Disability Information Services by People with Disability Toowoomba and Southern Queensland
Volume 2, Issue 99
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Highlights March/April 2021
06 10 13 14 19 32
Let’s (not) talk about Sex
Aged Care Report is in
Something about Bella
TRC Our People
Cover Page Jon Crisp On top of the world Community Service is his life
Steven Paull JP (Qual) President Page 2
Queensland Productivity Commission
Inquiry into the NDIS market in Queensland
• is cumbersome and can be slow to re-
The NDIS has led to a range of positive outcomes...
• is insufficiently flexible and, in some cas-
The NDIS began in Queensland in 2016. It now has nearly 79,000 Queensland participants and over 5,000 active registered providers. There is widespread support for the NDIS amongst stakeholders. The NDIS has substantially increased the funding for disability services in Queensland, and provided participants with greater choice and control over their lives. Participants now choose who provides them with the disability services they receive. The scheme is also improving participants’ daily lives, relationships and social participation. However, the scheme is still developing, and some areas—such as employment, learning and accommodation—may need more time and a stronger focus to produce better outcomes for participants. The NDIS tries to balance many objectives— on the one hand, to provide choice and control and build participant capacity, while, on the other, to provide consumer protections, limit supports to those that are reasonable and necessary and maintain the financial sustainability of the scheme. This has led to an extensive regulatory and policy framework.
The NDIS is governed by over 1,400 pages of legislation, regulation, operational guidelines and policies, administered by two specialist agencies with over 4,000 staff and oversight by a council of Australian, state and territory government ministers. The regulatory and policy framework:
• is large and overly complex
spond es, creates inequitable outcomes and inconsistent incentives
• creates a large and sometimes disproportionate regulatory burden
• introduces high policy and regulatory risk for providers
• provides insufficient information and constrains market mechanisms. This reduces the ability of the NDIS to reach its full potential and achieve better outcomes for participants.
The process for planning, goal setting and procuring supports is challenging— over 40 per cent of Queensland participants use less than half of their plan budgets. Proposed Reform Actions
• Realign participant, provider and agency incentives to deliver market outcomes consistent with scheme objectives
• Increase the availability of information and, if necessary, supports to allow better decision-making
• Simplify processes and reduce compliance burden to decrease costs and inefficiencies
• Provide greater flexibility, remove restrictions to allow participants, providers, agencies to operate more effectively and efficiently
• Improve the governance of the scheme to support oversight of performance monitoring and the focus on scheme objectives For more information on the inquiry https://www.qpc.qld.gov.au/inquiries/ndis/
WhatsUp in Disability
By Steven Paull
would say “Well they made their choice”; yes they did however often its not as simple as that. Sort of like I need to jump should I jump into the river (no I can’t swim) should I jump onto the hay (no there’s two many prickles) I’ll slip in between all these cacti’s… OH now I am stuck. I wonder if I get my community spirit from my great, great grandfather Benjamin Crisp; extract from google attached below My hope for our community is for us all to work better together, not to act in anger, to think ; Can I do a little extra to help a stranger...? What would it be like to walk in other peoples shoes....can I make a difference? If this was a member of my family would I show more compassion and empathy...? Use your privilege and power to help enhance a persons health and well-being, don't use it as a weapon....
I first met Jon Crisp at Toowoomba Clubhouse where he was volunteering at the centre or was it when he was volunteering at Baillie Henderson or it could have been anywhere really. Neither of us can remember exactly when it happened but it did and we have been friends for over 10 years. The concept behind the community breakfast was born from myself wanting to maintain my connections to people in the community services sector so I could be as effective as possible within my job of working with the homeless and mental health sector, then thinking others may think the same way. Over the years these services have changed, people have moved to different positions and new people and services have emerged. As the convener of these breakfasts it has often been hard for me to not bring my stuff and concerns to the table as in this environment it’s about people connecting with each other, NOT me. There are so many issues within our community, I am sure that people on the outside Page 4
If others are different from you, your thoughts and your moral's, what right do you have to try and change their way of thinking or make their lives more complex ? An old expression "if you have nothing nice to say , say nothing" Like my great, great grandfather; I feel that children are the key to our future. Children are like sponges they absorb so much around them without them or many of us realising it , if they see domestic abuse, misuse of drugs, alcohol and language they may see this as "The Norm" and carry it on in their lives, if the see kindness, warmth, compassion is this not better (yes teenagers can be difficult)
Working with children is not my strength, my thoughts and thanks go out to those groups and people that work within this sector. You as a member of this community can make a difference so please take a look at your back yard, what can you change to help make it better safer and healthier? I asked Jon about his project where he is tinkering with old cars and car engines on the weekend.
