Bulletin Magazine Birak/First Summer 23

Welcome to the Birak / First Summer 2023 edition of Bulletin. On the cover: Thrill Seeker Chris McEnroe (pictured) and Social Butterfly Susan Finlay breathe new life into the MSWA brand, proving that life is so much more than limits. Inside: PLATYPUS trial brings new hope Margaret Cable: Back to the Bush! National recognition for MSWA team Final Instalment of our hydration series

Welcome to the Birak / First Summer 2023 edition of Bulletin.

On the cover: Thrill Seeker Chris McEnroe (pictured) and Social Butterfly Susan Finlay breathe new life into the MSWA brand, proving that life is
so much more than limits.


PLATYPUS trial brings new hope
Margaret Cable: Back to the Bush!
National recognition for MSWA team
Final Instalment of our hydration series


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Thrill Seeker Chris McEnroe (pictured) and<br />

Social Butterfly Susan Finlay breathe new<br />

life into the MSWA brand, proving that life is<br />

so much more than limits.<br />

<strong>Bulletin</strong><br />

Inside<br />


BIRAK | FIRST SUMMER 20<strong>23</strong><br />


Welcome to the <strong>Birak</strong> 20<strong>23</strong><br />

edition of <strong>Bulletin</strong>.<br />


29 Parkhill Way<br />

9365 4888<br />

Contact Us<br />

If you would like to comment on anything you read in<br />

this <strong>Bulletin</strong> please email bulletin@mswa.org.au<br />

For general feedback or complaints please contact<br />

feedback@mswa.org.au<br />

The Noongar Season ‘<strong>Birak</strong>’ is the fire season.<br />

The rain eases and the warm weather starts to take hold,<br />

but the afternoons are cooled by the sea breezes.<br />

Many fledglings are seen venturing out of their nests<br />

while reptiles begin to shed old skins for new ones.<br />

Editorial Working Group<br />

Nicola Washington, Tony Millar, Emily Ace and<br />

Nicolette Murphy.<br />

Contributors<br />

Geoff Hutchinson, Carol Chong, Dajana Tesevic,<br />

Vanishree Chetti, Denise Vogels, James Beckett,<br />

Tracey Hockey, Misty Reinkowsky and Crystal Chan.<br />

Client Engagement Department<br />

Our experienced teams will provide you with<br />

personalised support throughout your service journey<br />

with MSWA. From helping you to access funding, to<br />

working with you to get the most from your selected<br />

services, our trained staff are here to help.<br />

For more information, please contact 9365 4888.<br />

Our services include:<br />

• Counselling, Peer Support and Health Education<br />

• Community Support & In-home Care<br />

• Dietetics<br />

• Occupational Therapy<br />

• Outreach<br />

• Physiotherapy<br />

• Social Welfare<br />

• Speech Pathology<br />

• Nursing<br />

• Support Coordination<br />

Nursing Support<br />

Our Neurological Liaison Nurses are usually the first<br />

point of contact after the neurologist’s diagnosis.<br />

Community Nurse: 9365 4888<br />

Monday to Friday (8.00am - 4.00pm)<br />

Outreach at MSWA<br />

If you live in Perth, Rockingham, Bunbury or Albany and<br />

are interested in a trial to experience the Outreach<br />

community, get in touch via outreach@mswa.org.au<br />

Employment Support<br />

The MSWA Employment Support Service is the only<br />

specialist employment service for people living with<br />

multiple sclerosis and other neurological conditions in<br />

Western Australia. Our team can help you to stay<br />

in your current job or find employment in the open<br />

labour market.<br />

Please call: 1300 865 209<br />

See all our supports and services at mswa.org.au<br />

Switch to <strong>Bulletin</strong> online today!<br />

Help us reduce our environmental impact by going<br />

digital and connect with more engaging content.<br />

Email us at marketing@mswa.org.au to sign up.<br />

Acknowledgement of Country<br />

In the spirit of reconciliation, MSWA acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of the many lands<br />

and language groups of Western Australia, and their connections to land, sea and community.<br />

We pay our respect to their Elders past and present, and extend that respect to all Aboriginal<br />

