networks people with spinal cord injuries an and we look forward to organising an
By Cathy Lengyel and Scott Stidson opportunity to get to know others in a even bigger and better event later in
social and fun setting, provide them the year.
he Family Fun Day was held with new or different experiences
(ie. a boat ride) and raise broader We couldn’t have done it without the
Townsville, after the Townsville/ community awareness of spinal cord support of our colleagues and local
Burdekin/Bowen Member injury. businesses. Thanks go to Ken and
Networks secured funding from Joy Turner; Horizon Gourmet Meats,
the Department of Communities. Garth, for his cooking skills; Scott and
Approximately 35 people with spinal Col for their humour and coordination
cord injuries (including post polio of members and activities; Townsville
syndrome and Transverse Mylitis), City Council for assistance on the
their friends and family attended the day; transport services – TOTTS; and
event, and from all reports, had a Burdekin Centre for Rural Health;
Bernice Quinn (Member Networks
Member Garth Brimelow and his Coordinator) for assistance with
young grandson were assisted by planning and organising the day.
Association staff with the BBQ. Boat
rides on the Leisure Accessible boat
Scott Stidston (centre) surrounded by To indicate your interest in a similar
Rosie had everyone clambering friends
to be Captain, while the pool and event, please contact Scott Stidston
accessible playground provided a (Member Network Facilitator,
great distraction for the younger ones Townsville/Burdekin/Bowen) on 07
Many in attendance also took the
amongst us. opportunity to visit the Townsville City
Cathy Lengyel (NQ Manager) on 07
Council’s Community Plan display and
The media were present, and judging 4755 1755, firstname.lastname@example.org.
provide feedback as to how they want
by the photos, there was a fair bit of their community to look into the future.
Member Networks across Queensland
Brisbane Nita Carling T: 07 4045 1009
Email: email@example.com Rockhampton
month Meeting: contact facilitator
Gold Coast Des Ryan T: 07 4926 4551;
Meeting: contact facilitator 0417 775 365 (work)
Robert Montocchio T: 07 3379 4771 Jim Clements T: 07 5522 7172 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email: rmontocc@bigpond net.au Email: email@example.com
George Dougherty T: 07 3844 2949 Tablelands
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Mackay Meeting: contact facilitators
Meeting: 1st Friday of the month Mark Taylor T: 07 4093 3821
Bundaberg Venue: contact facilitator Email: email@example.com
Meeting: 10.30am 1st Tuesday of the month John Smith T: 07 4942 5445 Russell Dafforn T: 07 4091 7975
Contact acting facilitator for time and venue Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Alan Elliot T: 07 4954 8646 Toowoomba
Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Meeting: 12pm, Friday following Pension Day
(17 Sep, 15 Oct, 12 Nov, 10 Dec etc)
Burdekin/Bowen Maryborough Venue: contact facilitator
Meeting: contact facilitator Meeting: 12 noon, 3rd Wednesday of the month Wendy Adams T: 07 4637 4160
Venue: Carriers Arms Hotel, Maryborough Email: email@example.com
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org net Brian Willcox T: 07 4121 4358
Email: email@example.com Townsville
Far North Queensland Meeting: 10:45am (for 11am), last Tuesday of the
(formerly Cairns) Moreton Bay (formerly Pine Rivers) month
Meeting: Last Tuesday of the month. Meeting: 1pm, 1st Monday of the month Venue: Spinal Injuries Association,
Contact facilitators for time and venue Venue: Kallangur Memorial Bowls Club 488 Ross River Road, Townsville
Lynne Barnes T: 07 4055 6675 Jim and Kay Considine T: 07 3283 8787 Scott Stidston T: 07 4783 1150
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Email: email@example.com Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Sep to Oct 2010 21
GET REVVED UP FOR
CRUISE FOR A CAUSE
SUNDAY 7 NOVEMBER, THE STRAND, TOWNSVILLE
Proudly sponsored by Graduate four days and almost half of all these
School of Motoring best ute; best hot rod; Aitkenvale Auto injuries are the result of road trauma,”
and Dyno Best Engine Bay; best b ke; said Scott.“We are proud that motoring
he Spinal Injuries people’s choice; judges choice; best enthusiasts of all ages bring along
Association’s annual youth entry (under 21) and ‘sponsors their pride and joy to join with us in
Cruise for a Cause will kick choice’. highlighting the safe motoring and
off Spinal Injuries Awareness injury prevention message of Cruise
The Association’s North Queensland for a Cause.”
