novita news vol 28

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					vol 28 / no.7
                novita news
                       march 2006
A word The Chief Executive
                                                      Welcome to the first Novita                 Rehabilitation Engineer Toan Ngyuen
                                                      News for 2006.                              (see page 9). Toan’s work in adapting
                                                                                                  mobile phones for use by people
                                                      This year, Novita will continue to          with disabilities has made it possible
                                                      deliver its valuable services to our        for people who communicate via
                                                      most valuable asset – the 1000              electronic devices to use standard
                                                      children and young people with a            mobile phones.
                                                      disability we support. It is with the
                                                      ongoing commitment and generous             Our next major fundraising event will
                                                      support of our fundraising partners         be Novita’s 2006 Down Every Street
                                                      that this vision will become a reality.     Easter Appeal (see pages 4 and 5). It
                                                                                                  is important to publicly recognise the
                                                      The next 12 months will be exciting         sponsors and fundraising partners
                                                      and engaging for our supporters,            of our 2006 events schedule so that
                                                      challenging for Novita, beneficial          all South Australians are aware of
                                                      to our clients and rewarding for
                                                                                                  the exceptional community role they
                                                      everyone. I am pleased to announce
                                                                                                  play. Together, we are looking forward
                                                      that for the first time, Novita will be
                                                                                                  to making Novita’s 2006 fundraising
                                                      providing valuable support services
                                                                                                  events the most successful yet.
                                                      to children on the Eyre Peninsula,
                                                      York Peninsula and in the far north-
                                                                                                  The Board of Directors and I very
                                                      west of the state (see page 6). This
                                                      new initiative, supported by the            much appreciate your support, and
                                                      Australian Government, will provide         we look forward to building on our
                                                      inclusion support services for children     success for the benefit of our children
                                                      in a child care environment.                and their families.

                                                      In February 2006, the ABC’s New             Glenn Rappensberg
                                                      Inventors program showcased the             Chief Executive
                                                      groundbreaking work of Novita               Novita Children’s Services

                                                      Inside the News...
Novita News is published by
Novita Children’s Services                            2         Novita corporate                        14          Camp Yackety Yack
PO Box 2438 Regency Park SA 5010
                                                      4-5       2006 Down Every Street Appeal           14          Swimming for kids
Kelly Markos                                          6         Expanding Novita’s services             15          In the blink of an eye
T 08 8243 8234
E                          7         1.5 million reasons to smile            15          Adelaide’s new trams
The opinions expressed in Novita News are those
of the individual authors and do not necessarily
                                                      8         Sam runs into the history books         16          Our million dollar man
reflect the views of Novita Children’s Services Inc
or the editor, unless stated. While every care has    9         Home to help hundreds of kids           17          Novita know-how in Cambodia
been taken in the preparation of Novita News, the
information contained within is of a general nature
only and does not constitute advice. No liability
                                                      9         Novita’s own ‘Young Einstein’           18 - 19     Coming events
is accepted for any errors it may contain or any
damages or loss that may arise from the use of the    10 - 13   Cover story - ‘A Piece of Cake’
information provided.

Articles from Novita News may be reproduced
in other forums, provided the information is
reproduced in full, with written acknowledgement
of its source.
Who’s new Services?
 at Novita Children’s
         Marketing Director - Matthew Magarey
      The team at Novita has recently            tangible difference to kids right
      welcomed Matthew Magarey as                across the state. And that’s a really
      its new Director of Marketing. After       good feeling!’
      seven years as the Marketing and
      Development Manager for the Credit
                                                 Born and bred in South Australia,
      Union Pageant Company, Matthew
      says he can’t wait to continue his         Matthew has a Master of Marketing
      work for children.                         from the University of South Australia
                                                 along with extensive marketing,
      ‘I’ve really enjoyed working with kids     advertising and public relations
      and have two sons of my own, so I          experience.
      understand many of the challenges
      facing parents and families today,’ he
                                                 Matthew’s fresh ideas, energy and
                                                 marketing expertise will help to
      ‘Working for Novita, I feel that           provide strong marketing leadership
      everything I achieve will make a           and direction well into the future.

                            President - Elizabeth Robinson
      In spite of a busy career as a solicitor   ‘I have an understanding of what
      and her role as a mother to three          it is like to be a young carer, what
      children, Novita’s new president           supports are needed, what it is like
      Elizabeth Robinson is passionate
                                                 to have a child with a disability and
      about the importance of contributing
                                                 the associated joys, frustrations and
      to community life.
                                                 difficulties,’ she says.

      Elizabeth currently works as a
      solicitor with the Legal Practitioner’s    ‘Much still needs to be done for our
      Conduct Board, and served on the           clients. The interests of the children
      Novita board from 2003 to 2005.            and their families must be given
      She became President at the end of
                                                 paramount consideration. Service
      last year and believes her first hand
                                                 provision to clients and their families
      experience as a parent of a child
                                                 needs to be focused on enabling
      with a disability, along with her legal
      background and ability to advocate,        families to live with the disability
      will hold her in good stead as             rather than living their lives through
      President of the organisation.             the disability of the child.’