and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.<br />

2 3

From our CEO<br />

As we head into summer and<br />

the Noongar season of <strong>Birak</strong>,<br />

we are conscious that whilst the<br />

warm days bring beach days and<br />

barbeques, the heat can mean a<br />

challenging period for some of<br />

our community with neurological<br />

conditions. This issue of <strong>Bulletin</strong><br />

has some great hydration advice<br />

from our Nursing team to help you<br />

get through and for those who love<br />

the beach, there’s an article about<br />

wheelchair beach access.<br />

As we reflect on the last quarter<br />

and look ahead to the next, a lot has<br />

happened and there is much to be<br />

positive about:<br />

<strong>First</strong>ly, we recently announced<br />

our significant support of $3m<br />

for a world-leading clinical trial –<br />

PLATYPUS, which will test the effect<br />

of a number of repurposed drugs<br />

on reversing neurological damage<br />

caused by primary progressive<br />

multiple sclerosis (PPMS). This is<br />

exciting as the results will come<br />

quickly, given the drugs are already<br />

approved for human use. We are<br />

really excited about the possibilities<br />

for this amazing research to improve<br />

the lives of those with PPMS. You<br />

can read more about the trial in<br />

this issue.<br />

Secondly, Perth and MSWA<br />

hosted the MS Australia Progress<br />

in Research Conference in<br />

November and welcomed more<br />

than 200 national and international<br />

researchers. This was also the<br />

first time the conference adopted<br />

a format which included the<br />

community of people with MS to<br />

discuss how research can positively<br />

impact their lives.<br />

A key topic was the benefit of<br />

including the MS community in<br />

co-designing and translating<br />

research. It was wonderful to see<br />

so many of our Clients in the room<br />

– it added such a valuable<br />

perspective to the conference<br />

and the research community.<br />

Thirdly, and in line with the<br />

collaborative and community<br />

focus of the conference, our Client<br />

Advisory and Co-Design Committee<br />

continues to engage on how we can<br />

do things better. A key area of focus<br />

we have agreed on is on improving<br />

Client communications. We’ll keep<br />

you posted on practical updates<br />

as they emerge, but I’d like to thank<br />

the committee for their time, focus<br />

and commitment.<br />

In terms of events and community<br />

engagement, I’m continually amazed<br />

by the support we receive from<br />

our generous WA community. At<br />

the 20<strong>23</strong> MSWA Ocean Ride in<br />

November we saw almost 2000<br />

cyclists take to West Coast Highway<br />

to tackle a range of challenges for<br />

people with neurological conditions.<br />

The riders raised more than<br />

$280,000 and it was inspiring to<br />

see people of all ages and abilities<br />

enjoying the day.<br />

You can read about the incredible<br />

Jason Potter who cycled from<br />

Sydney to Perth and concluded his<br />

epic adventure at our Ocean Ride! I<br />

did the 30km and it hurt enough, so<br />

I truly applaud Jason for doing it for<br />

so many days and at a considerably<br />

greater distance.<br />

Lastly, you may have noticed a fresh<br />

new look for this publication and for<br />

MSWA more broadly. Our ‘Life not<br />

limits’ campaign puts the focus back<br />

on the people who matter the most<br />

to us – Western Australians living with<br />

neurological conditions. You’ll get<br />

to meet Chris McEncroe, our Thrill<br />

Seeker, and Susan Finlay, our Social<br />

Butterfly, who proudly feature in our<br />

new adverts. We are very excited<br />

about sharing the inspirational<br />

stories of our community in this<br />

<strong>Bulletin</strong> and over the coming months.<br />

It wouldn’t be a December<br />

publication without some mention<br />

of festive celebrations. This year our<br />

team at Butler have worked with the<br />

local community to launch our first<br />

ever Outreach Christmas Market<br />

on 14 December, featuring creative<br />

workshops, gift stalls and much<br />

more. It was also a great chance<br />

to meet the Butler team and tour<br />

the impressive facilities. We look<br />

forward to engaging with our Clients<br />

and community to do much more of<br />

this type of engagement.<br />

I hope you all get time off to relax<br />

and enjoy this season with your<br />

family and loved ones. I know our<br />

team at MSWA is looking forward to<br />

a break (or at least a slower pace),<br />

some good food and fun.<br />

Wishing you all a happy festive<br />

period and a peaceful New Year.<br />

Thank you once again for your<br />

unfailing support and collaboration<br />

as we focus on Life – not limits.<br />

Melanie Kiely<br />

Celebrating at the finish line of the 20<strong>23</strong> Ocean Ride.<br />

Melanie with Social Butterfly Susan<br />

Finlay for the live draw on Channel 7.<br />

Announcing the PLATYPUS clinical<br />

trial at the Progress in<br />

MS Research Conference.<br />

MSWA CEO<br />

4 5

Member & Client Services<br />

Welcome to the <strong>Birak</strong> / <strong>First</strong><br />

<strong>Summer</strong> edition of our Member &<br />

Client Services <strong>Bulletin</strong>.<br />

As featured on our front page,<br />

MSWA Clients Chris McEncroe and<br />

Susan Finlay have shared with us,<br />

and now the world, their uplifting<br />

stories of lives well lived for our<br />

refreshed brand campaign. This new<br />

era of MSWA is all about putting our<br />

Clients at the centre of all that we do,<br />

and showing that every life is about<br />

so much more than a diagnosis. We<br />

can’t wait to see what other amazing<br />

Client stories we can share through<br />

Life not limits.<br />

NDIS News<br />

On Friday 3 November, Co-Chairs<br />

of the NDIS Review Panel, Professor<br />

Bruce Bonyhady AM and Ms<br />

Lisa Paul AO PSM, presented an<br />

independent Report to disability<br />

ministers and discussed the<br />

Review’s recommendations.<br />

Ministers discussed key challenges<br />

currently facing the NDIS that have<br />

been identified by the Review’s<br />

What we have heard report released<br />

in June, including:<br />

• Participant numbers and NDIS<br />

costs are higher and growing at a<br />

faster rate than projected by the<br />

Productivity Commission in 2017.<br />

• Further detailed design and<br />

implementation of any changes<br />

to the NDIS needs to continue<br />

with the engagement and<br />

trust created through<br />

deep engagement of the<br />

Independent Review.<br />

• The NDIS exists in an ecosystem<br />

of disability support that must<br />

be unified.<br />

Newsflash:<br />

Since time of writing, the NDIS has released<br />

their Final Report with 26 recommendations<br />

and 139 actions to the public. You can access<br />

the full report and easy-to-read guide here:<br />

• The NDIS participant pathway<br />

has unclear criteria for<br />

reasonable and necessary<br />

supports, which create<br />

complexity, stress, inconsistency<br />

and mistrust.<br />

• Ineffective market stewardship<br />

and regulation has led to service<br />

gaps, poor quality supports and<br />

opened the door to exploitation.<br />

• Participants have limited choice<br />

over where, how and with whom<br />

they live, and NDIS Supported<br />

Independent Living decisions are<br />

inconsistent.<br />

• Complexity of local area<br />

coordinators (LACs), support<br />

coordination, plan management<br />

and community connectors<br />

are expensive barriers to<br />

participants accessing supports.<br />

You can read more information<br />

regarding the report through the<br />

Disability Reform Ministerial Council<br />

Meeting Communique.<br />

Get up to PACE<br />

The NDIA are in the process of<br />

implementing their new software<br />

system ‘PACE’. This is being rolled<br />

out over the next 18 months, but<br />

it will mean some changes. Geoff<br />

Hutchinson has provided a detailed<br />

review on page 8 with what you<br />

need to know about ‘PACE’ and what<br />

changes to expect.<br />

Around MSWA<br />

On Tuesday, 14 November our<br />

Outreach Team held a presentation<br />

for our Clients who won prizes for<br />

their artwork at the Canning Show<br />

exhibition held earlier in the year. The<br />

talent of some of our Clients is truly<br />

outstanding, well done to everyone.<br />

And so on to Christmas. Yes, we are<br />

already there!<br />

<strong>First</strong>ly, our Client and Volunteer<br />

Christmas party that is held every<br />

year and is such a fantastic event,<br />

with another fun day filled with<br />

entertainment, wonderful food and<br />

lots of singing.<br />

We also held our first Christmas<br />

Market at our Butler Centre on 14<br />

December. This was an opportunity<br />

to take a tour of our service centre<br />

and residential accommodation,<br />

while enjoying wonderful food,<br />

entertainment and shop the handcrafted<br />

stalls.<br />

Check out the full gallery from both<br />

of these wonderful events using the<br />

QR codes on the right-hand side.<br />

Our Client Advisory and Co-Design<br />

Committee is now well established<br />

and we are getting valuable<br />

feedback on what we need to focus<br />

on across our supports and service<br />

delivery. Congratulations to Gavin<br />

Harper who was voted in as Deputy<br />

Chair for the Committee.<br />

As always, your feedback is<br />

important to us so if you have<br />

anything you would like to<br />

share please contact us at<br />

feedback@mswa.org.au.<br />

Nicki Washington<br />



Christmas Market<br />

Client and Volunteer<br />

Christmas Party<br />

6 7

Client Engagement<br />

Can you keep pace<br />

with PACE?<br />

When a historical saying remains<br />

relevant for centuries, there's no<br />

doubt it's timeless truth. Greek<br />

philosopher Heraclitus (born<br />

so long ago that both Aristotle<br />

and Plato considered him old!) is<br />

credited with one of the truest<br />

sayings - "Change is the only<br />

constant in life." How does this<br />

relate to MSWA, you ask? Well,<br />

because one thing we've learnt<br />

over the years when we're talking<br />

about the NDIS, is that change is<br />

consistently constant.<br />

The latest change in the lives of<br />

participants and providers alike is<br />

the introduction of PACE. PACE is<br />

the National Disability Insurance<br />

Agency’s (NDIA) new business<br />

management software, built to<br />

replace the current Services<br />

Australia platform used for the past<br />

five years. If your eyes start glazing<br />

over when people start talking<br />

about Client relationship platforms,<br />

I don’t blame you. However, PACE<br />

is something everyone should be<br />

across because the changes it<br />

brings with it will impact the way<br />

NDIS plans are managed and paid.<br />

According to the NDIA, PACE is<br />

the outcome of its ‘Participant,<br />

Platform, and Process’ initiative<br />

to streamline and enhance the<br />

participant experience within the<br />

scheme. This ‘enhancement’ will<br />

be through greater transparency<br />

across transactions for both Clients<br />

and providers, real-time information<br />

and centralised portals which will<br />

make invoicing and claims more<br />

straightforward.<br />

Other stated benefits of PACE<br />

include faster management of<br />

service payments and greater<br />

transparency in interactions, which<br />

will ensure both participants and<br />

providers have access to up-todate<br />

information, thus streamlining<br />

processes minimising delays and<br />

simplifying financial management.<br />

Of course, to bring about these<br />

improvements, there will be some<br />

changes to the process. One of the<br />

most significant changes is the<br />

introduction of a system called ‘My<br />

Provider’, which asks participants<br />

to endorse a provider (usually<br />

done at Planning Meetings) which<br />

will allow claims to be fast-tracked<br />

and paid within two to three days.<br />

When a provider is not endorsed,<br />

participants will receive a text<br />

message from the NDIA after each<br />

claim asking them to confirm the<br />

