December 13, 2017

Embrace the NDIS. In change there is opportunity

Gabrielle Fakhri is an engaging and vibrant woman whose eyes sparkle when you meet her. Today she stood in a room of people of diverse backgrounds and introduced herself, “I am mother of Simon”. Simon is a 44-year-old, wonderfully vibrant man from a Lebanese Arabic speaking background who loves to dance, gets a regular chiropractic treatment and adores going out for a drive.   Simon was also born with a severe level of disability impacting on his physical and neurological function.

And, but for the sound of her story being interpreted into multiple languages, and the occasional murmurs of the children present, the room was silent, captivated by her story.  She talked of strength and empowerment, and her eloquence in both English and Arabic spoke to this. She also spoke of her vulnerability, exhaustion and the raw fear, that change brings.  And she inspired those in the room, to engage with the NDIS.  To do great pre-planning, to reach out to organisations that can help guide and support you, to dream, to hope, and imagine the life they want for themselves, or for their children, or the people they care for.

Gaby ‘s presentation, was part of a co-ordinated, collaborative team that came together to help people get the most of this new world order.  Today, the Brotherhood of St Laurence in partnership with the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) hosted an NDIS Information Session for culturally and linguistically diverse members of the Hume Moreland communities,  in preparation for the NDIS roll-out in March 2018.  The information session aimed to encourage people who speak languages other than English to engage with the NDIS and learn more about its processes.  Interpreters assisted Arabic, Turkish, Mandarin and Cantonese speakers.

The Brotherhood hosted these sessions in partnership with the NDIA and was supported by Spectrum, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria (ECCV), Hume City Council, Moreland City Council, Foundation House and Tandem.

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