Mental Health Advocate Community Services Breakfast
“I just had this thought, you know, what do people do on the weekends, people with mental health concerns, or any people who are homeless for that matter, to try and get them a hobby, maybe to help them understand how the motor vehicle runs, because if they do have one, they can fix it themselves.” “So started that, I think was about 2016 or 2017 and the concept was just to get people to come in, I'll get a car donated. I now have a couple of cars donated and other ways to get around the cars myself. I had about 40 years of experience under my belt not qualified, but you know, I can do things like pull motors out and gearboxes out and rebuild a motor. So I've been operating there for the past four years most Saturdays and Sundays and I feel various groups of people come through there's some days we just play around and probably spend my pub money or my going out money or my movie money on the parts and equipment, but I enjoy it as well. I've got a fella who does some spray painting. He has mental health concerns. He spray painted a car once. I forgot to put the hardener in the paint. So we took the paint off. We painted it again. But it didn't match the other colour of the car. So it was three times. Certainly we just gave up on that $1,000 worth of paint later. But hey, it's about building self esteem. There are so many avenues out there to source help these days, you just need to be aware of where to turn; a good starting point could be;
• The Health Service Navigator; funded by the Primary Health Network , phone 1300 012 710
• Queensland Community Support Service, access point; phone 1800 600 300
• Lifeline 13 11 14 Thank you Jon Crisp for your commitment. Top to bottom: TRC Mayor Paul Antonio, Teen Challenge Colin Ryan and MC Kim Stokes
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WhatsUp Benjamin Crisp 1808-1901 From page 5 Jon Crisp
Benjamin Crisp was born in London, England, probably on 11 May 1808, the son of Sophia Crisp and her husband Benjamin, a tinsmith. He left England in 1819 for Australia, where he worked as a whaler, farm worker, and bullock driver. In 1837 he moved to New Zealand. One day in August 1842 Crisp had been so drunk that he had walked out of Wright's public house and straight into the tideway, under the impression that he was going over a bridge, from this day on he no longer drank. Crisp married Elizabeth Burnett in Nelson on 14 December 1846; they raised five daughters and five sons, whom their father would exhibit at temperance meetings as healthy specimens of teetotalism. It was with the children of Nelson that Ben Crisp was to have his greatest influence. He founded a Band of Hope to provide wholesome amusement for them, was active in the Sunday school, and dedicated 50 years to their welfare. The band was always at the forefront of public occasions, with upwards of 500 children turning out to welcome important visitors. On these occasions the children would gather at Temperance Hall for the festivities which Crisp had organised. A parade around the town would be followed by games and then prodigious quantities of buns and cakes would be consumed. George Grey (Governor of NZ) was particularly taken with their activities and contributed towards their annual Queen's Birthday treats. On Crisp’s death at Nelson on 2 September 1901 he was accorded a public funeral. His headstone reads, 'Erected by the Nelson citizens in memory of Ben Crisp who was the children's friend'.
Let’s (not) Sara Gingold DSC 15 February 2021
On 3 February, Robert went on a conservative talk-back radio show hosted by Ray Hadley to discuss the Federal Court decision that found it reasonable and necessary for a woman with MS to use NDIS funds for sex therapy. The ruling should have paved the way for more NDIS participants to receive funding for sexual services. In reality, this is still next to impossible. Despite the fact that there hasn’t exactly been a boom in the purchase of sexual services, Robert made it quite clear that he opposed the ruling and would seek to impose a ban on the purchase of sexual services with NDIS funds. Legally, however, his hands are tied. Section 35 of the NDIS Act (section 34’s neglected younger sibling) does allow for the creation of legislative rules that prescribe supports that “will not be funded” by the NDIS, but the big catch is that the Commonwealth and all states and territories have to agree to it—and that’s just not something that often happens. While the focus of Robert’s radio interview was the reluctance of the states and territories to create a legislative ban on NDISfunded sex work, the minister also revealed his strategy for the upcoming legislative review of the Act. He has, in the past, signalled that he would like the legislation to go before parliament by mid-2021. Draft legislation has not been made public yet, so we don’t know what exactly Robert has planned. However, on Hadley’s show, the minister stated his intention to “give some boundaries” around what supports that the NDIS will fund. As The Saturday’s Paper’s Rick Morton pointed out, this is the closest the government has come to admitting that it plans to redefine reasonable and necessary. Let’s be clear about one thing: in the conversation about NDIS legislative reform, sex
talk about Sex The crossbench consists of the following:
• Jacqui Lambie (one seat) – a Tasmanian senator who is one of the few surviving remnants of Clive Palmer’s brief debut into politics
• The Centre Alliance (one seat) – the former party of SA’s Nick Xenophon, the members of which—as the name suggests— tend to be centrists
• Rex Patrick (one seat) – a former member of the Centre Alliance
• Pauline Hanson’s One Nation (two seats) - you probably know One Nation.