payment, with the whole process<br />

taking about 10 days. Critically,<br />

the ‘My Provider’ requirement only<br />

applies to agency-managed funds.<br />

This means that if you are self or<br />

plan managed the ‘My Provider’<br />

changes will not affect you at this<br />

the time.<br />

Additionally, PACE will also bring<br />

changes to some of the support<br />

categories used to allocate funding<br />

within your plans (i.e., Core, Capacity<br />

Building, and Capital budgets) and<br />

have added one new support type<br />

called ‘Recurring’ which so far only<br />

has ‘recurring transport’ available.<br />

Again, these changes are more<br />

terminology and should not impact<br />

your day-to-day service delivery.<br />

One final change will be the new<br />

annual ‘Participant Check-ins’. In<br />

theory, participants will be called<br />

by an NDIA representative to check<br />

on their well-being, discuss whether<br />

there have been any changes to<br />

their support needs or goals, and<br />

find out whether their current<br />

NDIS plan is meeting their needs.<br />

The outcome of this conversation<br />

determines whether they will<br />

then receive a slight variation or<br />

complete reassessment. The good<br />

news is these check-ins (especially<br />

for those whose plan is working well)<br />

will mean the plan roll-over process<br />

should be quicker and reduce the<br />

time required for the planning<br />

process.<br />

Finally, while nothing is confirmed,<br />

and as discussed above change<br />

is constant, the information we’re<br />

getting from the NDIA is that longer<br />

(five-year) or lifetime plans may be<br />

coming.<br />

But don't worry, because despite<br />

all these changes, there are some<br />

important things that are staying the<br />

same, including (and very crucially)<br />

the fundamental structure of your<br />

NDIS plan. You will still receive<br />

funding to purchase reasonable<br />

and necessary support to help<br />

your day-to-day activities. Also, the<br />

support you are receiving now is<br />

still available, which means your<br />

services won’t change in a new<br />

PACE world. So, while PACE will<br />

be different, it shouldn’t be that<br />

different once your plan is set<br />

up properly.<br />

The other good news is that<br />

this won’t be happening all at<br />

once. Following feedback from<br />

participants and providers, the<br />

rollout, which started in October,<br />

will take place over 18-months and<br />

the full national transfers of existing<br />

participants will commence in<br />

February next year. So, we’ve all got<br />

some time to learn how the new<br />

system works before the old one<br />

disappears for good. You can find<br />

out if you’re on PACE during your<br />

next plan reassessment or your next<br />

planning meeting.<br />

So, as our good friend Heraclitus<br />

has taught us, change will continue<br />

to happen, and we know this is<br />

exactly what happens within the<br />

NDIS world. Having been around<br />

the NDIS for some time now, I<br />

understand that some of these<br />

changes will be good, some less<br />

good and some will come by without<br />

anyone noticing. My read is that<br />

PACE will be noticed briefly, before<br />

becoming ‘just the way we do things’.<br />

Whatever the outcome, MSWA will<br />

keep our eye on all things PACE and<br />

will keep providing you with as much<br />

information as possible as these<br />

changes come to our attention.<br />

Geoff Hutchinson<br />


8 9

Introducing…<br />

Life not limits<br />

After a massive year of consultation,<br />

meticulous planning, market testing,<br />

creative development and listening<br />

to our Clients, we are so proud<br />

to present MSWA's brand new<br />

platform: Life not limits.<br />

Chief Marketing Officer Tony Millar<br />

said the mission was to transform<br />

the way people perceive MSWA,<br />

from a brand that ‘runs a lottery’<br />

back to our core purpose, a charity<br />

dedicated to supporting West<br />

Aussies with neurological conditions<br />

to live their version of best.<br />

“The Mega Home Lottery is a big<br />

part of our organisation’s history,<br />

but we need to broaden that<br />

understanding,” he said.<br />

“This includes switching the spotlight<br />

to our core purpose and why we<br />

truly exist. The most authentic way<br />

of doing that is through telling real<br />

stories with real people.<br />

“It was a privilege to tell the<br />

authentic stories of Thrill Seeker,<br />

Chris, and Social Butterfly, Susan,<br />

who truly embody the concept of<br />

‘Life not limits’.<br />

Thank you to Susan and Chris for<br />

granting us the privilege of telling<br />

your stories, we had plenty of fun<br />

both pool and trackside, and hope<br />

you are as proud of the results<br />

as we are.<br />

It was especially heartwarming to<br />

see Chris’ karting community go out<br />

of their way to support him on our<br />

shoot days – because being on the<br />

track on your own just isn’t the same!<br />

Well done to the Bunbury City Kart<br />

Club for their unwavering support<br />

of Chris, including our six racers who<br />

took time out of their schedules to<br />

appear alongside him in our<br />

film shoot!<br />

We also loved seeing our MSWA<br />

staff members in the spotlight,<br />

a big thank you to Kim Jahnig, Pip<br />

Johnson and John Ryan for their<br />

starring roles, as well as Hawa<br />

Jalloh and James Beckett for their<br />

hard work behind the scenes to<br />

make it happen.<br />

We truly appreciate all of our Clients<br />

who participated in our consultation<br />

interviews, focus groups and<br />

surveys to help shape this new<br />

campaign.<br />

We can’t wait to share even more<br />

stories in 2024 – and would love<br />

to hear yours! Send an email to<br />

marketing@mswa.org.au and tell us<br />

how you focus on life, not limits.<br />

We hope you enjoy our fresh new<br />

look, colour palette and graphics –<br />

of which Susan and Chris had the<br />

opportunity to design their very own<br />

(take a closer look at the animation<br />

on our new ads!).<br />

Meet our Thrill Seeker, Chris<br />

Meet our Social Butterfly, Susan, featuring another<br />

amazing Client and friend Christine Wilder.<br />

The Mega Home Lottery goes live on Channel 7!<br />

For the first time ever, the winner of the Mega Home Lottery Grand Prize<br />

Package was announced live to air on Channel 7 news on 13 November,<br />

coinciding with our brand new ads going to air for the first time!<br />

There was plenty of excitement building to this huge<br />

moment, with Clients and staff from across MSWA<br />

invited to the City Beach home to help celebrate.<br />

See the amazing moment our 20<strong>23</strong>B MHL winner<br />

Sophie had her life changed forever, here.<br />

Chris' track mates Adam, Cody and Jamie responded to the call out for<br />

support to appear in our film shoot by his side.<br />

“We are hugely excited about the<br />

next phase of our brand evolution,<br />

and we are sure that ‘Life not<br />

limits’ will set MSWA up for future<br />

sustainability and success.”<br />

Perth bridges light up red<br />

The iconic Matagarup bridge, as well<br />

as a host of other bridges across<br />

Perth, shone brightly in MSWA red on<br />

Sunday, 12 November, in recognition<br />

of the MSWA Ocean Ride and<br />

MSWA's brand refresh!<br />

10 11

Research<br />

Dietetics<br />

Hope for Australians battling<br />

Progressive Multiple Sclerosis<br />

Feeling fatigued?<br />

Here’s how your diet can help<br />

In a monumental stride towards<br />

combating primary progressive<br />

multiple sclerosis (PPMS), a<br />

pioneering clinical trial named<br />

PLATYPUS was unveiled at the MS<br />

Australia Progress in Research<br />

Conference in Perth on November 29.<br />

The $4 million initiative, the first of<br />

its kind in Australia, aims to reverse<br />

neurological damage associated<br />

with PPMS, providing a beacon of<br />

hope for those living with this severe<br />

form of multiple sclerosis.<br />

Distinguished by its innovative<br />

multi-arm, multi-stage (MAMS)<br />

adaptive design, PLATYPUS takes<br />

a revolutionary approach to<br />

accelerate the testing of potential<br />

treatments.<br />

The flexible nature of this<br />

design enables researchers to<br />

simultaneously explore the efficacy<br />

of various existing medications.<br />

Unpromising treatment arms can<br />

be dropped, and new treatments<br />

introduced, expediting the trial process<br />

compared to traditional methods.<br />

CEO Melanie Kiely expressed MSWA's<br />

pride in contributing $3 million to this<br />

transformative research project, with<br />

its potential to redefine the landscape<br />

of PPMS treatment.<br />

“PLATYPUS has the potential to<br />

deliver a significant breakthrough,<br />

as we aim to provide real-life<br />

outcomes which positively impact<br />

the lives of people living with PPMS<br />

– which is always our focus," she<br />

said. “By testing two repurposed<br />

drugs, we hope to find a treatment<br />

which can be quick to market for the<br />

people we support.”<br />

MS Australia CEO Rohan Greenland<br />

hailed the announcement as a<br />

major milestone for the 13,000<br />

people living with PPMS in Australia,<br />

addressing a critical unmet need in<br />

the MS landscape.<br />

Neurology Professor Simon<br />

Broadley from Griffith University’s<br />

School of Medicine and Dentistry<br />

explained PLATYPUS was an<br />

extension of the Optimal Clinical<br />

Trials Platform for Multiple Sclerosis<br />

(OCTOPUS) clinical trial, funded by<br />

the UK MS Society and launched in<br />

April 20<strong>23</strong>.<br />

Collaborating with OCTOPUS<br />

partners in the UK, the trial will<br />

examine the potential of drugs like<br />

metformin, typically used for type<br />

2 diabetes, and alpha-lipoic acid,<br />

a health food supplement, both<br />

showing promise in promoting<br />

remyelination and/or repairing<br />

myelin in MS.<br />

MSWA Chair Horst Bemmerl said<br />

the unique approach of PLATYPUS<br />

gave him hope for faster treatment<br />

options.<br />

“People living with MS, like myself,<br />

often say ‘a cure won’t happen in my<br />

lifetime’ due to the time required to<br />

bring new medications to market,”<br />

he said.<br />

"PLATYPUS is different, as it’s using<br />

existing medications that have<br />

shown potential in treating PPMS.<br />

Because they have already been<br />

tested, they can be fast-tracked.”<br />

He further commended Australia for<br />

joining the OCTOPUS program ahead<br />

of other major players across the<br />

globe, terming it a groundbreaking<br />

move improving the chance of<br />

delivering effective results.<br />

The PLATYPUS trial, set to involve<br />

collaboration among 20 academic<br />

and healthcare institutions, aims<br />

to recruit over 250 participants in<br />

Australia.<br />

Once available, the MS Australia<br />

and MSWA websites will have the<br />

information you need to progress<br />

your interest in the trial. Also, keep<br />

an eye on social media posts from<br />

both MS Australia and MSWA during<br />

2024 for the latest updates.<br />

For many people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and other<br />

neurological conditions, fatigue can have a significant<br />

impact on day-to-day life, impacting energy levels for<br />

work, socialising or engaging in activities they enjoy.<br />

This can be heightened in the summer months when we<br />

have long, hot days.<br />

Fatigue can result from inflammation and immune<br />

responses, or from other factors such as medications,<br />

poor sleep, low mood and diet.<br />

There is a growing body of evidence which shows us<br />

that improved overall diet quality can help to improve<br />

fatigue symptoms. But what specifically helps to improve<br />

diet quality?<br />

A good quality diet includes plenty of fruits and<br />

vegetables, wholegrains, lean protein and healthy fats. It<br />

also has lower amounts of highly processed foods such<br />

as pre-made cakes, pies, biscuits and processed meats<br />

such as sausages and bacon – but that doesn’t mean we<br />

need to avoid these all together.<br />

Here are some practical ways you can improve your diet quality and help manage your fatigue:<br />

