National Workshop programme news and updates with Steph –

Access To Leisure Workshop Newcastle

What a great start to the year at our Access to Leisure workshop on the 7th of February. Twenty-seven local and not so local people attended, some having a very early start to get there. The venue was easy to find and the view on this beautiful Newcastle morning was worth the drive. However, everyone was focused on the interesting speakers who took us through some very educational information.

My introduction and presentation on Mindfulness was plagued by IT issues, however I hope the message of looking after ourselves – physically and importantly mentally got through. Jenny Klause from National Disability Services informed us of the many changes that are occurring and that our clients or patients are now being referred to as “participants”, as we move towards more choice based service delivery.

Ruth Robinson and Caroline Daley from the Physical Disabilities Council were inspiring as they demonstrated the discrimination that can occur when planning and implementing leisure for people with a disability. Carolyn’s daughter was accepted into the local netball team from a young age even though she was never able to take the court and Carolyn’s passion for encouraging participation at any level was educational. She is organising the bocce competitions that hopefully will lead to the Paralympics for many of the local players was educational, we also talked about computer accessing and finding non-conventional ways to participate.

Renee Dunne, as well as being passionate about DTA, is passionate about her working role. She talked to us about developing self-awareness to encourage better professional behaviour through reflecting on the outcomes we want for our clients- or is that the participants?! As a board member and presenter at the workshop, Renee thought the disability focus of the workshop was excellent with the enthusiasm of those attending and the skills and knowledge of the presenters warranting it being run again in other states, so keep a look out or contact me if you’d like this workshop to come to a town near you.

Pete Coles flew in from fighting the fires in Melbourne to present to us on advocacy and his casual and friendly style had us all enthralled as he talked about his own experiences in getting people to do the things that they wanted to do – within the bounds of risk management and duty of care- he certainly had some interesting stories to tell!

Kylie Rice had some very hands on sensory tips and tasks for us to experience- who could forget those sour lollies and that frog blanket- you had to be there! While Aja Goddard
was informative and well versed in everything we needed to know about community access and her professional insight was highly valued.

The highlight of the day though came through the takeaway cafes with Toni Salter and Brad Cooper both excitedly demonstrating how their activities could be implemented
and how to get participants involved in a sensory (Toni talked about herbal teas) and competitive (Brad had us doing some of the activities from Minute to win it) sense. Great work! It’s great to know there is such enthusiasm out there for our participants! It was a fun way to finish up a great day! Thanks to everyone that attended. It was great meeting you and hopefully we can catch up again at another workshop. (Remember the Cairns workshop on the 11th of July may be worth starting to plan for!)

Other news

As I am writing this report, the Melbourne workshop is in progress and in the next newsletter I will let you all know, through Chris Grady’s report, how it all went. A big thankyou to everyone who facilitates these workshops when I am not able to get there- they are fun! However you certainly know you’re alive by the end of it as coordinating the day is a huge role-so many thanks again!

The Sydney Workshop on the 7th of March is filling fast so if you can come get your registration in -it is being held at the Bankstown Sports Club- see the website for the flyer if you haven’t received it or face book- The Naracoorte Workshop in South Australia for the 21st March can also
be found there. For everywhere else see the proposed list of workshops coming up below and pencil in the ones you want to attend- flyers to follow!

The Conference workshops are coming together nicely and I’m getting really excited with what is on offer so look out for this information as well and pencil in the 18th -20th of September to enjoy a full immersion in to professional development, Activities galore or a special therapies workshop!

A few words of wisdom from me, until the next

“Strength does not come from physical
capacity. It comes from an indomitable
will.” -Mahatma Gandhi

Stay strong

Steph Bejma
DTA National Education Coordinator

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