work is a red herring. Redrawing the lines of reasonable and necessary would impact every single decision on what the NDIS will or will not fund. But if the Minister successfully makes this a conversation about sex work, he might manage to get a whole host of legislative changes passed in the Senate. It’s quite a clever—albeit transparent—strategy, and it could work. To explain, let’s deep dive into a game of what we in Australia like to call “democracy”. Changes to the NDIS Act need to be passed by both the House of Representatives and the Senate. The government controls the House, so there are unlikely to be roadblocks to legislative change there; however, the Senate is where things get interesting. If Labour and the Greens stay firm in their opposition to Robert’s changes, then the fate of the NDIS Act will be decided by the Senate crossbench, that is, the Wild West of Australian politics.
What is important here is that, although it’s pretty unpredictable, the Senate crossbench has a conservative leaning. It is unclear how any of the above senators would vote on Robert’s broader agenda for the NDIS Act, but it is a safe bet to assume that they would oppose NDIS funding for sex services. Moreover, we have to consider the fact that they will have a keen eye on how their votes appear to their electorates. The senators would (we hope) understand that the legislation is about more than sex work; however, if Robert successfully shapes the public narrative as being around sex work, they might be nervous about voting against the bill.
In summary: Sex work is the Trojan horse that might usher wide-reaching NDIS changes through the Senate.
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WhatsUp in Disability Page 8
National Worker Screening On 1 February 2021, new nationally consistent disability worker screening was introduced in Queensland to improve the safety and quality of services and supports delivered to people living with disability. Key features include
• A five year clearance card for eligible NDIS Workers and ongoing monitoring of a screened worker’s criminal history at a national level
• No Card, No Start rules • An online application process with more stringent identity requirements.
• A strengthened framework to automatically disqualify people convicted of very concerning offences, including sexual offences and serious assault offences committed against children and vulnerable people.
• Greater powers to suspend a clearance if a card holder has a change in their assessable information. Queensland will also continue its robust state screening for disability services provided outside the NDIS. No Card, No Start
funded provider to provide disability supports and services. Workers and volunteers will need to apply for a disability worker screening clearance by completing the online application. Paperbased application forms will also be available for those who do not have online access. To apply for a disability worker screening clearance, you will need to register for the Worker Portal and complete the online identity check. To verify your identity, you will need a Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) Customer Reference Number (CRN) which is the number found on your driver licence, photo identification card or adult proof of age card. There are two types of clearances available to workers providing disability supports and services in Queensland:
• NDIS Worker Screening Clearance for worker delivering NDIS supports and services
• Queensland Disability Worker Screening Clearance for worker delivering state funded disability supports and services
Queensland has passed legislation to support a no card, no start approach to disability worker screening. New employees of NDIS registered providers, including sole traders, and state funded providers will need to have a disability worker screening clearance before they start work.
If you already have a valid yellow card or yellow card exemption, you won’t need to get a disability worker screening check straight away. You can keep using your existing card until it expires, is suspended or is cancelled.
The changes are consistent with the reforms in the blue card system and are designed to increase safeguards for people with disability who receive disability supports and services.
Employers are no longer responsible for submitting applications on behalf of their workers or verifying their identity.
Changes for disability workers All newly engaged workers will need a disability worker screening check if they are engaged by an NDIS registered provider in a risk assessed role or engaged by a state-
Changes for employers
• verify that a worker is or will be engaged by them to provide NDIS supports
• link and delink workers • check the clearance status of a worker WhatsUp in Disability
NDIS Updates Less than 2 business days’ notice to transition / cease support is unrealistic, unfair and in some cases unsafe, resulting in poor continuity of support and diminished outcomes for participants. How will the NDIA manage the influx of requests for 'light touch plan reviews' for participants that were using core funds to flexibly top up inadequate capacity building budgets How will the NDIA manage requests from participants who were not funded for Support Coordination in their original plan, will this be considered a change of circumstance?