Include complex carbohydrates.<br />

These release energy into the body more<br />

slowly and give longer-lasting energy<br />

across the day. Complex carbohydrates<br />

include wholegrain breads and cereals,<br />

rolled oats, brown or basmati rice and<br />

wholegrain pastas.<br />

Include lean protein.<br />

This helps to support strength and<br />

immunity, as well as provide energy<br />

and help you feel satisfied from a meal.<br />

This could include lean chicken or meat,<br />

fish, lentils, chickpeas, tofu or dairy<br />

products such as yoghurt, milk<br />

or cheese.<br />

Eat the rainbow.<br />

Choose a range of different coloured<br />

fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds to get<br />

a range of fibre, vitamins and minerals.<br />

This will provide longer lasting energy<br />

and support improved gut health.<br />

Rest when you need to.<br />

It is important for the body to rest when<br />

it needs to, so see if you can schedule<br />

rest time into your day. Consider stress<br />

management strategies such as<br />

meditation, exercise or light movement.<br />

Consider meal size and timing.<br />

Large portion sizes will mean the body<br />

uses more energy to break down and<br />

digest a meal, which can worsen fatigue<br />

symptoms. Eating smaller, more regular<br />

meals and snacks can help you gain energy and nutrition,<br />

without being too fatigued from digestion. You may plan<br />

more substantial meals at times when your energy is higher.<br />

Limit large amounts of processed foods.<br />

Highly processed foods and drinks like<br />

cakes, biscuits, processed meats, pies,<br />

sausage rolls and soft drinks are often low<br />

in nutrition and high in calories, sugars and<br />

saturated fats (which we aim to limit in our<br />

diet). They can cause our energy to peak<br />

and drop quickly in the day.<br />

Stay hydrated.<br />

Drinking plenty of water will help to<br />

alleviate fatigue symptoms.<br />

Enjoying a healthy, good quality diet can help improve<br />

your overall health and wellbeing, as well as support<br />

fatigue management. If you are interested in looking at<br />

your diet, our MSWA dietitians can provide individual<br />

advice and support to help you.<br />

Hannah Papendorf<br />


12 13

Occupational Therapy<br />

Margaret Cable:<br />

Back to the Bush!<br />

Beach Access Guide<br />

In Western Australia, we are truly blessed when it comes to the natural<br />

environment we are surrounded by, and sometimes take for granted. From<br />

the bush to the beach, there is so much to explore – especially during the<br />

long summer days ahead of us.<br />

After three long years, Margaret Cable is back to<br />

doing what she loves – ‘going bush’ to photograph the<br />

wildflowers and spend time in nature.<br />

And there is plenty of it around her property in Toodyay,<br />

where her previous “townie” wheelchair couldn’t quite<br />

handle the terrain.<br />

Seeing how this had impacted Margaret’s quality of<br />

life, her Occupational Therapist Michaela Van Zuylen<br />

advocated on her behalf to the NDIS for chair that would<br />

help Margaret live the life she wanted.<br />

“She was finding that her old chair got her most places<br />

that she needed to go, but where she really wanted to go<br />

was the off-road trails where she used to go bush walking<br />

with her dog, Smudge,” Michaela said.<br />

“She would say to me ‘no, it’s great’ and that it was giving<br />

her a lot of freedom, but it just wasn’t – she was really<br />

missing those trails.”<br />

Determined to help Margaret get back out there,<br />

Michaela contacted Wild West Wheelchairs to find the<br />

best off-road chair option. After some trials, the AllTrack<br />

was the perfect fit and Michaela set about applying to<br />

the NDIS to make it happen.<br />

Although it took almost a year of work to get it to<br />

Margaret, the pay off was all worth it.<br />

“It's very rewarding, seeing the smile on her face when it<br />

arrived – she was just grinning from ear to ear the whole<br />

time. It was amazing,” Michaela said.<br />

“Margaret and her husband also purchased a small<br />

motorbike trailer so they can go to other trails in the area<br />

– the plan is to explore and go places she couldn’t go<br />

previously.”<br />

Margaret said the new powered wheelchair had made<br />

not only a huge impact on her life, but 7-year-old Smudge<br />

the dog’s life as well.<br />

“It’s just opened up so much choice for him to go walking,<br />

the first day we went into the neighbor’s property he was<br />

running around, he had his little tongue hanging out and<br />

you could see the joy on his face for going somewhere<br />

different for a change,” she said.<br />

“It’s made a massive impact, not that anyone would ever<br />

think, on the dog’s life, as well as my life.<br />

“I wanted to go into the forest to take pictures of the<br />

wildflowers and the orchids when they came out and that<br />

was the number one reason – and now I’ve already put<br />

100kms distance on it!”<br />

Margaret said she didn’t think it would be possible to<br />

get a new chair, but thanked Michaela and the NDIS for<br />

making her dream a reality. In her own words, “the lady<br />

done good!”.<br />

“I get a few looks and people telling me I am pretty lucky<br />

to have the chair, but it’s like ‘you don’t have to tell me, I<br />

know!’,” Margaret said.<br />

“I did say to Michaela<br />

to thank the NDIS for<br />

providing it to me, because<br />

it does mean so much<br />

to me.<br />

“And now the neighbor has<br />

cleared the firebreak, so<br />

now it’s like a grand prix<br />

circuit – I’m off!”<br />

See Margaret in action!<br />

And as Margaret has shown us in her story, using a wheelchair shouldn’t be a<br />

barrier to enjoying the great outdoors or our lovely coastline on those hot days!<br />

MSWA Occupational Therapist Michaela Van Zuylen has put together this<br />

useful guide, from beach wheelchair and walker hire to accessible trails, so<br />

you can start planning your summertime adventures.<br />

Find your local accessiblebeaches.com/beach-directory<br />

The Accessible Beaches website has a search function to help you find which beaches have public access<br />

wheelchairs, matting, accessible bathrooms, hoists and other important information when planning a beach day.<br />

Find the right equipment<br />

There are a few beach wheelchairs and walkers which can be booked on spacetoco:<br />

• www.spacetoco.com/space/fremantle-wa-beach-wheelchair-leighton-beach<br />

• www.spacetoco.com/space/push-beach-walker-leighton-beach-north-fremantle-wa<br />

• www.spacetoco.com/space/city-beach-wa-sandcruiser-beach-wheelchair<br />

• www.spacetoco.com/space/sandcruiser-beach-wheelchair-bathers-beach-shipwrecks-museum<br />

Other equipment can be booked through your local council’s website.<br />

Time to change<br />

This website is a directory of where to find changing places – these are specific disability change rooms for<br />

people who require a hoist for transfer, change table, wheelchair accessible shower and toilet.<br />

On Accessible Beaches I found two locations which also offer free loan beach wheelchairs and changing places<br />

for people who need hoist transfers:<br />

• accessiblebeaches.com/beach-directory/abc-beach-template-6r9we Sorrento Beach<br />

• accessiblebeaches.com/beach-directory/abc-beach-template-dmscc Koombana Beach (Bunbury)<br />

Time to hit the trails www.alltrails.com/australia/western-australia/perth--2/ada<br />

Website AllTrails has a list of wheelchair friendly trails across Perth, with hand-curated trail maps, driving<br />

directions and detailed reviews from fellow nature lovers – so you know exactly what to expect.<br />

Ready for more? breaktheboundary.com.au/<br />

Break the Boundary is a volunteer organisation that runs off-road cycling and hiking opportunities for people<br />

with physical and neurological conditions. From multi-day camps to individual clinics and social group rides, the<br />

team helps people connect with the outdoors and experience areas thought to be inaccessible.<br />

Remember to reach out to your occupational therapist if you need help going off-road this summer. As well as<br />

helping you to locate which beach or trail has the accessibility features you require, they can also assist you with<br />