Novita’s headingEaster
 ‘Down Every Street’ this
                                                For some children, being                  ‘You can be part of this year’s Down
                                                able to walk down the street              Every Easter Street appeal by holding

                                                is just a dream. So for the               a fund-raising activity with friends, at

                                                past 53 years, Novita’s                   work or at school, or by becoming a
                                                                                          volunteer Novita collector,’ John says.
                                                Down Every Street Appeal
                                                has tried to make this dream
                                                                                          ‘Even busy supporters can play their
                                                a reality – by raising money
                                                                                          part, by donating at their local Coles
                                                to support South Aussie
                                                                                          and BiLo supermarkets, dropping
                                                kids living with cerebral
                                                                                          into a Bank SA branch or just digging
                                                palsy, acquired brain injury,
                                                                                          deep when Novita knocks on their
                                                muscular dystrophy and
                                                                                          door this Easter.’
                                                other physical disabilities.
                                                                                          The Mix 102.3 street crew will also be
                                                From humble beginnings in 1953,
(L-R) Spokesperson John Riddell sets off                                                  out and about collecting for Novita
down every street with Novita client Samantha   Novita’s Down Every Street Appeal
Inge and Novita Chief Executive Glenn                                                     during the appeal. Tune in to Mix for
Rappensberg.                                    has grown into one of the largest
                                                                                          the latest location details.
                                                appeals of its type in South Australia.
                                                In 2005 more than 50 volunteer
                                                collectors, school groups and clubs       For more information on how to

                                                joined forces to support the appeal,      support Novita’s 2006 Down Every
                                                raising thousands of dollars through      Street Easter Appeal, contact Tracey
                                                fundraising events and generous           Taylor, Novita Fundraising Manager
                                                community support.                        on 8243 8226 or via email at
                                                Novita’s 2006 Down Every Street
                                                Easter Appeal will run from Friday

                                                       from humble
                                                24 March to Thursday 13 April. This
                                                year Novita hopes to raise $50,000
                                                for Novita’s kids – and we need your

                                                help to get there!

                                                As the celebrity spokesperson for
                                                this year’s appeal, Novita supporter
                                                and Channel 7 news presenter John
                                                Riddell says there are plenty of ways
                                                to show your support for South
                                                Australia’s disabled children.

Meet the face
           Samantha Inge
 of Novita’s Down Every Street Easter Appeal

                                                 At just seven years of age,               ‘And when she can’t do everything
                                                 bright and bubbly Samantha                the other kids do, the most important

                                                 Inge has endured more                     thing is that she’s making new
                                                                                           friends, fitting in and having a great
                                                 operations than many
                                                 families will face in an entire
                                                                                           From those very first days in hospital,
                                                                                           the team at Novita Children’s
                                                 Diagnosed at birth with Spina Bifida,
                                                                                           Services has been by Sam’s side,
                                                 Sam had her first operation, to repair
                                                 an area of exposed spinal cord, when      providing therapy and support to
                                                 she was less than a day old. A few        help her reach her full potential. Now
                                                 days later, doctors operated again to     Sam is visited regularly by Novita
                                                 insert a shunt to control a build up of   therapists at school, and Novita
                                                 fluid in Sam’s brain.                     funding has provided equipment
                                                                                           and home modifications to make her
                                                 Today Sam has undergone an                everyday life easier.

Samantha Inge - face of the ‘Down Every Street
Appeal’ for 2006                                 incredible 16 operations on
                                                 everything from her feet and ankles
                                                                                           ‘It’s always been important to focus
                                                 to her spine and even her brain.
                                                                                           on the great things Sam can do and
                                                 And in March she’ll visit the hospital

                                                                                           to help her to be independent,’ Bev
                                                 again, to face a range of tests and a
                                                 procedure to correct a problem in her
                                                                                           ‘Novita provides our family with the

                                                 Sam’s mum Bev says that while her         equipment, advice and support we
                                                 youngest daughter has overcome            need to help Sam build confidence
                                                 some incredible challenges, she           and take those little steps forward. I
                                                 never lets being in a wheelchair stop     don’t know how we would have done
                                                 her from living life to the fullest.      it without them.’

                                                 ‘Sam loves people. She’s really           While Sam surprises her friends,
                                                 outgoing and positive, and she’ll
                                                                                           family and therapists every day with
                                                 have a go at pretty much anything,’
                                                                                           her amazing achievements, Bev says
                                                 Bev says.
                                                                                           there are still many challenges ahead
                                                                                           for her little girl.
                                                 ‘When we take her to the playground
                                                 or even to birthday parties, with a
                                                 bit of help she will use the slide,       ‘Knowing we’re not alone makes a
                                                 the swings and climb on all the           huge difference. Thanks to Novita, we
                                                 equipment. She’s even taken up            know Sam’s future will be full of joy,
                                                 rhythmic gymnastics!                      happiness and hope.’

