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Love on the Spectrum wants you!

ARE you looking for love? Are you on the spectrum or open to dating someone who is? Then Northern Pictures and Love on the Spectrum series producer Jenni Wilks wants you!

“We are not only looking for people who are on the autism spectrum to be part of the series but anyone open to meeting or dating a person on the spectrum who might have another disability or condition – or no disability at all,” said Jenni.

“We are also looking to meet couples who might be open to be part of the series.

“One of the people in the couple would need to be on the autism spectrum,” Jenni said.

As with ‘Employable Me’, the LOTS team feel they have the unique opportunity to educate an extensive audience about ASD and disability, breaking down some of the myths, misconceptions and stereotypical views.

“We are not wanting to impose a point of view or an agenda – the participants in the series will be the voice of the documentary,” Jenni said.

“They will be given the opportunity to tell their own story.

“We feel that is important and what the series is about in many ways,” she said.

“We hope to work with Currajong and fingers crossed we can.”

It is a rare opportunity for anyone from your organisation to register their interest and who knows, they maybe the next person on the show!

Love on the Spectrum currently screens on Netflix and Northern Pictures have sounded out Currajong to try and find more talent for the series.

“COVID has meant we need to keep things more state based which opens up another chance for regional areas to get involved,” said Currajong Comms and Marketing Manager Dane Millerd.

Interested parties can email – dane.millerd@currajong.org.au

Former Currajong support worker Alex Lee, who battles narcolepsy, is making awareness a priority.

ALEX Lee left Currajong some time ago now but there’s no secret or surprise many are still connected to and fond of one of our favourite former staff.

Now she is focusing on putting her efforts into raising awareness for Narcolepsy; a condition she battles.

“World Narcolepsy Day is today and awareness raising efforts are being made to identify issues as so many Narcolepsy symptoms are often excused or misdiagnosed, sometimes for years, sometimes forever,” Alex said.

“You don’t have to just ‘endure’ and ‘soldier on’ without seeking the right support.”

Narcolepsy is a chronic neurological condition that impairs the brain’s ability to regulate the sleep-wake cycle and affects about 1 in 2,000 people, or 3 million people worldwide.

Symptoms vary by person and may include sleepiness during the day, sudden episodes of muscle weakness often triggered by emotions (called cataplexy), sleep paralysis and confusing hallucinations around sleep.

“Today is vital as the greater community can also learn more about another invisible illness and gain better understanding and acceptance.”

 

Broderick and Creed Caldwell

Last week, members of the Parkes-based Central West Car Club helped brighten the day for a local boy who was celebrating his birthday.

Creed Caldwell who has autism was turning 14 and his father Broderick wanted it to be a special day for him.

“He’s mad on cars,” Broderick said.

“So I contacted the Central West Car Club and asked if they could bring some of their cars past our house on his birthday.”

Jeff McClurg from the CWCC said he put the word out to their membership.

“Not quite knowing how it would pan out, I was absolutely stoked with the response,” Jeff said.

“We had just over 20 vehicles turn up for a drive by and then we parked in the street for young Creed to take a closer look at some of his favourites.”

The cars varied from club president Rodney Barnes’ 1928 Chev tourer and Bill Barbers 1930 Pontiac to ‘70’s Holdens, Fords and Valiants and a wide ange of makes and models.

“From the looks of surprise on Creed’s face he was obviously excited,” Jeff said.

“And Broderick and his family gave us his many thanks which helped to make the afternoon well worthwhile.”

The Central West Car Club was formed in 1954 following a meeting of people from all walks of life who shared a common interest in racing high powered vehicles. They included dentists Geoff Brown and Alan Threlfo, car salesmen Ken and Allan Miller, banker Wal Horler, BP representative Alex Venn, auto-electrician Gary Wilson and many others such as Henry Jones from Forbes, Eston White and Alf Head.

* Story and pix courtesy of Parkes Champion Post and Jeff McClurg.

CAPTION: Broderick and Creed next to one of the cars.

Angie White with Rhyse Forrestal

RHYSE Forrestal has always been a go-getter. Whether it be at the gym, on the stage or in the workplace – Rhyse never shies away from giving his best. It is a trait not lost on many especially his new employer Parkes D’Aquino Liquor Merchants.

“He has been there a while now and is going well,” said Angie White, one of his support staff from Currajong Disability Services.

“He seems to really be enjoying it!’

With previous retail and customer service experience under his belt, Rhyse has made the new transition easily and is glad to be working again and meeting new people.

“I am loving my job and glad to be growing my skill set,” Rhyse said.

“The staff are great and the people are fantastic,” he said.

“I am a real people person so it has been tremendous and I look forward to going to work each day which not many can say!”