booking out the equipment and determine accessible changing places.<br />

Happy adventuring!<br />

14 15

Nursing<br />

Water, life, the universe<br />

and everything! – Part 5<br />

Constipation has<br />

many possible causes,<br />

including:<br />

Not eating enough fibre.<br />

Foods high in fibre include fruit,<br />

vegetables, high-fibre bread and<br />

cereals, nuts, seeds and legumes.<br />

How hydration impacts<br />

continence and bowel care<br />

We’re often told we should drink two, maybe even as<br />

much as three litres of water a day for our health. But is<br />

that right?<br />

The reality is, there is one simple rule that all health<br />

authorities, including Kidney Health Australia, agree on;<br />

drink to satisfy your thirst – no more, no less.<br />

So how much should we drink? It’s a simple case of<br />

arithmetic; we need to take in enough to make up for the<br />

amount we lose each day, which is around two litres (1.5<br />

litres as urine and 0.5 litres as perspiration and water<br />

vapour).<br />

We consume about one litre of water through our food<br />

(based on a normal diet of fruit, vegetables, cereal etc.),<br />

so that leaves only about one litre to make up – roughly<br />

six small glasses.<br />

There are exceptions; you need to drink more on hot days<br />

or when exercising, but even then, you should still be<br />

making about 1.5 litres of urine a day.<br />

Another way to tell if you’re drinking enough is to check<br />

the colour of your urine, which should be pale lemon<br />

coloured.<br />

How the bladder works<br />

The bladder is a storage organ that sits in your pelvis.<br />

Urine is made by your kidneys and stored in the bladder<br />

until you are ready to pass urine. When you pass urine,<br />

the bladder outlet muscles (urethral sphincter and<br />

pelvic floor muscles) relax and your bladder contracts<br />

to push the urine out. Your brain controls your bladder<br />

(consciously and sub-consciously) when it is time to<br />

empty. So, for most of the day, your brain is sending<br />

messages for you to hold on and not empty your bladder<br />

– and most of the time you do not even realise.<br />

A normal bladder<br />

• Empties 4–6 times each day.<br />

• Can hold up to 400–600 ml of urine, but usually feels<br />

quite full at about half this amount (200–300 ml).<br />

• May wake you up once at night to pass urine.<br />

• Tells you when it is full, but gives you enough time to<br />

find a toilet.<br />

• Empties completely each time you pass urine.<br />

• Does not leak urine (incontinence).<br />

• Does not need you to push or strain to pass urine.<br />

• Empties easily and without any pain.<br />

How the bowel works<br />

Digestion of food occurs in the stomach and small bowel.<br />

The small bowel takes the nourishment your body needs<br />

from what you eat. The remaining waste forms bowel<br />

motions (faeces). Faeces enter the large bowel (large<br />

intestines or colon) as liquid. The large bowel absorbs<br />

water back into the body and faeces become more solid.<br />

When faeces reach the lower part of the large bowel<br />

(rectum), you feel fullness in your rectum (back passage),<br />

or the urge to pass a motion (defecation).<br />

Rochelle Brown<br />


A normal bowel<br />

• Passes bowel motions anywhere from three times<br />

a day, to once every three days. The normal pattern<br />

for passing bowel motions varies greatly from person<br />

to person.<br />

• Doesn’t need you to strain excessively, but allows the<br />

bowel motion to be passed easily and without pain.<br />

• Tells you when it is full but gives you enough time to<br />

get to the toilet.<br />

• Empties the lower bowel completely each time you<br />

pass a bowel motion.<br />

• Doesn’t leak faeces (formed or liquid/ diarrhoea) or<br />

gas (wind or flatus).<br />

Constipation<br />

Constipation is the difficulty of passing a bowel motion<br />

that may be very hard. With constipation, bowel motions<br />

are often passed less than three times a week. You often<br />

have the feeling that you have not completely emptied<br />

your rectum (back passage) after you have passed a<br />

bowel motion.<br />

Constipation is upsetting because it can make you feel<br />

uncomfortable and bloated, as if your rectum is never<br />

completely empty. It can cause haemorrhoids and anal<br />

fissures (tears with bleeding in the anus) by the constant<br />

need to strain to pass a bowel motion.<br />

Straining can also increase the risk of you developing<br />

a rectal prolapse (sagging of the rectum out of the<br />

anus). Severe constipation or faecal impaction are by<br />

far the most common causes of bowel leakage (faecal<br />

incontinence), especially in the elderly population.<br />

Hard bowel motions are difficult to pass and may cause<br />

a partial blockage in the lower bowel, resulting in watery<br />

faeces flowing around the constipated stool without<br />

warning. This may be mistaken for diarrhoea.<br />

Not drinking enough fluid.<br />

Fibre and fluid work together<br />

to keep bowel motions regular.<br />

Without enough fluid, bowel<br />

motions may become dry and<br />

difficult to pass.<br />

Not exercising enough<br />

or reduced general activity level.<br />

The side effects of some<br />

medicines. Such as painkillers<br />

or iron tablets.<br />

Not being able to go to the toilet<br />

because of poor mobility or<br />

problems with standing, walking<br />

and sitting.<br />

Some diseases of the nervous<br />

system such as Parkinson’s<br />

Disease and Multiple Sclerosis.<br />

Some bowel problems.<br />

Such as haemorrhoids, irritable<br />

bowel syndrome, or diverticulitis.<br />

Anorectal pain (pain to the<br />

anus and the rectum) caused by<br />

haemorrhoids, fissures, surgery or<br />

birth trauma.<br />

A slow transit bowel.<br />

This may be due to nerve damage<br />

as a result of a stroke, Parkinson’s<br />

Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, spinal<br />

cord injury and trauma.<br />

Poor toilet habits.<br />

Such as not sitting on the toilet<br />

properly, ignoring the urge to go to<br />

the toilet to pass a bowel motion,<br />

rushing when on the toilet and/or<br />

hovering |over the toilet instead<br />

of sitting.<br />

16 17

Counselling<br />

Letting ourselves<br />

off the hook<br />

Looking at mistakes through a<br />

bigger lense<br />

I made a mistake the other day. Okay, so I’ve made<br />

more than one, but this one seemed to carry a lot<br />

more weight than the others. It was different.<br />

I believed it was different.<br />

I felt swept up in a storm of thoughts and feelings,<br />

and all I wanted to do was climb into bed and eat<br />

some chocolate.<br />

I find journalling helpful, so instead, I began to write<br />

down what was on my mind. I wrote out my thoughts and<br />

feelings and then began to look at other resources to<br />

see what could help me. It was then something I read just<br />

popped out to me: Mistakes are necessary for growth.<br />

You’re not expected to be perfect. Boom. It hit me.<br />

I had heard this before and had even said something<br />

similar to others, but this spoke directly to my heart.<br />

It was what I needed to hear.<br />

Suddenly, my perspective changed. I wasn’t meant to be<br />

‘perfect’ and get it right all the time. Instead, I was offered<br />

compassion, understanding and comfort.<br />

My storm calmed further, and my feelings changed to<br />

that of comfort, encouragement and even compassion<br />

for myself. I no longer wanted to hide from the world, I<br />

felt encouraged to go out and make new mistakes. In a<br />

sense, I let myself off the hook.<br />

The way that we think influences our feelings and<br />

actions; and vice versa. This is the premise of an umbrella<br />

of therapies called Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT).<br />

It also recognises that there a patterns of thinking that<br />

we as humans have to some degree or other, which are<br />

often irrational. Often called ‘unhelpful thinking styles’,<br />

or ‘cognitive distortions’ in an extreme form, they can<br />

have a big impact on our mood and thus, how we react<br />

or respond. When we make a mistake and we experience<br />

intense emotions, it could be that we are viewing the<br />

situation and ‘mistake’ through a lens which incorporates<br />

one or more of these unhelpful patterns of thinking.<br />

So how can we widen our lens? Pausing and asking<br />

ourselves questions that can help us gather more<br />

information can give us a ‘bigger picture’ of the situation.<br />

Below are some common unhelpful thinking styles and some helpful reflective questions to ask:<br />