Novita toeven more SA kids
                                                   Novita Children’s Services               ‘Novita staff will provide practical
                                                   is expanding its services                advice on appropriate activities
                                                   and will soon support                    and equipment for each child, and
                                                   hundreds more South                      will work one-on-one to support
                                                   Aussie kids.                             child care staff as they integrate
                                                                                            these children into the child care
                                                   Novita currently provides equipment,
                                                   therapy and family support to more
                                                   than 1000 local children living with
                                                                                            Mr Rappensberg says Novita has
                                                   disabilities. And from April, through
                                                                                            been supporting South Australia’s
                                                   the new Inclusion Support Program,
                                                   up to 400 more children on the Eyre      disabled children for more than 65

                                                   Peninsula, Yorke Peninsula and in the    years, and working with children in
                                                   state’s North will have access to a      their own homes, schools and child
The Inclusion Support Program will significantly   range of new Novita services.            care facilities for the past 15 years.
expand the reach of Novita’s current services

                                                   CEO Glenn Rappensberg says               ‘Since our staff are already out there
                                                   the Inclusion Support Program
                                                                                            in the community, it makes sense
                                                   will help children with disabilities,
                                                                                            to extend our services and include
                                                   indigenous children and children from
                                                                                            different children facing similar
                                                   culturally and linguistically diverse
                                                                                            challenges. And by broadening

                                                   backgrounds to access services like
                                                   child care, out of school hours care     our skills and building links with

                                                   and vacation care.                       other children’s services, we will
                                                                                            also provide a better service to our

                                                   ‘These children and their families       existing clients.’
                                                   can face huge challenges when
                                                   they attempt to access basic child       Novita’s Inclusion Support Program
                                                   and day care services – services
                                                                                            is an initiative of the Inclusion and
                                                   that many of us take for granted,’ Mr
                                                                                            Professional Support Program,
                                                   Rappensberg says.
                                                                                            funded by the Australian Government.
                                                                                            For more information on the program,
                                                   ‘Our new Inclusion Support team
                                                   will help these kids access child        contact Cathryn Blight, Manager

                                                   care options, by ensuring child care     Inclusion Support Program on
                                                   providers are fully aware of the types   08 8207 8940 or via email at
                                                   of support the children will need. .

Novita kids to smile
 have 1.5 million reasons
                                              A $1.5 million State                        The grant will have a huge impact
                                                                                          on the Hart family from Valley View,
                                              Government grant will
                                                                                          whose four-year-old daughter
                                              ensure 2006 really is                       Savannah has been on the waiting list
                                              a ‘happy new year’                          for a $2000 electric bed for almost six
                                              for hundreds of South                       months.

                                              Australian children living
                                                                                          Savannah’s mum Viv says while her
                                              with disabilities.                          daughter’s complex epilepsy has
                                                                                          delayed her overall development,
                                              The one-off grant for equipment is          she’s now really starting to blossom
                                              part of an $11.5 million investment         and her old equipment just isn’t big
                                              in disability services announced by         enough.
                                              Premier Mike Rann. The funds will
                                              allow Novita to provide more than 150       ‘As she becomes more confident
                                              children with specialist equipment          with her walking, Savannah has
                                              like wheelchairs, communications            started trying to climb out of her old
Savannah (right) and her big sister Madison
                                              devices and home modifications.             cot – plus she’s much too tall for her
                                                                                          change table,’ Viv says.
                                              Novita CE Glenn Rappensberg
                                              says the funding is an investment           ‘Just getting her dressed in the
                                              in our childrens’ futures, and will         mornings is becoming quite

        investment in the
                                              be a welcome relief for many of the         dangerous, and we’ve put everything
                                              families involved with Novita.              on hold just waiting for the special
                                                                                          new bed that she needs.
                                              ‘Much of the equipment Novita

                                                                                          ‘I’ll be absolutely over the moon if
                                              clients need to make life easier
                                                                                          we come off the waiting list this year.
                                              is just too expensive for families
                                                                                          I’ll be able to use the bed to get
                                              to afford for themselves, with
                                                                                          Savannah ready each day and I’ll
                                              motorised wheelchairs costing
                                                                                          sleep much more soundly at night
                                              more than $14,000 and major home
                                                                                          knowing she won’t climb out and hurt
                                              access modifications, particularly to
                                              bathrooms, setting families back up
                                              to $10,000.                                 Mr Rappensberg says the grant will
                                                                                          allow many South Australian children
                                              ‘But as the demand for funded               to access the equipment they need
                                              equipment grows, so does our                for mobility, independence and
                                              waiting list. This $1.5 million will go a   participation in the community.
                                              long way towards clearing the waiting
                                              list, and ensuring children living with     ‘Receiving this equipment really will
                                              disabilities have the equipment they        be a life-changing event for many
                                              need to make everyday life easier.’         Novita families.’