On Thursday 25 February the NDIA announced that the ability for participants to use their CORE funds flexibly to engage a Support Coordinator will cease on 28 February, just 2 business days from now. DIA has not been consulted on this significant change of position by the NDIA. The NDIA only confirmed this decision to remove this flexibility upon our enquiries, after DIA requested confirmation that such action was being undertaken by the NDIA. Further, DIA is not aware of any consultation of engagement with participants who have been using their CORE funds to access Support Coordination. The negative impact to participants and Support Coordinators on this change will be profound:
Participants have been told during planning meetings and by LAC’s that Support Coordination has not been funded within a participant’s plan, but not to worry – they can use their CORE funds to purchase this support flexibly should they need extra assistance to navigate the NDIS, connect with supports, establish those supports and ensure those supports continue to deliver outcomes for the participants. For those who hadn’t heard...NDIA later announced that they have extended the flexible use of core funding for Support Coordination until the end of March. This gives participants a bit more time to put in for reviews if they need to include Support Coordination in their plans. And for Support Coordinators who are currently being paid from Core supports, to finalise accounts, reviews, care plans etc. A bit of a breather anyhow…
NDIS in Brief Transformation Program will enable Services Australia to pay all NDIS invoices in future Andrew Birmingham Editor in Chief Which-50
Digitalisation at Services Australia will enable the Federal Government to pay all NDIS invoices in the future, streamlining a system that currently requires hundreds of thousands of Australians to track and invoice the agency, then pay providers themselves. The new approach will be made possible through investments in systems integration, along with a digital invoicing system, which will also plug into a new Salesforce CRM. It will also help the government better track and understand how the program is meeting participant needs. More robust integrations will also make it easier for application developers to create new services. One such example is Weejah, which is an app that seeks to create an Uber -like experience for customers of the NDIS. According to a spokesperson for Services Australia, the NDIA issued a Request for Quote (RFQ) for an eInvoice solution on Friday 12 February, which closed on Friday 5 March. Responses have been received from potential Access Point partners providing their quotes. Evaluation and selection process has now commenced.
Currently, according to Robert, about 50% of participants in the NDIS self-manage. This means they are provided with a plan for a certain monetary value, they then book the services, and invoice the NDIS. The NDIS then pays them the invoice and they, in turn, pay the service provider. “Importantly the agency doesn’t have any visibility on where the money’s flowing to, how much has been paid, what debt exists, and it’s an encumbrance upon self-manage participants,” said Robert.
Choice and Control He said once the new system is in place the NDIA, the agency responsible for the NDIS, will pay 100% of all invoices. “So, if you’re a participant, you’ll have a plan with a volume you will still book the supports or services. If you’re self-managed, you will have choice and control, an invoice will be raised in the CRM. And then the agency will pay. That’s the big difference.” “The government will have more to say on this in the budget, including how we bring regulatory harmonisation across the care industry.”
Minister for Government Services and the Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), Stuart Robert, told Which50, “We’ve got a really good understanding now about what we want, about what the market can provide and where the market can meet all of our requirements and our view is that it can.
“How do we have a single worker screening model, a single worker banning model, a single worker registration framework, a single audit framework, a single compliance framework as much as possible, to ease the burden? The last thing the government wants is [for service providers like] Baptist Care to have NDIS clients within [its] residential aged care settings with completely different audit requirements for staff to work in that area compared to staff who work elsewhere when those staff are working across the continuum of care.”
He said once the tender was settled the government would move to rapidly implement the capability and will then seek to legislate this as part of its legislative reform package.
The scale required is significant. “There are four hundred and thirty thousand participants right now, 50% of them receiving support for the very first time.” WhatsUp in Disability
Aged Care Report is in New Aged Care Act A new Aged Care Act which embeds human rights into aged care. A rights-based approach is what aged care advocates have been asking for. This is the fundamental building block for an aged care system which protects human rights and focuses on the human experience of older people in aged care including their rights, preferences and needs.
A Council of Elders An older people's advisory body to provide input to the Minister and Department on the quality and safety of care and the rights and dignity of older people. Failure to include the voices of older people in the design and delivery of a new aged care system would perpetuate our society's failure to engage older Australians in the things that are about them.
Better Safeguards Greater regulation of the use of restrictive practices including chemical restraint, making sure that their use is a last resort, for the shortest time possible and is supported by planning and consent.
Care Managers Care Managers to be assigned to each person and standards set for the minimum time staff and nursing staff should spend per day with residents.
Ageing at Home Clearing the 100,000 person waiting list by December 2021 is a great start, along with access to support to help people get a home care provider and plan in place. Then keeping the waiting list clear by allocating a Home Care Package at the approved level within one month to new entrants will make a significant difference in ensuring people get the care they need to stay at home.
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Phase 1b to commence 22 March The Commonwealth has Phase 1b will include:
Consent Process for vaccination that
Informed consent must be sought and recorded for all adults suitable to be vaccinated.
Essential career (paid and unpaid)
Disability Support Volunteers
People with a disability that attend a centre-based service
To evidence their eligibility people will be able to present:
Proof of occupation (ID card or letter from their employer)
Where this evidence is not available, people will be able to complete a Phase 1b Declaration Form.