“I am just really grateful D’Aquino’s have given me an opportunity to work, achieve life goals, keep my independence and in turn, help with my self esteem and confidence,” he said.

The part time role is also close to home for Rhyse and fits perfectly with his lifestyle.

“My job is close to home and it keeps me busy,” Rhyse said.

“It really has been a case of life with opportunities for me at Currajong and everyone just keeps helping me enjoy my life to the fullest and achieve my goals,” he said.

“Life lately has been great!”

Mat Brown has discovered passion in his trial with Currajong

FOR most of his adult working life Mat Brown has worked as a baker. Whether he was cooking up pies or flummaries, Mat thoroughly enjoyed and still loves baking.

So when he injured his back, Mat, as part of his rehab, has been doing a work trial with Currajong Disability Services in Parkes and to say he loves it is an understatement!

“It’s a fantastic job and a great organisation,” Mat said.

“It’s my first foray into the industry so I am taking in all I can,” he said.

“Hopefully it eventuates into something.”

While Mat and Currajong are under no obligation beyond the initial three month trial to take the placement any further, Mat is optimistic as he continues to manage his injury and rehab whilst learning about a new industry he admits he is really starting to love more and more.

“The people, the culture – everyone has been so welcoming and I can’t thank Jodie and the team enough!”

Welcome aboard Mat!

Bev with Jay Crouch - one of the many participants she has positively impacted since working at Currajong

WHEN Beverley Gabriel-White started in late 2011 at Currajong Disability Services she had no connection to the Parkes shire at all. It was a big move from Goulburn for Bev and now nearly nine years later, she leaves with a treasure trove of friendships and highlights that will last a lifetime.

“Currajong provided me with a better opportunity at the time as one-on-one disability care was and still is my main passion,” Bev said.

“Currajong allowed me to do that and it was an exciting challenge for me,” she said.

“While there are many things that I will remember and that make me smile, I am very pleased how much Jay Crouch has progressed during my time having been one of his main one on one support workers,” said Bev.

Karen Willis is another and the list goes on and on and on.

“There’s too many to name – Bev has left an indelible imprint on so many and not just our participants but staff and families as well,” said Neil Hamilton, another support worker and colleague from Currajong.

Yet it is arguably her work with Ian Kaupke that is most impressive especially if you ask colleagues or the Kaupke family.

“Bev has many qualities but her best is supporting people with complex needs. Her ability to support and empower participants 1:1 in their homes and in the community to achieve their goals is uplifting,” said Service Delivery Manager Jodie Turner of Currajong.

“Her work with Ian Kaupke particularly has been exceptional but everything she does is,” Jodie said.

“Bev has supported Ian Kaupke for the past two years to achieve his key goal of gaining employment. Ian’s love for animals has gained him work at The Pound in Peak Hill” she said.

Ian’s grandfather Wolfgang echoed Jodie and Neil’s sentiments.

“His life has changed because of her and he is getting there. She has done wonders for him and there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for him and us,” said Wolfgang Kaupke.

“Apart from helping him get work she also has been helping him get his license, going above and beyond for him and our family. Often she will do things she doesn’t have to do because she cares and she is passionate about what she does and it shows,” he said.

“Beverley has a great outlook and knows what she is doing and understands how to get the best from Ian. I know I speak for many when I say she will be greatly missed.”

While Bev’s last shift for Currajong isn’t until August 10 she knows the end date is nearing but leaves with so many positive memories.

“I feel personally I have really helped (or tried my best anyway) though everyone has played a big part in Currajong’s success and it makes me feel great,” said Bev.

“I am going to miss friendships and staff and the participants – I see them down the street often and I just know I will miss that. When I came here I didn’t know anyone and now everyone is like family to me,” she said.

“I will be back to visit and keep in touch for sure so while I may no longer live and work here I will definitely be seeing you all soon!”

August 10 is Bev’s last shift and then she is off to the Hunter Valley to start her new role.

“Thanks to everyone who has made this adventure and role so enjoyable – so glad I can walk away from here knowing I can come back and I have friends and family for life.”

All the best Bev and thank you for all you have done and providing light for so many! We will miss you!

Shannon Miller with some of his more recent homemade jewelry creations

SHANNON’S AMAZING JEWELRY

SHANNON Miller has always been creative and for those who know him, his real specialty has been jewelry making.

“He’s always been creative and talented for as long as I have known him,” said Deitre Jackson of Currajong Disability Services who often cares for Shannon when he is at Currajong HQ.

“He’s one of those people who can create anything from anything but in my humble opinion it’s his jewelry along with indigenous artwork that are among the most incredible things he does,” she said.

“He just has an eye for it!”

The latest creations come on the back of a government imposed lockdown which allowed many, including Shannon, to tap into his creativity.

