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MSWA Bulletin Magazine Autumn 18

Janet was a year seven

Janet was a year seven school teacher before her diagnosis in 2011, and her ability to verbalise was her first loss. Janet is doing well by what can be expected and makes every post a winner. After my diagnosis in 1979 and requalifying as an Historian in 1983, I spent the next 32 years teaching at Murdoch University, and it seems to me that the most important function of teaching art and science is to arouse and keep alive this feeling of a cosmic experience in those people who are receptive. It was ‘high-fives’ after the moon emerged to continue on her cosmic journey, so I’m sure Janet agrees. Do people with a chronical neurological illness acquire a new insightfulness? I believe we do. Even with these nasty neurological pieces of work attacking our bodies we are continually trying to heal ourselves. Thankfully we are not alone as we look for ways to patch things up, revitalise our spirits and prepare our minds for the challenges our condition will impose upon us. In this issue of your Bulletin, Marcus discusses the NDIS, the construction of the new Butler facility, and the staff long service awards. Sue Shapland talks about ‘change’, the renovations taking place at MSWA, and why. There are several new Outreach centres being established, and more planned with funds set aside in the forward estimates. Sue’s concentrated Roundup of MS Research follows. Sue has also found time to review Maggie Beer’s latest book of recipes for dietary changes that have the potential to help ward off chronic conditions and Alzheimer’s. Everyone needs a little help, and in this issue, Sarah Lorrimar, Coordinator of Health Education and Peer Support, has organised several articles from our busy counsellors on brain health, brain therapy, sound and cognition, and how writing can enhance personal growth by creating a sense of empowerment and control. Nigel Carey updates us on the NDIS rollout and Ros Harman tells you what it is like to be swept up in the procedures of the NDIS. You will find that our regular contributor’s Ros Harman and Narelle Taylor have returned for 2018. We also have a special article from Carl Marche, a carer with a refreshing outlook. We definitely want to hear more from the unsung heroes – the carers of people with multiple sclerosis The effervescent Dawn Burke tells us all about her volunteers and the outreach news completes the suite. Thank you for your contributions, keep them coming, and on behalf of the team here at the Bulletin treadmill, we hope you enjoy this remarkably informative stunning blood-red super-blue-moon special Bulletin. Do you want to receive the Bulletin online? Want monthly information updates? Register your email address today to start receiving our monthly Vitality e-newsletter and the Bulletin magazine online. Just email damien.hill@mswa.org.au or call 9365 4814 and let us know your current email address. 4 | MSWA BULLETIN AUTUMN 2018

FROM THE DESK OF THE CEO MARCUS STAFFORD “Do not wait until the conditions are perfect to begin. Beginning makes the conditions perfect.” Alan Cohen In many respects this quote defines effective organisations. Our world is so fast-paced, that waiting for perfection would be an exercise in futility! We are very conscious of this at MSWA and understand that the sensible management of today’s risks creates tomorrow’s environment. Towards the end of 2017, the State Government made the important and long-awaited decision regarding the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) in Western Australia. We now have clarity regarding the future, and WA will join the federally funded NDIS from 1 July 2018. Although we were clear about the model that we felt offered best fit for people with disabilities in WA, our approach at MSWA is - and always has been - to support either decision wholeheartedly, and to do everything within our power to make it work. Our charter to serve Members and Clients as the Scheme rolls out across Western Australia made that a critical principle. By 2020, all areas of WA will be part of the NDIS. People already in the Western Australian Scheme (WANDIS) will continue to receive services and will be fully transitioned into the National Scheme. I am pleased that MSWA is an approved NDIS service provider and we welcome new, eligible participants. We never forget that it is our Members and Clients who live with their neurological condition every day, and our goal is to help them with the path they choose, and to ensure they are maximising their benefits. I’m pleased to share that we have commenced construction of the new MSWA Supported Accommodation and Services Facility, in the northern suburbs of Perth. The $8 million facility in Butler will include a services hub – a one-stop shop for people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neurological conditions, as well as a high support accommodation facility. Residents will have their own self-contained unit, set within a safe environment, that includes onsite 24-hour, 7-day-aweek care for younger people who may have otherwise had to face the frightening possibility of living in an aged-care facility. With a decent following breeze and a normal winter that doesn’t hold up the build, we believe that the welcome mat will be laid out for Members and Clients in early 2019. This facility could not have been built without the strong foundations of our ongoing commercial activities and financial success. Neither would we have achieved our continued growth in Member and Client services, nor our leadership position as the largest funder of MS research in Australia. With that in mind, and with three quarters of the budget year behind us, we are keen to finish well. I am pleased to report that our financials are strong on profit and loss for current trading, cashflow for operation, and in our balance sheet that safeguards our future. The results are in for the MSWA Albany Swim and the inaugural Albany Ride, which saw over 300 participants come together to support the South West community, raising tremendous funds for people with MS and other neurological conditions. Congratulations and thank you for your continued support. Our 700+ staff do a brilliant job and I am constantly proud of their dedication and performance. Some are ‘newbies’, bringing fresh ideas and thinking. Others are seasoned campaigners bringing history and experience to the play. All are valued. As MSWA secures its position as an employer of choice, it is very pleasing to note that 14 staff will be receiving long service awards in the forthcoming ceremony, celebrating their personal milestones, ranging from 10 to 25 years’ service. What’s coming up? World MS Day Wednesday, 30 May is fast approaching and MSWA will once again be providing lots of opportunities for involvement. Plus, our annual Step Up For MSWA (the stair-climb of Perth’s tallest building) is in June. Stay tuned. And so, our approach will remain. To continue to work hard as we create those new beginnings, and in turn, strive for ‘perfection’ for our Members and Clients. Until next time. MSWA BULLETIN AUTUMN 2018 | 5