All or nothing thinking.<br />

Seeing one extreme or the other. It is either ‘good or<br />

bad’. ‘I never do anything right’.<br />

Questions: Am I being ‘extreme or rigid’?<br />

Is there any grey 'area' that I might be missing?<br />

Mental Filtering.<br />

Filtering in and filtering out so that the focus is only<br />

on one part of the situation.<br />

Question: What else might I be ignoring?<br />

Catastrophising.<br />

Where we view the situation as the worst possible<br />

scenario. We ‘blow things out of proportion’.<br />

Question: What are some other possible outcomes?<br />

Jumping to conclusions.<br />

We assume we know what another is thinking and<br />

we make predictions based on this. ‘She probably<br />

doesn’t want to have coffee with me because she<br />

thinks I am boring’.<br />

Questions: What are some other reasons for this?<br />

Do I know this for certain?<br />

Personalising.<br />

Taking responsibility or blaming yourself for<br />

everything that goes wrong.<br />

Questions: ‘What other things could have impacted<br />

this outcome?’<br />

Overgeneralising.<br />

Taking one or a few instances and assigning it to<br />

others e.g. ‘You always...’ or ‘Everyone…’<br />

Questions: Does this apply to every situation?<br />

Emotional reasoning.<br />

Where we view or base the situation on our feelings.<br />

‘I feel like I’m a bad friend so I must be.’<br />

Question: How would I view this situation if I<br />

felt differently?<br />

As you read this, I wonder what comes to mind for<br />

you or what has stood out. Are there some mistakes<br />

that you have found hard to let yourself off the<br />

hook for? Or perhaps there have been other<br />

peoples’ mistakes you are finding hard to let go of.<br />

Both are very normal and common experiences<br />

with mistakes.<br />

Pausing and reflecting to become aware of these<br />

thinking patterns might be one way to shift the<br />

perspective. Offering ourselves compassion and<br />

forgiveness for our imperfect humanness can also be a<br />

powerful way to help ‘let ourselves off the hook’.<br />

Like my own revelation – mistakes are necessary for<br />

growth. We are not expected to be perfect.<br />

If you would like someone to support you with this,<br />

speak with your Client Liaison Coordinator or<br />

call 9365 4888 and enquire about our MSWA<br />

counselling services.<br />

Meagan Butler<br />


18 19

Our People<br />

NDS Awards Recognition<br />

We’ve always known we have a quality team working here<br />

at MSWA, and it is a pretty special moment when this<br />

gets recognised on a national scale.<br />

This was all the more impressive, considering he was up<br />

against entire teams of allied health professionals from<br />

across the country!<br />

Bruce Hale<br />


Melanie Cooper<br />


Clinical Team Lead and Lymphoedema Physiotherapist<br />

Randall Rooney flew to Melbourne with Physiotherapy<br />

Manager, James Beckett to attend the National<br />

Disability Awards on December 11, where he received<br />

a high commendation in the Excellence in Allied Health<br />

category.<br />

Randall Rooney<br />



Dedicated Care Support Workers Bruce Hale and<br />

Melanie Cooper were also nominated and placed on the<br />

‘honour roll’, in the category of Excellence in Disability<br />

Support Work.<br />

Here is what their Clients and colleagues had to say.<br />

Bruce has worked at MSWA’s Hamilton Hill supported<br />

accommodation for 10 years, building a strong<br />

rapport with Clients and always providing consistent,<br />

high-quality care.<br />

His mission is to ensure that residents enjoy the best<br />

quality of life possible, despite the individual challenges<br />

they face, because as he always says, “they deserve it”.<br />

Bruce fulfills any extra tasks the residents’ request.<br />

These tasks range from IT / television problems to<br />

participating in playing games, or just having the time to<br />

listen and converse with the residents.<br />

Melanie provides a consistently high level of care for her<br />

Butler supported accommodation Clients, seeing who<br />

they are as individuals – not defined by the disabilities<br />

they live with.<br />

Melanie is a strong advocate for her Clients. She voices<br />

their concerns ensuring they get the best quality of<br />

service while following up with management and Clients<br />

alike to ensure action is taken.<br />

Melanie has been in the caring industry for more than<br />

20 years, and actively seeks opportunities to expand her<br />

knowledge within the disability sector.<br />

Randall’s outstanding contributions include the<br />

development and implementation of a Lymphoedema<br />

Physiotherapy service at MSWA, after recognising a<br />

need for his Clients.<br />

His excellent clinical abilities, positive attitude and<br />

confidence as a therapist allows him take on Clients<br />

with complex care needs, helping them to overcome<br />

significant challenges and achieve therapy goals.<br />

Client Graham Partridge OAM, who was diagnosed with<br />

Parkinson’s Disease in 2017, and his wife Robyn were<br />

quick to sing Randall praises during the nomination<br />

process.<br />

“Randall is excellent, oh my god he is so good. We<br />

previously went to another provider and have had<br />

physios from different hospitals come over, but Randall is<br />

by far the best,” Robyn said.<br />

“The others were all scared of Graham’s height, because<br />

he is big. Because they were worried he would fall, they<br />

had him sitting down most of the time, taking his blood<br />

pressure. But not Randall.”<br />

Graham said he was most impressed with Randall’s<br />

“dedication to his job and his Clients”.<br />

“His whole demeanor is good, we have a laugh and it<br />

works. I always say to him, ‘where have you got the whip<br />

today?’ and we have a laugh.<br />

“He puts the time in, he knows how to get the best out of<br />

people. He is dedicated, makes you feel at ease.”<br />

He is also known to volunteer his time to stay with<br />

residents on lengthy medical appointments either with<br />

specialists, at GPs or hospital visits so they don’t have to<br />

wait alone.<br />

As well as his care for his Clients, Bruce shows<br />

leadership each day in growing the knowledge and<br />

skillset of his team.<br />

The team is becoming a little worried about Bruce<br />

retiring, because Hamilton Hill does not know how it<br />

would cope without him!<br />

A colleague gave this glowing recommendation for<br />

Bruce:<br />

“Bruce is a gentleman to work with. He treats everyone,<br />

residents and colleagues alike, with utmost respect,<br />

kindness and gentleness.”<br />

“Even though he is brimming with skill, he remains<br />

humble and gracious. He turns his ever present ‘can-do’<br />

attitude into ‘will-do’ and does, making him a highly valued<br />

team member who is most deserving of this esteemed<br />

recognition.”<br />

A certified level two manutention trainer, Melanie acts to<br />

maintain as much Client independence and dignity while<br />

ensuring safety for the Client and staff members alike.<br />

One of Melanie’s Clients, Debra Evans, moved into Butler<br />

five years ago and credits Melanie for making what was a<br />

difficult transition into a smooth one.<br />

“Mel has made that transition of coming to live here really<br />

quite easy. She made me feel a bit more normal, made it<br />

feel more like home,” Debra said.<br />

The qualities she most appreciates in Melanie are her<br />

helpfulness, friendliness and down-to-earth nature.<br />

“My sort of cup of tea! You shouldn’t have your favourites,<br />

but I would say she is mine,” Debra said.<br />

“Mel has a natural ability in making someone feel<br />

accepted, feel normal. She treats you with respect with<br />

dignity and she has made a very difficult transition for<br />

me personally much easier.<br />

“She is very conscientious and caring in what she does,<br />

and she is so genuine. She means the world to me.”<br />

20 21

Community Supporters<br />

Our Stories<br />

Margaret Doody’s Masterpiece<br />

Louise Bruce: Caring by nature<br />

Local artist Liv Robinson Art<br />

dedicated hours of painstaking<br />

work to create a beautiful four<br />

metre underwater-themed mural,<br />

bringing new life to the courtyard of<br />

MSWA's Margaret Doody House.<br />

The respite centre in City Beach<br />

gives our Clients the chance to relax<br />

and reset, while their carers and<br />

family members also take some time<br />

out to rest.<br />

This art project was years in the<br />

making, with Liv visiting Margaret<br />

Doody in September to add the<br />

final flourishes - complete with fans<br />

watching on as she worked.<br />

"It’s always a bonus when your art<br />

can help start a conversation or<br />

inspire some sort of interaction,” Liv<br />

explained.<br />

“That’s the whole point of putting big<br />

pieces out on a wall; to bring people<br />

together, create a community feeling<br />

and have a chance to meet people -<br />

that's the power of art,” Liv said.<br />

Liv’s drive to give back to the<br />

community stems from her own<br />

health-battles she experienced as<br />

a child.<br />

“I spent two years as an inpatient<br />

in a hospital when I was a child, so I<br />

know what it’s like when there is no<br />

art on the wall,” she said.<br />

The project was funded through<br />

a Go-Fund Me page set up by Liv,<br />

to ensure the mural was gifted to<br />

Margaret Doody House.<br />

This piece is particularly unique, as<br />

Liv bought the artwork to Wilson<br />

Outreach for Clients to leave their<br />

own signature mark on the painting.<br />

“That was really important, because<br />

my work is really about empowering<br />

people through the art process, so it<br />

didn’t feel right to just paint it myself<br />

and then put it up on the wall,” Liv said.<br />

“The hour or so I was at the centre,<br />

it was lovely to see everybody get<br />

involved, take an interest or even just<br />

watch on.<br />

“It’s not about whether you think<br />

you have an ability, it’s about letting<br />

yourself get lost in the process<br />

of having fun, playing and getting<br />

creative.<br />

“Get out there – whether it’s<br />

sketching, music, moving or dance<br />

– whatever. Just invite art back into<br />

your life because it is a tool available<br />

to all of us and it is so good for the<br />

mind, the spirit and the soul.”<br />

Michael, who was enjoying a stay<br />

at Margaret Doody House when Liv<br />

came to paint the finishing touches,<br />

said it had transformed the whole<br />

courtyard area.<br />

“It’s amazing – you can’t believe<br />

something like that is just out here<br />

on this wall,” he said.<br />

“With all the difficulties in the world<br />

these days, to have artists and<br />

musicians contributing and putting<br />

up murals like this, it just brings so<br />

much joy to everybody in the world,<br />

and we really need that.”<br />

Thank you Liv, your masterpiece is<br />

so appreciated by our staff and<br />

our Clients.<br />

After 15 years of service to MSWA<br />

and its Clients, Louise Bruce knew<br />

the time was right to say goodbye<br />

– but not until she had served up a<br />