At this point vaccination mandatory—it’s voluntary
WhatsUp in Disability and others are seeking all levels of Government and Public Health Officers to implement the following measures
Office of the Public Guardian
Service Providers are responsible for facilitating consent for adults who do not have the decision-making capacity to provide it themselves. If the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) has been appointed as health decision maker, they are able to provide consent for the vaccination. As the vaccine is optional, if an adult is expressing that they don’t want to receive it, the OPG will generally respect their wishes and not give consent. If the OPG is not the guardian for health care matters, consent can be provided by the adult’s Statutory Health Attorney who may be a close friend or a family member.
Protecting Staff Privacy in relation to COVID-19 disclosures
Federal Government to reconsider its stance of not mandating COVID-19 vaccines after each has been passed by the Therapeutic Goods Administration
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC)
If the Federal Government declines to reverse its decision, then we call on state and territory governments to mandate TGA-approved vaccines via public health orders for the disability sector while providing for acceptable exemptions from having a vaccination.
• Only the minimum amount of personal
We would also like to see the setting out of protections and frameworks for those instances where workers decline to be vaccinated without having a valid exemption
• Personal information should be used or disclosed on a ‘need to know’ basis information reasonably necessary to prevent or manage COVID-19 should be collected, used or disclosed.
• Consider taking steps to notify staff how their personal information will be handled in responding to any potential or confirmed case of COVID-19
• Ensure reasonable steps are in place to keep personal information secure, including where employees are working remotely
Toowoomba NEWS COVID-19 Vaccine roll-out Darling Downs Health registered nurse Casey Zeller rolled up her sleeve on Wednesday morning to be the first phase 1a frontline health worker in the Darling Downs Health region to receive the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. Casey works at the Darling Downs Health COVID-19 testing centre at Charlton. “As well as working in theatre here at Toowoomba Hospital I’ve also spent a lot of time over the past year as team leader at our COVID-19 test centre at Charlton and our pop-up testing centre at Baillie Henderson,” Ms Zeller said.
Vaccine Survey for Disability Support Workers This study has been developed by researchers in the Disability and Health Unit, at the University of Melbourne. This is a follow up to their study on how support workers were impacted during COVID-19 in 2020. There are many questions about the vaccine rollout process especially for prioritised groups. That’s why they want to hear directly from Disability Support Workers who will be prioritised to receive the COVID-19 vaccine in the coming months.
“Being vaccinated is one of the easiest things we can all do to keep our communities and loved ones safe.” “I feel privileged to be the first.” Ms Zeller received her vaccination at the region’s new AstraZeneca vaccination hub, located inside the Toowoomba Hospital. Darling Downs Public Health Unit Director Dr Liam Flynn said other phases of the vaccination rollout would also be facilitated by the hub, following the end of phase 1a distribution. “We’re going to start slow and then we’ll ramp up our vaccine process here in Toowoomba and across the Darling Downs, our aim is to vaccinate everybody that wants to be vaccinated,” Dr Flynn said. The vaccine is free, safe, effective and is an important step to reduce the serious effects of COVID-19.
This survey will asks about your experiences of COVID-19 and any concerns you may have about the upcoming vaccination program. You may become upset or distressed as a result of completing the survey. You can choose to skip any questions or stop the survey at any time. Support resources and access to the research team are available should you wish to speak with someone following the completion of the survey. Please contact the study coordinator Stefanie Dimov on (03) 9035 4554 or email email@example.com if you have any questions.
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SLOW STARTERS TEN PIN BOWLING LEAGUE for Disabled
SUNSET SUPERBOWL 07 4634 0233
South & Greenwattle Toowoomba
10.00 am every Saturday $18 per session 3 games Sports Registration $50 (membership) Glenda (07) 4614 1136 Kathy (07) 4630 5221 Page 16
Portable Long Service Queensland Community Services Industry The Queensland Government has passed legislation to establish a new portable long service leave scheme available for community services workers. The Community Services Industry (Portable Long Service Leave) Act 2020 provides a fair and efficient system of portable long service leave for workers in Queensland's community services industry commencing 1 January 2021. Under the Act, workers are entitled to long service leave payments based on their service to the industry, rather than continuous service with one employer. Workers, who are employed by the same employer for ten or more continuous years, may be entitled to long service leave paid by the employer under the Industrial Relations Act 2016. Under the community required to organisation
formulae. This is based on an industry study that includes identification of the number of employers, the number of workers, ordinary wages, how many workers might be eligible to claim a long service leave entitlement, and other factors. Please note: partnerships, trustees and proprietary limited companies are not individuals and are therefore not eligible to register as workers with QLeave. * ABN Workers – are further scrutinised to identify eligibility by their trading entity (that is, an individual must be trading as a sole trader to be considered eligible to register with the scheme). If a sole trader engages workers to complete a contract, the sole trader is not an eligible worker for that contract.
scheme, employers in the services industry will be register their business or with QLeave.