Sam runs the history books
                                            Five years ago, Goodwood                 Hospital performed an experimental
                                            Primary student Sam                      four-hour procedure that Heidi says
                                            Graham suddenly lost the                 was like a miracle.

                                            use of his legs and believed
                                                                                     ‘He went from being wheelchair
                                            he might spend the rest of
                                                                                     bound to walking again in just a
                                            his life in a wheelchair.
                                                                                     couple of days. It was truly incredible,
                                                                                     more than we could have hoped for.’
                                            But now, the bubbly twelve year old
                                            was able to run through the streets
                                            of Adelaide and be part of history       Heidi says Sam’s recovery has been
                                            – as an official runner for the 2006     made much easier with support from
                                            Commonwealth Games Queen’s               his Novita therapists.
                                            Baton Relay.
                                                                                     ‘To build his strength after the
                                            Sam was nominated for the honor by       operation, Sam had physio at school
Sam running strongly in the Queen’s Baton   his physiotherapist at Novita, where     every week, along with daily exercises
                                            he receives therapy for a rare spinal    and hydrotherapy. Now he only has
                                            cord malformation. Sam’s mum Heidi       a limp – you’d never know what he’s
                                            says in 2001, the condition caused       been through, or how close he was to
                                            the then seven-year-old to lose the
                                                                                     never walking again.’
                                            use of his legs ‘almost overnight’.

                                                                                     For the past few months, Sam was
                                            ‘It was a frightening time. One minute
                                                                                     busy training for his Rundle Street
                                            he was running around, the next he
                                                                                     run. He even joined Little Athletics to
                                            couldn’t walk at all. And because the
                                            doctors hadn’t seen a condition like     improve his fitness and make sure he

                                            Sam’s before, nobody could tell us       could run the distance.
                                            what was going on,’ she says.
                                                                                     ‘Five years ago, we wouldn’t have
                                            ‘But Sam stunned all of us with his      dreamed of seeing Sam run in the
                                            strength, resilience and positive        Queen’s Baton Relay. We couldn’t
                                            outlook. As soon as we set him up        wait to cheer him on with all our

                                            like a miracle
                                            with a wheelchair, he was back to his    family and friends.’
                                            happy self and ready to face the next

                                            Luckily for Sam, five months later the
                                            then head of nuclear medicine, Dr
                                            Rodger Davies, and his team at the
                                            Adelaide’s Women’s and Children’s

Househelp hundred of SA kids
                                                The Sports Challenge                     identities, committed to raising
                                                Foundation and McCracken                 money for Novita.
                                                Homes have teamed up
                                                to build a house that will               ‘We felt that working with Sports

                                                help hundreds of South                   Challenge to build a charity home
                                                                                         would be the perfect way to generate
                                                Australian children.
                                                                                         even more recognition and support
                                                                                         for Novita and their life-changing
                                                The magnificent two-storey
                                                                                         work with South Australian children,’
                                                Victor Harbor home, donated by
                                                McCracken homes, is now for sale -       he says.
                                                with all proceeds going to help Novita
                                                clients.                                 For the family who buys the home,
                                                                                         this is a win-win situation. Not only
                                                McCracken Homes Director Charlie         do they have the chance to own this
                                                Siciliano says building the home         amazing property, but they are also
                                                was the logical ‘next step’ in the       supporting the work of Novita and
(L-R) Sports Challenge Foundation members
Barrie Robran, John Riddell and Russell Ebert   company’s long time support of           making a world of difference to more
with Novita client Dianne Juleff                the Sports Challenge Foundation, a       than 1000 local kids with a range of
                                                group of local sporting and media        disabilities.

                                                                      Novita’s own ‘Young Einstein’
                                                One of the rising stars of               of Engineering, which focused on
                                                science research in South                accessible mobile communication for
                                                                                         people with disabilities.
                                                Australia has been a weekly
                                                winner on hit ABC TV
                                                                                         ‘Through my work at NovitaTech, I
                                                program New Inventors.
                                                                                         was able to use the latest technology

                                                Toan Nguyen, a Rehabilitation            to develop a system that allows
                                                Engineer with NovitaTech, appeared       people using Speech Generating
                                                on the program in February to reveal     Devices to make voice calls and
                                                his groundbreaking work in adapting      send SMSs on standard mobile
                                                mobile phones for use by people with     phones, just like everyone else in the
                                                disabilities. Toan’s incredible work
                                                                                         community,’ he says.
                                                has made it possible for people who
                                                communicate via electronic devices
                                                                                         ‘We have now completed the trial
                                                to use standard mobile phones.
                                                                                         phases and are refining the device
  Toan Nguyen with Novita client Rosie Smith,
                                                Toan says his motivation came as he      for sale, so I hope to see it widely
  who uses a Speech Generating Device
                                                completed a thesis for his Masters       available by June this year.’