delicious spread for all of Wilson to<br />

remember her by!<br />

“They all loved the food today – I<br />

wanted to do my own catering for<br />

them so they could enjoy something<br />

different,” Louise said.<br />

This selfless desire to put others<br />

first is what has left a lasting impact<br />

on all who met Louise during her<br />

time with MSWA, with almost 100<br />

Clients, fellow volunteers and<br />

staff packing the Wilson atrium to<br />

say goodbye.<br />

Around the room, memories were<br />

shared – and one anecdote from<br />

Teresa Zammit truly defined the<br />

character of Louise: someone who<br />

would give the shirt off their own<br />

back, literally.<br />

Coming to work one day, Teresa<br />

had complimented the top Louise<br />

was wearing. Without a second<br />

thought, Louise had visited the<br />

bathroom, whipped it off and<br />

changed it for another, just so she<br />

could gift it to her .<br />

“That’s just me. If somebody likes it, I<br />

just give it,” Louise said.<br />

Louise first set foot in Wilson to<br />

accompany her husband, who lived<br />

with MS, to his hydrotherapy and<br />

physiotherapy appointments all<br />

those years ago, and her love for the<br />

Clients meant she never left.<br />

“I had a disabled husband and I<br />

looked after my parents with their<br />

illnesses, so that’s why I love caring<br />

for people.<br />

“I started as a volunteer in the<br />

kitchen because I used to bring<br />

my husband here to Wilson, so I<br />

did volunteering while he did his<br />

exercises.<br />

“It’s the members I am so attached<br />

to, they are so lovable. They are<br />

loving and caring even though they<br />

have their own illnesses.”<br />

Louise would always arrive a half an<br />

hour early each day to prepare all<br />

the morning tea for the Clients and<br />

was always one of the last to leave.<br />

“If the members are still here and<br />

there are not many staff around, I’ll<br />

stay back and play games with them<br />

until they get picked up by the taxi.<br />

So if you add up all the hours that I<br />

have given, bloody hell!” she laughed.<br />

“But it has come to the stage where<br />

it’s time for me to go, my arthritis is<br />

playing up otherwise I would have<br />

stayed on. You always know when<br />

the time is right for you.”<br />

Louise will be remembered for her<br />

fantastic culinary skills, smiling face<br />

and of course, her love of singing.<br />

“I put the music on, and I am always<br />

singing – Celine Dion is my favorite,”<br />

she smiled.<br />

Even though Louise has officially<br />

retired, she will be going from one<br />

caring role to another with plans<br />

to help look after her great niece<br />

and her children with her newfound<br />

freedom.<br />

“I love kids, and my family always<br />

comes first,” she said.<br />

As well as babysitting duties,<br />

Louise will have plenty of time to<br />

get creative thanks to a parting gift<br />

of scrapbooking supplies from her<br />

“card ladies”.<br />

From all of us at MSWA, we<br />

thank Louise for her generosity,<br />

selflessness, and years of service.<br />

You will be missed!<br />

“What has kept me here is the<br />

members,” she said.<br />

22 <strong>23</strong>

Social Connections<br />

Outreach/Accommodation<br />

Happenings<br />

Canning Show Exhibition Awards<br />

Wilson Outreach’s talented Clients entered more<br />

than 50 artworks into the 20<strong>23</strong> Canning Show, from<br />

16 different artists. Of the works displayed, there<br />

were 18 winning pieces, two high commendations,<br />

two champion titles (Jasmin Franklin for receiving the<br />

Champion People with Disability Painting/Drawing<br />

Exhibit and Jackie Edwards for the Champion People<br />

with Disability Hobby Ceramics Exhibit) and a coveted<br />

People’s Choice Award winner for Tony Villamagna!<br />

Murder mystery<br />

In celebration of the spooky<br />

season, Rockingham Outreach<br />

enjoyed a murder mystery<br />

themed game! The team went<br />

all out with costumes and<br />

decorations to boot.<br />

Rockingham<br />

beach day<br />

Rockingham Outreach enjoyed<br />

a day by the beach at Bell Park<br />

Reserve, filled with games, good<br />

company and tasty treats.<br />

Albany Outreach<br />

There has been plenty happening<br />

at Albany Outreach over the past<br />

couple of months, celebrating loud<br />

shirt day, an “Aussie” themed BBQ<br />

and galaxy-themed resin workshops.<br />

Melbourne Cup<br />

Wilson Outreach went all out to celebrate spring<br />

carnival, with raffles, sweepstakes, delicious lunch and<br />

fancy hats! A special shout out to Warren Black, who not<br />

only won the sweepstakes but also generously donated<br />

the winnings back to Outreach. He also won best hat on<br />

the day – how’s that for a run of luck!<br />

A refresh for Treendale<br />

It’s been a busy year for our Facilities and Maintenance<br />

Team, who have prioritised upgrade works across a<br />

number of our accommodation and respite facilities.<br />

Treendale Accommodation and Respite experienced<br />

the most significant face lift this year, receiving all new<br />

panelling, painting, flooring and LED lighting throughout.<br />

Treendale Supported Accommodation Coordinator<br />

Paula Kennedy said the changes had brightened the<br />

facility to make it feel new and more spacious.<br />

“We had all the carpet removed and stunning wood look<br />

flooring laid, this makes it cleaner and brighter looking,<br />

easier to keep clean and improved manoeuvrability of<br />

equipment and Clients’ wheelchairs,” she said.<br />

“All the residents have commented how much they<br />

like it. We have had both MSWA employees from other<br />

departments and other visitors comment on how much<br />

they love the changes and how much it seems to have<br />

lifted the spirits of staff and Clients,” Paula said.<br />

“We acknowledge the integral part the Facilities Team<br />

of Steve, Brendan, Brandon and Brendon played in<br />

planning, organising and supervising everything as<br />

well as being there to support the Treendale<br />

Gardens leadership team and staff<br />

with any issues that arose.”<br />

Rummikub champion<br />

crowned for 20<strong>23</strong><br />

Wilson Outreach hosted its annual<br />

rummikub competition, with 10<br />

competitors battling it out for<br />

top spot. This year’s champion<br />

was David Mewburn, with Shane<br />

King taking out second place.<br />

Congratulations!<br />

Butler gets creative<br />

for Halloween<br />

Butler Accommodation also<br />

got into the spooky spirit for<br />

Halloween, decked out wall<br />

to wall in cobwebs and<br />

creepy crawlies!<br />

African drumming<br />

workshop<br />

Our Butler Accommodation staff,<br />

physiotherapists and residents<br />

enjoyed a team building African<br />

drumming workshop in September,<br />

with plenty of laughs had all around<br />

while learning a new skill.<br />

“We have also had some new<br />

furniture to help brighten up the<br />

feel of the place and maintain the<br />

flow of the renovations. Natalie<br />

and Linda and some of the support<br />

workers have also been creative<br />

in respite making it a more homely<br />

atmosphere since the renovations.”<br />

And the work hasn't gone unnoticed by<br />

our most important stakeholders.<br />

24 25

Events<br />

Cross-country adventure<br />

all for ‘mum’<br />

Cycling for a<br />

better future<br />

It was only fitting that everyday<br />

Aussie Jason Potter finished his<br />

4,278km cross-country challenge<br />

in the arms of his mum, Marilyn, at<br />

the MSWA Ocean Ride finish line in<br />

November.<br />

Marilyn, who lives with multiple<br />

sclerosis, was the inspiration<br />

behind the 29-day journey from<br />

Sydney to Perth, with Jason raising<br />

over $22,000 for MS research and<br />

support.<br />

Jason tackled an average of 147km<br />

per day past the Blue Mountains,<br />

across the Great Australian Bight<br />

and down the 90 mile straight to<br />

make it in time for the MSWA Ocean<br />

Ride, with the 120km challenge the<br />

final flourish to end his journey.<br />

“Now to be able to say ‘I’ve ridden<br />

across Australia’ is a bizarre thing,<br />

I’m not a super athletic person by<br />

any stretch of the imagination, so<br />

to achieve that is quite something,"<br />

Jason said.<br />

As well as raising money, Jason was<br />

able to converse with many different<br />

people along the way to raise<br />

awareness for the cause.<br />

“I spoke with some kids in Caiguna,<br />

they had come over to have a chat,<br />

see the bike and to understand what<br />

I was doing. A few days later both of<br />

the boys had donated their pocket<br />

money to the cause,” he said.<br />

“It’s little things like that, that make<br />

you realise there is good in the world.<br />

People do want to help, you just have<br />

to talk about it and give them the<br />

opportunity, and I guess that is what<br />

the ride was all about.<br />

“To donate is a conscious positive<br />

decision you are making for a cause,<br />

and I think that is an amazing thing.”<br />

For Jason, tackling the MSWA<br />

Ocean Ride was an opportunity<br />

to reflect on the culmination of his<br />

journey.<br />

“The emotion built up over the<br />

course of that 120kms,” he said. “I<br />

rode with a few different people on<br />

the way and had a good mate join<br />

me for the last 5kms where I could<br />

thank him for his support.”<br />

“But to come into Whitfords Nodes<br />

and see mum... the relief and the<br />

excitement all molded into one.<br />

“I had thought about that moment<br />

a lot in terms of how I was going to<br />

feel, and it really was special, really<br />

emotional to see mum and the family<br />

there to watch me complete my<br />

journey.”<br />

A dedicated supporter and volunteer<br />

of MSWA’s events, Marilyn was a<br />

proud mum waiting to hand Jason<br />

his medal at the finish line.<br />

“It’s enormous what he has done,”<br />

Marilyn said. “He is just an ordinary<br />

man, but the main thing is all about<br />

raising as much money as he can for<br />

MS research, because he can see<br />

the debilitating effect MS has had<br />

on me.”<br />

“Everyone can do their part to make<br />

a difference. The research they are<br />

doing now in time to come will find<br />

a cure. Even if it is not in my lifetime,<br />

that is my hope.”<br />

There is still time to support Jason<br />

and his fundraising efforts at<br />

Ocean2OceanRide4MS.com.<br />

Congratulations Jason on a journey<br />

of gargantuan proportions!<br />

Watch Jason's Journey<br />

The 14th annual MSWA Ocean<br />

Ride – Powered by Retravision was<br />

a day filled with enthusiasm and<br />

community connection on Sunday,<br />

12 November.<br />

Starting at the scenic Port Beach in<br />

Fremantle and finishing at Whitfords<br />

Nodes Hillarys, the event attracted<br />

more than 1,700 participants,<br />

including <strong>23</strong>6 teams, who embarked<br />

on journeys ranging from 10km to an<br />

impressive 140km!<br />

The collective spirit was truly<br />

heartening, and we are thrilled to<br />

