3/10/2018: Regional Community Engagement Linker Kylie Maunder has seen more of NSW's Northern Rivers region over the past year than most people see in a lifetime. Operating from her base in Lismore, Kylie visits Aboriginal and other isolated communities from Grafton to Tweed and out to Tabulam on a regular basis, supporting a range of participants and programs as well as participating in key Social Futures activities and groups. "This is literally the best job I've ever had," Kylie says.
20/8/2018: A big ‘thank you’ to the Ability Linkers at LiveBetter in Orange, who last week donned their flannelette shirts, rolled up their sleeves – and raised almost $900 for NSW farmers to buy feed for their livestock. The ‘Feed for Farmers’ flannelette shirt fundraising took place on Thursday 16 August 2018 in the courtyard of the LiveBetter Child and Family Services office, with more than 100 people taking part in a fun-filled day featuring lots of delicious food.
7/8/2018: Tamworth Ability Linker Bec Browning has been recognised for her outstanding community work with a nomination for the regional NAIDOC Inspirational Woman of the Year award. Bec admits to being “blown away” by her nomination and feels deeply honoured.
The North West Alliance has received a Premier’s Award for improving government services with a special presentation made by NSW Minister for Disability Services, The Hon. Ray Williams. The North West Alliance delivers the Ability Links program across 87% of regional NSW. North West Alliance Program Manager Valerie Thompson was on hand to receive the award and said it was recognition of all the wonderful work the Linkers do in our communities.
A day devoted to stamping out the stigma around mental illness could become an annual fixture with locals and visitors alike embracing the spirit of the day when the Nyngan Tigers Senior Rugby League Club hosted its mental health round. The day, which was a collaboration between Nyngan Tigers and Ability Links NSW, aimed to break down barriers associated with mental illness, foster community understanding and empower people to seek help when needed. Former professional rugby league player and Black Dog Institute representative Wayne Wigham addressed each team at the end of their games, highlighting the importance of people seeking help when they don’t feel like themselves.
For a lot of kids, if they had to name their favourite activities, lego would be near the top of the list. A new partnership between Ability Links NSW and Bathurst Library will bring Lego for all as part of a new LEGO club. The club is for people of all different abilities aged between five and 18 years of age and aims to promote inclusiveness and help build friendships.
When Ability Links was asked to assist in planning and running this year’s Youth Week activities in Glen Innes we naturally jumped at the chance. After hosting successful Youth Week events in the past, it was decided that this year’s event would focus more on sports to better engage with the local high school. Youth Week opened with a free showing of The Edge of Seventeen which had over 100 people in attendance. Some of the young people who attended described it as a reflection of their lives, and a great movie to help build their self-esteem. An afternoon of touch football was also organised with several community leaders including a Linker, youth workers, fireman, police officer, ambulance officer, teachers, councillor, council general manager and directors joining in.
A new project being delivered by Ability Links on the Mid North Coast is teaching students the value of inclusion and giving students of all abilities the opportunity to enjoy sport. The Sports Ability Project is an early intervention initiative aimed at K – 6 students and staff from across the region and teaches them how to play inclusive games, including Boccia, Seated volleyball and blind-folded goalball.