a piece of c

         An average cake weighs about 650g
     An average newborn weighs about 3.4kg

        Dianne Juleff weighed 0g at birth

        From difficult beginnings, now life for
                   Dianne is a piece of cake...

a piece of c
     Five year old Dianne Juleff truly is
     a living miracle. Born four months
                                             another hemorrhage. It was such a
                                             scary time, how can anyone make a
     premature and weighing just more        decision like that?’
     than a tub of margarine, Dianne’s
     doctors told her brand new family to    At just six days old, Dianne had her
     prepare for the worst.                  first operation, to seal a valve in her
                                             heart. She might have been tiny, but
     Dianne’s nanna Marie says she           little Dianne was tough – and after
     remembers holding her tiny              four months of special care she
     granddaughter in one hand.              proved her doctors wrong and was
                                             ready to go home.
     ‘Her entire head could fit into my
     palm, her hand was only the size of     Dianne’s grandpa Gary says the
     my thumb nail and her skin was so       family was overwhelmed by the
     fine we could see straight through      incredible support from the team at
     it,’ she says.                          Novita Children’s Services.

     ‘You see premature babies on TV         ‘We were just knocked out by the
     and in the movies, but nothing can      services Novita provided for Dianne,
     prepare you for the sight of such a     even after we took her back to
     tiny person.’                           Victor Harbor,’ he says.

     Being born so early, Dianne’s           ‘They visited us at the hospital and
     lungs were not yet fully formed and     then at home, offering assessment
     she was immediately put onto a          and therapy for Dianne and
     respirator. Doctors at the Women’s      amazing support for the whole
     and Children’s Hospital also            family. It was largely thanks to
     discovered she’d suffered a brain       Novita that we got through those
     hemorrhage.                             first few months. We couldn’t have
                                             coped alone.’
     ‘That was when they told us she
     might not make it, and that if she      Paul gave up work and moved back
     did she could be very disabled,         home with his parents to care for his
     or have severe sight, speech and        daughter full-time. As the months
     hearing problems,’ Marie says.          went on, Dianne again surprised
     ‘Dianne’s dad Paul was even             her doctors – growing into a happy,
     advised he may have to think about      giggly baby without any signs of
     turning off her respirator if she had   disability.

       By supporting Novita, you are supporting
   ‘She needed to stay on oxygen for
   twelve months which has scarred
                                             therapists and her new school
                                             teacher to explain her condition
   her lungs, but all of Dianne’s other      and make sure the transition was
   tests kept coming back clear,’ says       smooth. Her therapists even see her
   Marie.                                    at school now,’ Marie says.

   ‘We couldn’t believe how lucky we
                                             It’s clear just watching Dianne that
   were. She was perfect!’
                                             she’s a sparkling little lady with a
                                             shining future ahead of her.
   As Dianne began to walk, the
   Juleffs discovered the final effect
                                             ‘Thinking about those early days
   of those frightening first months in
                                             and everything that could have              Dianne with her grandpa, dad and nanna
   hospital. Dianne has mild Cerebral
                                             gone wrong, it’s hard to believe
   Palsy, which causes tightening
   of the muscles in her left leg and        Dianne is that same fragile little girl,’
   a distinctive ‘tippy-toe’ style of        Marie says.
                                             ‘Now she’s just like every other
   ‘Novita were there for us again,          five-year old – a real chatterbox who
   providing physio and occupational         loves dancing, singing, laughing
   therapy and fitting Dianne with           and lots of cuddles. She doesn’t let
   AFOs (ankle foot orthosis) to keep        anything stop her.
   her foot in the right position,’ Gary
   says.                                     ‘Every one of those days worrying
                                             in the hospital by her crib was worth
   ‘At the moment her therapy includes
                                             it to see her now. She’s really is our
   serial casting, which will help stretch
                                             own little miracle!’
   Dianne’s calf muscles as she grows
   so they can keep up with the rest of
                                             Your support for Novita
                                             Children’s Services helps us
                                             provide more than 1000 local
   Dianne began her first year of
                                             kids like Dianne with equipment,
   school in February, and Marie says
   Novita has even helped her make           therapy and family support. To
   the move from kindergarden to             donate, simply complete and
   Victor Harbor Primary.                    return the enclosed envelope,
                                             call 1300 366 283 or donate
   ‘There were meetings with                 online at
   Dianne’s kindy teachers, her Novita