Each quarter, employers must complete an employer return detailing the ordinary wages paid to their workers during the return period. The days worked and wages received by each worker is recorded by QLeave and results in service credits accruing towards a long service leave benefit. Once a worker has 7 years of service recorded, they're entitled to 6.1 weeks of long service leave paid by QLeave. The levy rate will commence at 1.35% of ordinary wages. This rate is determined by an actuary who undertakes an investigation using specific WhatsUp in Disability
Community By Steven Paull
Feel Good Friday RE/MAX Feel Good Fridays are all about recognising those people in our community who do an outstanding job; are overcoming some of life’s challenges; or are quite achievers that always give it 100% with no expectation of reward. Shaun from the Daniel Burrett team chose to surprise the team from BigDog Support Services Toowoomba to acknowledge the wonderful work and services that they provide. “It was my pleasure to present this week’s Feel Good Friday to the amazing team at BigDog Support Services. Now in its 11th year, BigDog offers quality support to those in need, ensuring that people a disability have a choice and can live as independently as possible. BigDog which is a registered NDIS provider, offers support in home care and yard maintenance, respite accommodation, developing life skills plus also arranging recreational and community activities and events to help people achieve social connections within the community.” said Shaun. “Thank you to the BigDog team for all your hard work, dedication and support to all your wonderful clients, family and the Toowoomba Community!” Congratulations chocolates!”
Join Billy Drury and his family and friends as they celebrate the life and legacy of his daughter Bella who sadly passed away from SIDS due to premature birth. Billy has chosen to make his daughter's birthday party a public event to help raise funds for the Toowoomba Hospital’s Special Care Nursery. Funds raised will be used to purchase life-saving/ life-changing medical equipment that will potentially save and improve lives of babies that need a little extra help. BigDog and WhatsUp in Disability will be opening the Paul Myatt Community Centre and grounds to assist in this great community event. We will also have a sausage sizzle and community marques to provide awareness of community services in the Toowoomba Region. We will need lots of help on the day to man these sites and to also assist in directing cars into the designated place. If you would like to be a volunteer on the day please let Steven or Sharon know so that we can assign you a job to do Tell your friends and family about this event and everyone come along and enjoy a great day in the park.
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Dr. Seuss Books are pulled, and ‘Cancel Culture’ controversy erupts
Christopher Dolan/The Times-Tribune, via Associated Press
The beloved author’s most famous books, like “Green Eggs and Ham,” were untouched, but his estate’s decision nevertheless prompted a backlash and raised questions about what should be preserved as part of the cultural record. “If I Ran the Zoo,” “And to Think That I Saw It on Mulberry Street,” “On Beyond Zebra!” and “McElligot’s Pool” were among the six Dr. Seuss books that his estate said “portray people in ways that are hurtful and wrong.”
Dr. Seuss edited the image from “Mulberry Street” in 1978, more than 40 years after it was first published, by removing the yellow pigment from the Asian man’s skin as well as the pigtail, and changing “Chinaman” to “Chinese man.” But the character’s slanted eyes remained until now. Oh dear me! Editor
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WhatsUp By John Elliott
Laurel Bank Gardens
Left Laurel Bank Park is a beautiful 4.5 hectare parkland close to Toowoomba’s city centre
Above Laurel Bank Park Hall was built during World War II as a mess hall for US naval troops Below If you though that Huntsman Spider at home was big—look again!
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Warrina Services is a specialist support agency that has been providing individual support to people of the Darling Downs since 1986. We support people with a diverse range of needs and also provide mental health services to assist personal recovery.
(07) 4659 5662 WhatsUp In Disability (the Magazine) First published in 1994 to give local people with disabilities and carers, information on a growing multitude of local disability services, local news and issues, with the purpose of not only supplying information to people with disabilities, but of giving choices to people and to give local services a specialist media outlet where they could give information on their services. To obtain a copy of WhatsUp in Disability magazine or to be an advertiser, please call in and see us at the WhatsUp in Disability office at the Paul Myatt Community Centre 11-15 Alexander Street Toowoomba or call us on 4632 6678.
We can help you to achieve positive outcomes in your life. These may be related to choice and independence, education or training, attending social activities, increasing skills, getting a job or contributing to your community. If you would like further information please visit our website
www.warrinaservices.org.au Or contact us Phone: 07-46 380 399 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit our office at
172 Bridge Street Toowoomba Office hours Mon-Fri 9-5pm
By Anne Kerr
ANNE’S ANGELS is proud to introduce a dynamic new Company, ANNE’S ANGELS ENTERPRISES, a Charity that is a “Not for Profit” Company approved by the A.C.N.C. Anne’s Angels will run alongside our sister Company by offering more scope to the services we can offer. We have DGR status.
with the aid of the most highly qualified, committed and caring staff available. We envisage our goal is to empower the individual to enhance their skills. We will assist you to build your confidence, which will in turn develop the motivation you need to achieve your full potential.