share that the event has already<br />

raised an astounding $288,037, with<br />

the donations still rolling in!<br />

This generous contribution will go a<br />

long way in supporting individuals<br />

in Western Australia living with<br />

neurological conditions.<br />

Introducing Bryan Kennington,<br />

one of our proud ambassadors.<br />

Bryan first heard about MS when<br />

his aunt was diagnosed with the<br />

condition in the early 1980s.<br />

Back then, MS was incredibly<br />

difficult to diagnose. There were no<br />

drugs approved to treat relapses,<br />

and in fact the first drug that proved<br />

effective for treating MS was an<br />

injection, and this wasn't until 1993.<br />

The 20<strong>23</strong> Ocean Ride was Bryan's<br />

11th year in a row cycling for MSWA,<br />

having pushed through the 100km<br />

challenge a few times, but his<br />

average ride over the years has<br />

been 70km.<br />

A special shout-out to Team ROAR,<br />

led by Captain Garry Giles, a<br />

devoted MSWA supporter. Garry's<br />

outstanding efforts earned him the<br />

title of Highest Individual Fundraiser<br />

and Team ROAR the Highest<br />

Fundraising Team, securing an<br />

impressive $11,400 as an individual<br />

and a massive $21,600 as a team.<br />

We extend our sincere gratitude to<br />

everyone who pedaled, volunteered<br />

and showed support on this<br />

memorable day.<br />

In addition, Team Wood claimed the<br />

title of Highest Fundraising Corporate<br />

Team, amassing an incredible $16,669<br />

and counting! Your dedication is truly<br />

making a difference.<br />

As we reflect on the success of<br />

this year, we invite you to mark<br />

your calendars for the 2024 MSWA<br />

Ocean Ride.<br />

Bryan said his commitment to<br />

participate each year is primarily<br />

because the money raised supports<br />

people with neurological conditions,<br />

but also because of the fun of event<br />

day itself.<br />

Bryan plans to ride for many years<br />

to come, and hopes that the money<br />

raised will continue to be contributed<br />

to research and clinical trials to find<br />

better treatments and one day, a cure.<br />

Jeni Donald<br />



Join us in the challenge to ride<br />

and contribute to the real impact<br />

we can make for those living with<br />

neurological conditions. More<br />

details will be released in the coming<br />

months.<br />

Thank you for being a part of this<br />

incredible journey. Relive the magic<br />

of the day through our gallery.<br />

Dannielle McConnell<br />



26 27

Fundraising<br />

To find more opportunities<br />

to connect, visit our<br />

website here.<br />

Clients stack up serious stats<br />

in annual Stationary Cycle<br />

Stay Connected<br />

Well, another great Stationary Cycle Challenge!<br />

As part of the 20<strong>23</strong> MSWA Ocean Ride – Powered<br />

by Retravision, we had 217 of our Clients take up the<br />

Stationary Cycle Challenge.<br />

This event runs for an eight-week period leading into the<br />

MSWA Ocean Ride, where we see our MSWA Clients rack<br />

up kilometres as part of their weekly physio sessions.<br />

And boy, did our Clients do some distances on their<br />

chosen piece of gym equipment! As we know, not all our<br />

Clients can make use of the bikes, so if the equipment<br />

counted kilometres, they could choose to use it.<br />

This year’s combined teams total tallied a whopping<br />

7,711.8kms. This is like driving from Exmouth to Adelaide<br />

and back!<br />

We had Clients from:<br />

• Albany, whose kilometres tallied 1,024.10<br />

• Beechboro, whose kilometres tallied 1,402.57<br />

• Rockingham, whose kilometres tallied 1,482.20<br />

• Mandurah, whose kilometres tallied 1,272.73<br />

• Metro Central, whose kilometres tallied 640.29<br />

• Vasse, whose kilometres tallied 367.21<br />

We also had a lone Client from Hamilton Hill whose<br />

distance was untracked.<br />

This year our Butler Client team, whose kilometres<br />

tallied 1,522.70, made a fantastic effort and took out the<br />

bragging rights by a small 40.5kms, just beating out<br />

Rockingham to host the perpetual shield.<br />

Many of our Clients rode hundreds of kilometres, but our<br />

longest distance was from Lovorka from our Beechboro<br />

team with 269.7 kms.<br />

Albany Client John took out the Highest Fundraiser with a<br />

grand total of $850!<br />

Together, all of our Clients should be very proud of<br />

themselves, but this year has seen the introduction of a<br />

Physio’s Choice Award to be given to Clients who have<br />

shone during the Challenge.<br />

Genie, Anne, Anne and Michelle (seated)<br />

from Beechboro<br />

We congratulate all our Physio’s<br />

Choice Award winners below!<br />

John – Albany<br />

Michele – Beechboro<br />

Vicki – Metro Central (Wilson & Kelmscot)<br />

Kate – Bulter<br />

Timothy – Rockingham<br />

Jani – Mandurah<br />

Terry – Vasse<br />

Robert – Hamilton Hill<br />

Trish Watson<br />


Peer Coffee Catch Ups<br />

Monthly catch ups on Saturday mornings<br />

Led by volunteers, who also live with neurological conditions like Claire<br />

Kennelly, these groups are ready to welcome those who are newly<br />

diagnosed or simply seeking connection at any stage of their journey.<br />

“It’s good because everybody understands. We honestly talk about MS<br />

for maybe 10 minutes, then it is all about us. There is no judgement and<br />

there are lots of new people all the time – it’s really fun!”<br />

Claire’s group enjoys a variety of activities, including picnic days, movie<br />

and park outings, visits to museums and concerts – the list goes on!<br />

There are also themed morning teas once a month, with prizes, as well<br />

as the opportunity just to connect with others informally.<br />

After five years of running the club north of the river, the group has<br />

branched out south of the river, too.<br />

Contact clairethepa@gmail.com or jodivictoria@gmail.com to<br />

find out more. You can also search MS & All Neurological<br />

Conditions Perth on Facebook to join the group.<br />

www.facebook.com/groups/489935325840464<br />

Mindfulness and Meditation Group<br />

Monthly catch ups on Tuesday mornings<br />

Are you interested in learning Mindfulness and Meditation to improve<br />

your stress management and resiliency skills, or simply incorporate<br />

more relaxation into your life? Come along to our monthly group<br />

facilitated by our experienced counsellors.<br />

To register for the Butler group, contact Eve.Parsons@mswa.org.au<br />

or call 0427 124 391. You can also contact Ian.Sampson@mswa.org.au<br />

or call 0429 226 997<br />

MSWA Art Group<br />

Second Thursday of the month<br />

Would you like the opportunity to explore your story with art and work<br />

creatively with a group to gain connection and understanding? We are<br />

looking for new members to join our ongoing monthly Rockingham Art<br />

Group, facilitated by our experienced counsellor Alyson Yearsley.<br />

Please note, Counselling Group funding will be required.<br />

To reserve your spot, please contact Alyson.Yearsley@mswa.org.au<br />

or call 0439 790 490<br />

28 29

News In Brief<br />

MSWA Albany facilities take<br />

top accolade<br />

MSWA Albany’s Services Centre and Accommodation<br />

facilities were awarded the 20<strong>23</strong> Commonwealth Bank<br />

Best Regional Project for the Great Southern region at<br />

the Master Builders Awards.<br />

The Wauters Building Company (pictured), who delivered<br />

the building project for MSWA in collaboration with<br />

our Facilities Team, proudly accepted the award at the<br />

ceremony held at Crown in October.<br />

This major award win will see Wauters Building Company<br />

automatically entered into the National Finals for the<br />

Albany project, which is due to take place in 2024.<br />

MSWA would like to congratulate Wauters Building<br />

Company on this outstanding win.<br />

This project was a team effort which would not have<br />

been possible without long-standing partners Parry and<br />

Whyte Architects, the City of Albany and of course our<br />

incredible Facilities Team lead by Steve Corbett.<br />

A night at the Ballet<br />

The West Australian Ballet invited some of our MSWA Clients to<br />

enjoy a night out at the Ballet for the final dress rehearsals of Van<br />

Gogh and the Nutcracker as part of their community program.<br />

As you can tell from the smiles, there was a great night had by all.<br />

Thanks West Australian Ballet and to their supporters who made<br />

this initiative possible.<br />

Would you like to be notified about future available tickets?<br />

Send an expression of interest to marketing@mswa.org.au<br />

Slot Car Group tracks big prize<br />

for MSWA<br />

The Mandurah Raceway Slot Car Group (MRSCG) held<br />

their fourth annual community fundraising event on 11<br />

November, kindly choosing MSWA as the beneficiary for<br />

this year’s event.<br />

Group members were joined by family, friends and<br />

community members to partake in the fun of racing<br />

1:32 scale slot cars on a routed wood racetrack. Later<br />

in the evening, after a scrumptious meal, an auction<br />

was held, with goods donated by various businesses<br />

and individuals.<br />

The varied, high-quality goods on offer, coupled<br />

with enthusiastic bidding saw an amazing total of<br />

$1,450 raised on the night for MSWA. A huge well done<br />

to all involved!<br />

If you are interested to take a look or have a drive,<br />

contact Dave at slotman@gmail.com<br />

Diwali<br />

Diwali is the festival of lights that celebrates the triumph<br />

of good (light) over evil (darkness) in South Asian cultures<br />

and is celebrated over five days in parts of India.<br />

In November, this auspicious occasion was celebrated<br />

at Wilson, organised by the Funding team, and Rivervale,<br />

organised by the Rostering team. We think everyone<br />

looked amazing!<br />

Submit your article to us<br />

Do you have a story about living with a neurological condition in WA that other MSWA<br />

Clients might like to read? We invite you to share your experiences with us.<br />

Email your submission to bulletin@mswa.org.au for consideration.<br />

Suggestions, complaints and compliments<br />

We want to hear from you. Your feedback helps us to understand what is working well<br />

and where we can improve.<br />

You can raise a concern or acknowledge the support an MSWA staff member has<br />

provided by telephoning 6454 3146, via feedback@mswa.org.au or writing to<br />

Quality and Compliance; Locked Bag 2, BENTLEY DC 6983.<br />

For more information, visit mswa.org.au/about-mswa/contact-us.<br />

Another grand adventure for<br />

Horst Bemmerl<br />

After walking for eight consecutive days, MSWA Board<br />

Chair Horst Bemmerl and his wife Helen completed the<br />

Camino de Santiago pilgrimage – a 159.7km journey!<br />

Horst never lets his MS diagnosis get in the way of<br />

achieving his epic adventures - we can't wait to see what<br />

journey he will tackle next.<br />

In case you missed it, you can read Horst's story here:<br />

https://mswa.org.au/living-well/our-stories/horst-bemmerl<br />

30 31

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