Queensland. This year the major Manager, Cathy Lengyel, said Cruise
for a Cause was a fun way to raise The Association thanks the event’s
Graduate School of Motoring. awareness of spinal injury and the major sponsor, Graduate School
This popular, free event will see Association in the North Queensland of Motoring, as well as category
more than 100 classic vehicles – community. “We are really excited sponsors, and the Cruise’s organisers,
from hot rods and utes to custom by the great ideas and practical the North Queensland Supporters
cars and b kes – gather at Willows contr butions from our Association Committee. The Committee is made
Members in this event, and believe it is up of leading business men and
the convoy will cruise to Strand going to be the best yet!” said Cathy. women in the Townsville community
Park where the vehicles will remain who are passionate in their support for
on display until 2pm for the public Townsville Member Network facilitator the Association.
to admire. and SEAT presenter Scott Stidston
said he hoped the event would raise For more information, to sponsor, or
There will be a BBQ, music and awareness of the Association and to register for Cruise for a Cause,
many displays, including those of highlight the importance of road safety. visit www.spinal.com.au/cruise-for-a-
emergency services vehicles such cause-2010/, email
“In Queensland, one person will email@example.com or call
Trophies will be awarded for sustain a spinal cord injury every
Post polio support groups around Queensland
Brisbane Gold Coast Toowoomba
second month, (June, Aug, Oct) month month
Contact facilitator for details Contact facilitators for details
227 Spring St, Toowoomba
Please contact Sunshine Coast Townsville
Coordinator Member Networks Contact facilitator for details
22 Sep to Oct 2010
2010 Dates to remember
12-18 September Disability Action Week
17-23 October Carers Week
19 October Carers Day FREE
November Spinal Injuries Association Annual General Meeting (date to operation. Immaculate condition,
be confirmed) works well. Give away. Call Marg 042
2 November Melbourne Cup lunch, NQ office
8-14 November Spinal Injuries Awareness Week FOR SALE:
7 November Cruise for a Cause, Townsville
13 November 3rd Annual Spinal Injuries Association Gala Dinner each. One half-side rail, $20. One
2.25” deep. Like brand new, $50.
SEEKING YOUR CHAMPIONS
FOR SALE: Holden Crewman Ute
on’t forget to nominate your Inclusive Community Champions by with Hand-controls 2006 model VZ
MY06 S, original owner, excellent
condition, only 57,400 kms. Current
To celebrate the Spinal Injuries Association’s 50th anniversary, our RWC, colour Odyssey (dark grey), 4
organisation is keen to recognise and celebrate the service providers and speed automatic. Has Holden tubliner,
facilities who foster a truly inclusive community in the following 13 Member towbar, soft tonneau cover, seatcovers,
serviced by the local Holden Dealer.
Coast, Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Bundaberg, Maryborough, Rockhampton,
Mackay, Tablelands, Townsville, Burdekin and Far North Queensland.
FOR SALE: Vitaglide wheelchair
Best sporting organisation/facility exercise machine for upper body
Best local business/community service provider
Best government department or agency virtually any manual wheelchair and
Best recreation/leisure/entertainment organisation, venue or precinct most power chairs with foldaway or
Best tourism or accommodation organisation or provider removable arms. System raises or
lowers depending on your needs.
We invite members in those 13 regions to nominate their local Inclusive System also has intensity from
Community Champions and outline the reasons why they are Champions on one to seven — one being a good
cardio work out and seven good
for strengthening muscles. Natural
pushing and pulling motions. One year
Each category winner will be named the Inclusive Community Champion for their old, still like new. I paid $2,200 AUD
region and will be recognised at a morning tea in November, to celebrate Spinal from the US, sell for $1,500 ono. Ph
A full list of the winners will be included in the November-December issue of the FOR SALE: Quickie R2 in very good
advocate. condition. Purchased through Sunrise
Medical. Willing to sell with wheels
Fits cushion sizes 16 x 16 inches and
17 x 17 inches as I use both sizes
on it now. Purple/black splash frame
included. Call Asti 041 4417466
campervan. Exc condition. Hand
controls. Engine recon. 4 spd auto.
Rear wheelchair hoist plus driver’s side
access hoist. Solar panels. Vacuum
toilet. Shower. Flat screen TV.
Ideal for active person with paraplegia.
Sep to Oct 2010 23
delivered direct to your door
High quality continence aids,
aids for independent living and
Easy ordering – phone, online,
email, post and fax
direct to your door
Intouch is the commercial
arm of the Spinal Injuries
Association and is proud
to donate surplus proﬁts to
the Association annually to
support its members and work
in the community.
Visit our website to ﬁnd out if you are
eligible for government subsidy schemes for
Have you run out of government funding?
Intouch Direct provides a cost effective and
discreet alternative with no minimum spend.
for all Intouch
*For a limited time.
1300 134 260 or visit www.intouchdirect.com.au