Monday, December 22, 2014
Saturday, December 20, 2014
|Front sherpa and rider are sister and brother Jones. Father |
Mark Jones is in the blue shirt accompanied (l to r) by
Wendy Affleck NPWS Visitor Centre Manager
Michael Wright Head of Parks NSW and
Mr Mark Speakman (MLA for Cronulla)
Let's get the page views out of the way first. We bloggers hold page views very close to our hearts. They are a token of the mark we have made in the world - how many people's attention we have got. It's all a bit self-serving really but I can side step because this is not primarily about me but rather about the TrailRider.
The first 10,000 took 4 years to March 2014. The next 10,000 took 5 months to August. This 10,000 took 4. Things are ramping up.
Now for those NSW chairs.
Parks NSW has bought three chairs and the launch took place on Tuesday. They had been hanging out for the State Minister to have space in his schedule but finally decided to publish and be damned. Sadly the woman at NSWP who made it all happen, Christina Bullivant, could not be there but Michael Wright, the head of parks was. Also the Jones family about whom we will hear much more in the New Year. For now just take a peek at Have Wheelchair Will Travel to see why.
|Brendan (with his dad Mark) obviously liked it|
Two of the TrailRiders will be permanently assigned to Dorrigo National Park and Kamay Botany Bay National Park, closer to the city. The third will "float" but Christina just took it down to Kosciuszko where it will be for a while.
Check the Directory for all contact details. As with all the other chairs these will be free to use.
Do your Facebook duty and Like the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service Page
Thursday, December 18, 2014
I have never posted so much - 10 times last month, 7 so far in December - I'm just trying to ride the crest of the wave and tell you all about it.
So this one took me by surprise. It came to my attention when someone on Facebook shared this website and helpfully tagged me which brought it to my attention - thank you Kat McGregor.
The Every Australian Counts website (click on the picture) is the public face of the National Disability Insurance Scheme. The NDIS sets out to do for disability in Australia what Medicare did for illness - namely to make the treatments and the consequences available to all - regardless of wealth.
In the previous post I talked about Healthy Parks, Healthy People and the way that Parks Victoria uses this key notion to bring green places and human health together.
The TrailRider sits at a sweet spot between beautiful natural places and the disabled riders and perhaps the wholesome mental boost that bonds the sherpas into the team.
Somewhere at the edge of that lies the NDIS who are waking up to the therapeutic value, mentally and physically.
Watch this space. If you're a Facie I encourage you to like the Every Australian Counts page
Wednesday, December 17, 2014
|2014 Parks Victoria Christmas Card. Great Ocean Walk near Apollo Bay|
Photo: Flynn Hart
But really I want this to be a love letter to Parks Victoria. I hope some PVers are reading.
When we first approached David Roberts in the Grampians back in September 2010 the Healthy Parks, Healthy People program was already well established. As I write this, wearing the HPHP tee shirt that I brought back from the Congress, I feel so grateful to that global gathering for showing us HPHP in its true worldwide context.
We saw that Parks Victoria leads the world in the strengthening of the link between healthy green spaces and healthy humans. As CEO Bill Jackson pointed out this is not just exciting for those humans but also for the parks themselves. It brings an entirely new source of funds to Parks - the Health Budget. Medibank sponsorship of the HPHP stream at the Congress eloquently made that point.
It raises issues. Rangers have expertise with the green but what about the pink/brown? New skills and awarenesses will evolve.
TrailRiders just happened to arrive at the right time and place and Australia, increasingly all of it, is the beneficiary.
If you're a Facie I encourage you to like the Parks Victoria page
and if you agree that HPHP rocks why not Like their page too
Monday, December 15, 2014
|A TrailRider expedition to Everest Base|
Camp led to this picture of Pippa's normal
wheelchair being carried by a sherpa
Do you picture yourself as a sherpa? If you love being in the bush then how would it be to be part of helping someone be out there that couldn't otherwise.
