Page 1769 - Week 05 - Thursday, 11 May 2017

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Pegasus has a proud history of growth and persistence, from when it started at the Forest Park Riding School at Curtin, fitting in between the school’s other lessons and activities. It survived and grew through the persistence of people like Bid Williams, with help from people like the late Michael Hodgman, the father of the current Tasmanian Premier, who advocated on behalf of Pegasus to the NCDC for the land.

You do not have to spend much time at Pegasus to realise why people become committed to Pegasus and the work that it does, to see and appreciate what joy it gives to the many students who participate in the hippotherapy classes, as they are called. As Bid Williams herself has recalled:

In the beginning we were woefully ignorant of the implications of the rider’s disabilities—we just had to suck it and see.

However, on the first afternoon of lessons, she recalls that a young girl who was usually wheelchair bound rode under a tree and reached up to touch the leaves. Suddenly the girl shouted: “I can touch them! They are so soft!” That is the special magic that is Pegasus, and that is why it is so important that it continues.

Today it stands at a crossroads; it is another victim that has fallen through the cracks because it does not fit neatly into the NDIS box. It is another iconic ACT organisation that has not only been denied ILC funding but has been abandoned by Disability ACT. 

The current CEO, Jane Thompson, is to be commended for the enormous efforts she has made in the past few years to ensure that no stone is left unturned in keeping the doors of Pegasus open for every person that needs its unique services. I congratulate and thank all the volunteers who played a part in making the open day a success. In the current climate of uncertainty about future funding, it is a credit to the important work of Pegasus that the Canberra community came out in force to support its ongoing services.

Lake Ginninderra—clean-up day

MS CHEYNE (Ginninderra) (7.21): I rise to inform the Assembly and the broader public about an event this weekend at Lake Ginninderra which is being held on Saturday at 1 pm. In a week when we are reflecting on volunteers, in National Volunteer Week, I thought it was important to draw attention to the fact that the member for Fenner, Andrew Leigh, and I will be hosting a clean-up around the lake. That will be at John Knight Memorial Park from 1 pm until 3 pm, and we encourage the community to join us.

From 2 pm until 3 pm we will be having a barbecue and a chat. It is a bit of an extension of what we were doing for Clean Up Australia Day earlier this year. A lot of people came out for the Belconnen town centre clean-up. Lake Ginninderra can always use a little bit of tender loving care, a bit of TLC, so I am very much looking forward to that event, which will be held on Saturday at 1 pm. People can RSVP on my Facebook page.

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