We will be offering many Social and Community activities for participants to involve themselves in and new and exciting groups for clients to join and participate in. All of these will be based out of our centrally located new office in the Toowoomba CBD. We are currently finalising the new business site and we hope to open in the next two months. Our new site can be accessed by public transport and we have plenty of car parking. It is user friendly and wheelchair access straight to our front door. The building is being totally refurbished to a cater for the offices, and training rooms. We also have a purpose built fully equipped kitchen/ café that is open to the public. This will be run separately to our business as a going concern.
We are also opening our new Café. The Flamingle Café where you can ‘Mingle at the Flamingle’. This will cater to all food tastes, vegan and dietary conditions. We plan on offering a varied menu with some speciality items exclusive to the Flamingle Café. At The Flamingle we plan on bringing the fun back into every day life by offering our patrons a quirky theme. If you love Flamingos then this is the place for you.
We have two training/function rooms so we will be catering for all ages ranging from 18 years of age to the elderly. Are you looking for somewhere to meet and make new friends while learning an activity then come in and see what we have to offer? Classes will be designed to cater for all ages, skill Levels, disabilities and cultures. All our staff are highly trained and qualified. Anne’s Angels is an approved and Registered NDIS Provider but we can offer our services to the general public. We hope to offer a variety of activities that will be customised to suit ages from 18 years through to the elderly. Requests for Line Dancing, Yoga, Zumba, Tia Chi, Literacy and Numeracy, Crafts and Arts, Relaxation Therapies and Meditation just some of the activities we hope to offer. There will be something for everyone to participate in. Our Mission Statement at Anne’s Angels Enterprises states, Decide Today and Never Look Back. At Anne’s Angels Enterprises, our mission is to provide the highest standard of service,
Anne’s Angels hopes this will be a great meeting place to meet new friends and enjoy conversations before and after our classes, or just a great place to stop off for lunch and a coffee. We are planning on being open 7 days a week in the coffee shop opening at 6.30 am to cater for people going to their workplaces to start work for the day. Drop in for a healthy breakfast or a quick snack on the go. You will be able to order from our menu online and park in one of our express car parks at the front door and come in and collect your food once notified your order is completed. You can order ahead of time and come in an eat your meal in our café. We have an exceptionally large disabled toilet complete with a shower and change area. All of our toilets have handrails. Our building will be wheelchair friendly and it has been designed to cater for the disabled and elderly. We will be complying with all the regulations for Food Safety and building requirements as well as the COVID19 restrictions and requirements. Anne’s Angels has plans in place for the unfortunate events of COVID19 closing down the café but we will still trade in a COVID19 safe environment. We will still be able to offer all of our services and more if this does occur. We will keep you updated on the progress of the outfitting of the building and the location of our new premises. All will be revealed within the next month. WhatsUp in Disability
By Dean James Gill Balan Wonderworld
Zac Snyder’s Justice League Another superhero movie hits streaming services this week and for some, it might seem a bit familiar. Zack Snyder’s Justice League is the original director’s vision for the big screen superhero team-up, giving an alternate cut of Joss Whedon’s 2017 Justice League. With only a few days to go until release, some critics caught a full look at Snyder’s cut and early reactions indicate it may actually improve on the original.
Hmm, where to start. Yuji Naka (one of the main founders of Team Sonic) joined Square Enix in 2018 which later he founded Balan Company with Naoto Ohshima (The character designer for Sonic, Blinx and NIGHTS). The game was announced during Square Enix’s E3 livestream 2020 with the release date of March 26th, 2021 with Kingdom Hearts composer Ryo Yamazaki doing the music for the game and a novel releasing alongside with the game. Alright, let us talk about the gameplay. It is actually alright (for the most part) but I will admit the movement is somewhat sloppy and stiff which hopefully the dev team will polish it at the day of release. The game runs very well on PS4 (I have not play the demo on the other platforms, please forgive me) the visuals are amazing and it feels like something out of a dream. The costumes work very well and will help the player depending on the level (and yes, there is a costume referencing a certain blue hedgehog, I see what you did there Yuji-san) but I fear some will not be as useful. There is combat but it is a little simplistic. Remember the Chao garden from Sonic Adventure 2? Balan Wonderworld has something like that in the form of The Isle of the Tims. The music composed by Ryo Yamazki is really good, on par with the music he did for Kingdom Hearts but even better.