“I like doing it and it is a lot of fun,” Shannon said.

“I am happy it makes others happy,” he said.

“Hopefully I can do it more often and maybe one day all the time,” Shannon said.

While Shannon and Deitre figure out behind the scenes how to make Shannon’s venture viable, Shannon meanwhile will keep designing his bracelets.

“Seeing people smile is what it’s all about,” he said.

“If I can bring some joy to people that’s great,” Shannon explained.

When asked what he liked most about jewelry making Shannon was very open.

“Being creative and the detail that goes into doing it I really like,” he said.

“It requires time and patience which we all had during lockdown,” Shannon said.

“The dream is to one day run a store with my creations so I hope I can make it happen!”

We hope so too Shan! Great work!

Jarrad Simpson, Blake Huntly and Jesse Kite with Tammy Nash

TAMMY Nash has never been one to seek the limelight. A quiet achiever, Tammy has been a reliable and positive employee of Currajong for a few years now and is popular among staff and participants.

So when she saw a recent story on the Today Show about a call out to help Henley Carey she felt compelled.

Henley has severe Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I).

“I saw Henley struggling with MPS so I knew I had to get involved,” she said.

“So I organised a painting for Henley’s room created by our participants.”

“A big thanks to all who contributed – you’re all stars!”

Henley Carey, one, from Coolaman, in south east NSW, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disorder that causes his body to swell, putting pressure on his organs.

But despite the disease, which affects one in 88,000 children, being incurable a bone marrow transplant will add years to his life.

His brother, Darcy, 3, will undergo surgery to give his younger brother bone marrow.

“I just knew I had to get involved,” said Tammy.

“It really left an impression and I am so glad everyone has run with it!”

Children who suffer from severe Mucopolysaccharidosis type I (MPS I) rarely live past 10 years old.

HENLEY’S MISSION

  • Henley Carey, 1, was diagnosed with Mucopolysaccharidosis type I in March 
  • The rare genetic condition causes swelling in his body which impairs his organs
  • Darcy Carey, 3, will undergo surgery to give his younger brother bone marrow
  • While the disorder is incurable, the transplant will extend, and better, his life
  • A gofundme page has been created to help the family, from Coolaman, NSW 

THE Carers NSW 2020 National Carer Survey is now open until 30 June 2020. Make a difference for carers across the country and have your say today!

Developed by Carers NSW in collaboration with researchers from five universities and the National Network of Carer Associations, the Carers NSW 2020 National Carer Survey, is now online.

Every two years Carers NSW conducts a survey to ask carers about their experiences and find out what supports they need. In 2020 for the first time this will be a national survey, providing the opportunity to increase our number of responses and find out more about what is on the minds of carers nationally.

The data gathered in this research will help to advocate for carers, influence policy makers, and plan for service delivery into the future.

We encourage carers to complete the online version where possible, but we understand that not everyone is able to do so. A paper copy and reply paid envelope has been included for all Carers NSW members with every copy of the April/May edition of Carers News, and carers can order paper copies through this online form.

The Carers NSW Carer Survey is one of the major ways in which Carers NSW and our partners and stakeholders improve our understanding of caring and carers’ lives. This knowledge helps us to advocate for the things that matter to carers and raise awareness about current issues in caring.

The Carer Survey also helps us to understand the needs of specific groups of carers, including carers from different cultural backgrounds. It also highlights the challenges of different caring roles, for example caring for someone with a mental health condition, or the experience of being an older carer.

For more information about the Carer Survey, please contact the Research Team at research@carersnsw.org.au or on 02 9280 4744.

Australia's Biggest Bogan Festival organisers Brad Gibson and Luke Acheson with Dane Millerd of Currajong Disability Services

THE Regional Agricultural Show Development Grants Program is injecting $20 million into 122 regional agricultural show societies, including Bedgerabong PA & H Association Inc.

The upgrades at the Bedgerabong Showgrounds will include the development of a multipurpose livestock facility, fence repairs, installation of barriers and an upgrade to the watering system.

This is great news for organisers of Currajong fundraiser, Australia’s Biggest Bogan Festival after the 2020 version of the event as postponed due to COVID-19.

ABBF organisers Brad Gibson and Luke Acheson (pictured) were stoked with the announcement.

“We are very excited about this development and needed some good news after the hard year this has been for everyone,” said Luke Acheson.

“I know many are pleased we can move forward and raise some vital funds for Currajong and other charities,” he said.

Dane Millerd of Currajong Disability Services was equally pleased with the announcement.

“Events like this raise important funds for support programs, resources and many other things,” said Dane.

“We can’t state enough how grateful we are to the guys and the ABBF committee – you’re all amazing!”