Becoming a volunteer sherpa is first and foremost becoming a volunteer with all the usual registration, police check, ethics and so on that would apply to any volunteering. On top of that there would be some simple TrailRider training - it is not difficult. Most people are surprised on their first attempt how easy it is.
At each TrailRider location there will, eventually, be a volunteer program. As they are established they will be listed here and you might want to pick one that is geographically convenient.
If you are on Facebook then consider joining the closed group Australian Bush Sherpas where you can privately chat with other sherpas
Sherpa Volunteer Programs
Alternate Expression of InterestIf you'd like to express an interest in becoming a volunteer sherpa somewhere else then send us your email address. .
Sunday, December 14, 2014
It is the kind of thing I would say.
It was the same with the phrase wild places which I used several times in my text and which Pip at Storyscape picked out as the title for the video.
The video of the Adventurers Panel has finally surfaced.
Here you will see, very English, Paul Rose - vice chair of the Royal Geographic Society introducing Jessica Watson (around the world teenage yachtswoman) Sibusiso Vilane (Chief Scout of South Africa) and little old me.
I have cut out Wild Places as you can view that directly.
Early in the interview I introduced the vocabularty wheelie and upright and I loved the way that Karen Sloan used one of these words later on.
Sadly she did not take up my invitation to come to Tidbinbilla.
This is the Radio National Life Matters interview again. This experience was head and shoulders above any other radio interview.
Firstly because, for the first time, Ros and I were interviewed together - in separate rooms on separate phones. We loved the chance to be together in this way.
Second was the thoroughness of their preparation. Forty minutes of pre-interview the day before, as we drove to Sydney. It was such a luxury to do an interview where I knew roughly what the next question would be.
Monday, December 8, 2014
That is right up Parks Victoria's street and who should we see there but John Kenwright guiding many interested punters around the cobbles of the Square.
A venue like the DSR festival that draws so many wheelies is the ideal place to show off the TrailRider.
Sunday, December 7, 2014
The International Day for People with Disabilities is a special day each year for the TrailRider - no more so than 2014.
The last post was about the event in Canberra and I am still to receive information from Melbourne's Federation Square but here is news from Ballarat and Stawell.
In Ballarat, as promised, the Ballarat Specialist School hosted a fun run.
This, of course, resulted in quite a number of junior riders but was also an excellent breeding ground for the new breed of Ballarat volunteer sherpas.
The official program has yet to be launched but the connections and interest that will make it work are evolving and the local media may well spread the word - somebody keep me posted please.
Thursday, December 4, 2014
|The Tidbinbilla TrailRider on show in central Canberra|
One of my favourite acronym tales is from the days when I was writing my doctoral thesis by talking to my computer. The Dragon Dictate software learnt the acronyms I was using (XML, DTD, XSL etc etc) and could, in the end, correctly type sentences that were full of such mumbo jumbo.
So returning to the title of this post the Australian Capital Territory held a very successful celebration of International Day of People with Disability that was particularly notable for increasing attention from the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
For readers outside of Australia (or those inside who haven't been listening) the NDIS might, Abbott permitting, be almost the only surviving piece of bi-partisanship under the current government. It sets out to achieve for disability what MediCare does for illness - to bring an end to it being an economic issue. That is why the previous Labor government named it DisabilityCare.
In an environment where disability was properly funded the TrailRider can be treated as an important part of the system.
Tuesday, December 2, 2014
Some of the best, most gratifying, TrailRider moments have been when a child, or younger person is the rider. The approach in Ballarat will lead to many such moments. Craig Donaldson from the City of Ballarat has had a focus on special schools from the first moments of moving toward the TrailRider.
Now the Ballarat Visitor Centre houses a TrailRider but, as with every chair, usage depends on public awareness and volunteers who will act as sherpas.
In recognition of International Day for People with Disability (3rd December), there will be a TrailRider promotion on Friday 5th at the Ballarat Specialist School when all are welcome to try being sherpa (two TrailRiders will be there), to race in the Fun Run and to see the delight in many young faces