South Australian kids like Dianne!                                                                                          1
      without saying a
                                               Despite having never                    speaking and wouldn’t normally be
                                               spoken a word, a group of               able to experience a fun weekend
                                                                                       away camping,’ Janelle says.
                                               Novita’s little stars made
                                               new friends and talked up
                                                                                       ‘For many of the kids, it was also
                                               a storm last month – at a               the first time they have ever met and
                                               camp held especially for                interacted with other kids who use
                                               them.                                   communications devices. Yackety
                                                                                       Yack was their chance to explore,
                                               Camp Yackety Yack was a weekend         learn and really connect with other
                                               retreat planned by Novita staff         kids like them, in an environment
                                               specifically for children who           designed just for them.’
                                               ‘speak’ using special electronic
                                               communication devices. Eight            Janelle says the camp also allowed
                                               children and their families attended    parents, carers and siblings to
                                               the three-day event, which Camp         ‘compare notes’ with other, similar
Novita client Travis was all smiles at camp    Coordinator Janelle Sampson says        families, build new support networks
Yackety Yack
                                               gave kids with communication            and even take time off for a bit of
                                               difficulties a rare opportunity to      pampering!
                                               connect with other children just like
                                               them.                                   Camp Yackety Yack was mostly
                                                                                       funded by Community Benefit SA,
                                               ‘These are children with very special   with support from the City of Port
                                               requirements, who have difficulty       Adelaide Enfield.

                                                         Murray Bridge is swimming for kids
                                               Since the mid-1980s, the                ‘It’s just wonderful to know that the
                                               annual Swim for Kids                    money is being used to make life
                                               challenge has brought the               easier for local kids with disabilities,’
                                               Murray Bridge community                 she says.
                                               together to raise funds for
                                               Novita clients.
                                                                                       The 2005 swim, completed by Charlie
                                               Every November for 16 years, a local    Meneghetti, raised an incredible
                                               volunteer has taken to the waters of    $17,000 – an outstanding figure for
                                               the mighty Murray River, swimming       such a small committee. Pictured is
                                               an incredible 39.5 kilometers from      the 2006 volunteer swimmer, Andrew
                                               Mannum to Murray Bridge. Swim for
                                                                                       Fifer, presenting the cheque to Novita
                                               Kids Committee Chairperson Kathy
                                               Moore says the event has raised         client Josh Gibbons from Murray
Novita client Josh helping to present Andrew   more than $94,000 so far.               Bridge
with his certificate

Computer the blink of an eye
        Controlling a computer                          Gregory, says Eyegaze is a true        Unfortunately the advanced
        using nothing but                               breakthrough for people with very      technology and years of research
        your eyes sounds like                           severe physical disabilities.          involved in developing Eyegaze
        something out of a                                                                     mean the system doesn’t come
                                                        ‘Until now, most communications
        science-fiction movie.                                                                 cheap – retailing for more than
                                                        equipment like this has been
                                                                                               $20,000 per unit. However
                                                        developed for people with less
        But the fantasy became a reality
                                                        severe disabilities, and with          this highlights the importance
        in February, when experts from
                                                        some level of muscle control,’ Ms      of community support and
        Novita conducted the very
        first South Australian public                   Gregory says.                          fundraising, which can help
        demonstration of the Eyegaze                                                           provide equipment like this to
        Communication System.                           ‘But to use Eyegaze, all you need      the South Australian families who
                                                        is your eyes. Just by looking
                                                                                               need it most.
        The Eyegaze system helps                        at control keys displayed on a
        people with severe disabilities                 screen, users can “talk” out loud
                                                                                               For more information contact
        to communicate via a computer,                  with synthesized speech, run
        which they operate using only                   computer software, operate a           Annabel Gregory on 08 8243 8288

        their eyes. NovitaTech Computer                 computer mouse and even access         or via email at
        Access Specialist, Annabel                      the internet and e-mail.’     .

                                          All aboard! Adelaide’s new accessible trams
                                               Three Novita kids had                        offering easy access for wheelchairs,
                                               the ride of a lifetime in                    walking aids and prams.

                                               December, after being
                                                                                            The inaugural journey took around
                                               invited to take part in                      40 minutes, with the lucky children
                                               the very first journey of                    and their families riding to Glengowrie
                                               Adelaide’s brand new trams.                  station and back. There were smiles
                                                                                            all round as Adam taught everyone
                                                                                            how to ‘toot toot’ with his special sign
                                               Carlo Borrillo, eight, Adam Hodzic,
                                                                                            for tram – and Lauren’s brother Josh
                                               seven, and three-year-old Lauren
                                                                                            even sat up front and become an
                                               Hardbottle became official VIPs when
                                                                                            honorary tram driver!
                                               they donned yellow safety vests and
                                               hopped aboard a special ‘training            Many thanks to Transport SA for
                                               tram’ waiting at Victoria Square.            allowing Novita to be part of this
                                               Lauren’s excited cries of, ‘Yay, no          special day, and to the Borrillo,
Lauren can now board the new trams with ease   stairs!’ said it all, with the tram’s        Hodzic and Hardbottle families for
                                               wide, flat ramps and spacious interior       being involved.