Snyder’s Justice League will come in at 4 hours and 2 minutes, which is double the runtime of the 2017 release. What exactly is included in these extra two hours, you ask? Many of the scenes that Snyder shot before he departed the film, which then ended up on the cutting room floor, have made it into this latest version. We’ll also see the return of DC characters such as Jared Leto’s Joker from Suicide Squad and Joe Manganiello as Deathstroke. Major DC villain Darkseid will also see the light of day in Snyder’s cut. Audiences can also expect a whole new look to the tone and visual effects of the film with Snyder bringing his distinctive style. You can get a taste of what’s to come in the latest trailer. So, do a handful of cut scenes and Superman in a black suit make for a better version of the film? If you don't believe that #ZackSnydersJusticeLeagueis a totally different movie by comparison to the theatrical version, you are wrong.
Balan Wonderworld looks promising but do temper your expectations as the actual game is going to be different from the demo.
WhatsUp in Disability
Graham Burstow I got to have lunch with Graham Burstow OAM at Cobb & Co Museum to talk about his life and his love of photography. Graham has over 20 of his framed photos on display at Cobb & Co. They reflect in his unique black and white style, images of local community people from all walks of life, their strengths, their character and their uniqueness. He is a true gentleman and richly deserved the award that he received on that day.
By Steven Paull
The Australian Cultural Library had proudly awarded Graham with an honorary lifetime membership to the Australian Cultural Library. It was awarded in recognition of his long and distinguished service to the arts in Australia. The ACL is an independent, volunteer run, donation based Australian arts and humanities reference only library. ACL members voted unanimously to award Mr Burstow with the association’s first ever honorary lifetime membership at the library’s annual general meeting. Graham is an internationally-renowned photographer with many books of works published, a founder of the Australian Photographic Society and lecturer in photography. His passion for capturing moments started when he was seventeen after his older brother had joined the Toowoomba Grammar School’s camera club. My first camera was a Russian Mockba camera, I’ve still got it. I started entering the club competitions and one of the judges from Brisbane suggested I enter four of my prints in an international competition. That changed my whole life. One of the prints won the Sun Trophy which is a top print award. I think the year was about 1949. I’ve got a little bit of a sense humour and a lot of my pictures have a humorous twist to them. I like people and I like photographing people. For several years Graham has been attending ACL events and passing his knowledge and expertise to volunteers and visitors, adding to their lives a valuable insight which only experience and expertise can offer. Graham Burstow (right) was presented with an honorary lifetime membership from the Australian Cultural Library's Steve Townsend
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By Andrew Spradbrow Our People Campaign TRC this week launched an educational campaign to increase respect for its workforce and to help minimise threats made to staff by members of the public. In 2020, Council reported an increase in the frequency and severity of staff being threatened or abused while doing their job throughout the community. The campaign, ‘Our People – your friends, family and neighbours’ aims to humanise TRC’s workforce and help members of the public understand that while they work for Council, they’re also people and members of the Region. TRC Mayor Paul Antonio said it was disappointing that some staff had been threatened for doing their job but he hoped the
‘Our People’ campaign would showcase how staff deserved the same respect as everyone else. “Everything our people do is for our community,” he said. “Our people are our greatest asset and they have a right to do their work free from intimidation, abuse and threats, regardless of what job they’re performing.” “I’m excited that we’re launching a campaign to not only showcase the great work of our staff but also to highlight that they’re just people, like everyone else.” TRC Chief Executive Officer Brian Pidgeon said the ‘Our People’ campaign was a great initiative that had the joint support from Council’s Leadership Team and the Unions that represent Council’s employees. “This is a campaign which recognises the dedication of our workforce and creates greater understanding of the person behind the uniform,” he said. “It’s important to our organisation that we ensure we’re doing whatever we can to make our staff feel safe and supported while they’re working.” Our people are working every day to meet the needs of the community. To find out more about the ‘Our People’ campaign, visit
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New to Disability? First Points of Contact Centrelink Payments and Services
Disability Support Pension
Health Care Card
Indigenous Call Centre
1800 136 380
Emergency Crisis Payment
NDIS General Enquiries
1800 800 110
NDIA Toowoomba Office
07 4592 4057
Local Area Coordinator
07 4646 2800
Medicare General Enquiries
MyGov Help Desk
Toowoomba Disability Information Office Open Monday to Friday (9:00am to 3.00pm) A question on disability or a service you require? Try us, most of our volunteers have a disability themselves and will be glad to assist you. If we can’t help, we will refer you elsewhere. JP services are also available
07 4699 4255
07 4615 3900
07 4616 6000
07 4699 4400
Community Groups Carer Advisory Service
1800 242 636
1800 059 059
Lifeline Darling Downs
1300 991 443
1300 364 277
There are a number of support groups for most disabilities available in this region. Contact WhatsUp in Disability on: Phone: 07 4632 9559 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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