Ray Novita’s million dollar man
            When longstanding                          ‘I am proud and very humbled that
            volunteer Ray Mules began                  people might have thought that the
            fundraising for Novita in                  little bits I do were worth something,’
            1995, he didn’t envisage that              he says.
            ten years later the amount
            raised would total almost a                Those ‘bits’ (as Ray calls them)
            million dollars, or that he’d              certainly add up. Between them,
            receive an Australia Day                   Ray and Margaret have worked
            Award for his efforts.                     collectively over the past 11 years to
                                                       achieve a fundraising figure which
            But that’s what happened recently          this year will almost certainly total one
            when Ray received a phone call
                                                       million dollars.
            ‘completely out of the blue’ informing
            him that he was about to be named
            as a recipient of a Medal of the Order     Ray says the impetus to keep
Ray Mules                                              fundraising comes from the
            of Australia (OAM).
                                                       knowledge that the money goes
            Ray first became involved with             directly back to helping children gain
            Novita, then The Crippled Children’s
                                                       a better quality of life.

      giving a better
            Association of SA, in 1994 when his
            wife Margaret entered the Mrs South
                                                       ‘Over the years we’ve seen great
            Australia awards, and he set to work
            as her ‘financial manager’ to assist       improvements in so many children

      quality of life
            with her fundraising.                      and it’s been wonderful to see
                                                       their dedication in their attempts to
            The next year the awards became            become independent.’
            known as the Community
            Achievement Awards to allow males
                                                       And Ray says that neither the OAM
            to enter - and Ray did just that. He
            became South Australia’s highest           nor the the million dollar milestone will
            individual fundraiser for the year, and    have any impact on his future plans
            has since been involved in a host of       to continue volunteering for Novita.
            fundraising activities, from selling car
            lottery tickets to forming an Achieving    ‘Every time we leave Novita we know
            for Children auxiliary with Margaret.
                                                       we just can’t drive out that front gate
                                                       and say: “I’m not coming back”!’
            Ray says the award, which he will
            officially receive at a ceremony at
            Government House in April, is both         ‘I can’t see a time when I would say
            humbling and rewarding.                    goodbye,’ he says.

Novita know-how
    volunteering in Cambodia
                                      Earlier this year,                        sessions, five practicals, three tests
                                      NovitaTech’s Senior                       and one practice exam.

                                      Rehabilitation Engineer
                                                                                ‘It was an amazing experience - the
                                      David Hobbs travelled to                  students were incredibly dedicated
                                      Cambodia to volunteer at                  to learning and understanding
                                      the Cambodian School for                  what is normally a 13-week course,
                                      Prosthetics and Orthotics                 compressed into three weeks,’ David
                                      (CSPO), a specialist
                                      rehabilitation school based
                                                                                ‘Their application and commitment
                                      in Phnom Penh. It was the                 was impressive, and Australian
                                      third time David had made                 undergraduate students could take a
                                      the trek, as part of a team of            leaf from their book.
                                      four biomedical engineers
                                                                                ‘Our team this year did an incredible
David Hobbs at the CSPO specialist    who visit the school every
rehabilitation school in Phnom Penh                                             job of teaching everything La Trobe
                                      January to provide teaching
                                                                                asked of us, as well as coordinate
                                      assistance.                               tutorials, homework sessions, and
                                                                                feedback sessions.’
                                      The aim of the project this year was
                                      to teach a Biomechanics course to 12      The students sat their final exam in
                                      selected students who are upgrading       Biomechanics on Friday 10 February,
                                      their skills and knowledge to obtain a    and David is confident they will all
                                      Bachelor of Science degree through        do well, given the average mark for
                                      La Trobe University in Melbourne,         the practice exam was an impressive
                                      Victoria. The students, who are all       90%!
                                      graduates of the CSPO program and
                                      have been working in the field for a      For more information contact David

               upgrading skills
                                      number of years, saw this ‘upgrade        Hobbs on 08 8243 8338 or via email
                                      course’ as an opportunity to further      at .
                                      their skills and obtain an Australian
                                      qualification. They came from various

               & knowledge
                                      countries including Cambodia, Sri
                                      Lanka, Pakistan, and Laos.

                                      Over a period of three weeks,
                                      David and the team taught a full
                                      semester course in Biomechanics
                                      to the students, including all tutorial

Keep on truckin’ 2006
  Novita Convoy for Kids
                                                 The annual Novita Convoy                     South Australia’s big-hearted truckies
                                                 for Kids is the largest                      then take centre stage, as they
                                                                                              buckle in little passengers, honk their
                                                 charity truck convoy of its
                                                                                              horns and head off on a bright and
                                                 type in the world – and this
                                                                                              colourful convoy around the streets of
                                                 year it’s set to be bigger and               Adelaide.
                                                 better than ever!
                                                                                              The food, fun and family
                                                 Convoy for Kids gives children with          entertainment will continue right
                                                 disabilities, their siblings and families,   throughout the day.
                                                 the chance to take part in the ‘ride
                                                 of a lifetime’ around the streets of         Where?
                                                 Adelaide, in one of 700 big rigs.            Distinctive Homes Dome, Crittendon
                                                                                              Road, Findon
                                                 Kindly sponsored by Coles/BiLo and
                                                 the Transport Workers Union, Novita’s        When?
Convoy for Kids is a fun day out for the whole
family                                           Convoy for Kids is a free event for the      Sunday 28 May 2006, 6am – 2pm
                                                 whole family, and everyone is invited
                                                 to join in the celebrations.                 Price?
                                                                                              Entry is FREE for everyone!

                                                 The fun starts at 6am on Sunday 28
                                                                                              All Novita children participating in
                                                 May, at Convoy’s new venue – the
                                                                                              the Convoy for Kids will receive free
                                                 Distinctive Homes Dome at Findon.

                                                                                              breakfast, plus a Convoy showbag
                                                 The 14th annual Novita Convoy for
                                                                                              full of treats and a t-shirt to remember
                                                 Kids boasts the biggest line-up of
                                                                                              their special day.
                                                 activities to date, including:
                                                 • more than 700 trucks

                                                                                              Novita’s Convoy for Kids 2006 is
                                                 • celebrities
                                                                                              proudly sponsored by Coles and
                                                 • face-painting
                                                                                              BiLo Supermarkets and the Transport
                                                 • rides                                      Workers Union. All proceeds from the
                                                 • food and drinks                            event will benefit Novita Children’s
                                                 • a visit from Rumbo the giant koala         Services.
                                                    and Jumpo the giant kangaroo.
                                                                                              For more information, to sign up for a
                                                 You’ll also see Adelaide’s favourite TV,     ride or to register your truck, contact
                                                 radio and sporting stars in action as        Megan Hammond, Novita Events
                                                 they play a special game of celebrity        Coordinator on (08) 8243 8225 or via
                                                 wheelchair soccer…and that’s all             email at
                                                 before lunch!                       .

         for the events
Doin’ itNovita comingkids
                     Rainbow Committee - ‘A Pink Affair’ luncheon
 You’ll be tickled pink at              crafted by the Stamford’s award-       dedicated women committed
 this colourful event, to               winning chefs.                         to organising events and

 be held at the Stamford                                                       raising money to support Novita
                                        Then sit back, relax and enjoy the     Children’s Services.
 Grand Glenelg on Sunday
 18 June.                               positively pink vibe with fabulous
                                                                               All proceeds from this event will
                                        live entertainment, a raffle and
                                                                               benefit Novita Children’s Services.
 The 2006 Rainbow Committee             a charity auction with exquisite
 Pink Affair Luncheon will feature      prizes up for grabs.
                                                                               For tickets and further details,
 all things pretty and pink – from                                             contact Megan Hammond, Novita
 the pink carpet on arrival to the      Formed more than 15 years ago,         Events Coordinator on (08) 8243
 pink champagne and an amazing          the Novita Rainbow Committee           8225 or via email at
 array of pink temptations, carefully   is a group of generous and    .

  Sports Challenge - Legends showdown dinner & match
 Novita’s annual weekend                The 2006 dinner promises to            Legends Showdown dinner tickets
 of sporting legends                    be bigger than ever, attracting        are $75 per person. Legends
                                        past and present personalities         Showdown Match tickets are
 past and present begins
                                        from South Australia’s ever-           included in the price of your
 on Friday 5 May, at the
                                        growing footy family. Guests will      regular AFL ticket.
 Novita Sports Challenge                be entertained by the talented
 Foundation 2006 Legends                Patrick McMahon and will have the      The Sports Challenge Foundation
 Showdown Dinner.                       chance to bid for highly regarded
                                                                               is a group of energetic, sport-
                                        sporting memorabilia available
                                                                               and-media identities committed
 Mingle with past footy greats and      only at this special event.
                                                                               to raising money for Novita. All
 bid for rare sporting memorabilia                                             proceeds from the dinner and
                                        On the night, the Sports Challenge
 at this gala event, which will be                                             auction will help provide therapy,
                                        Foundation will also present
 held at AAMI Stadium’s Park                                                   equipment and family support
                                        the sponsors of the Legends
 Convention Centre. Hosted by                                                  to more than 1000 local children
                                        Showdown Match with their player
 Russell Ebert and the Novita                                                  living with a disability.
                                        jumpers. Then on Saturday, a
 Sports Challenge Foundation, the       special charity footy match will
 dinner is proudly sponsored by         feature some of Adelaide’s most        For more information, contact Julie
 Ellis Insurance Brokers and will       well-recognised athletes battling it   Canino on (08) 8243 8229 or via
 be compared by former Glenelg          out before the ‘real’ showdown on      email at
 Captain, Peter Marker.                 Saturday 6 May.               .

To donate call 1300 366 283
or visit

Novita Children’s Services
PO Box 2438 Regency Park SA 5942
171 Days Road
Regency Park SA 5010

T 08 8243 8243
F 08 8243 8238

ABN 47 993 053 341

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