Page 900 - Week 03 - Wednesday, 21 March 2018
Held this year on 25 March, Neighbour Day is Australia’s annual celebration of community, when people are encouraged to connect with those living nearby. Neighbour Day has been a celebration of strong communities and friendly streets since 2003, supported by Relationships Australia. This year’s theme is the importance of a supportive neighbourhood for children and young people. Children and young people thrive in an environment of supportive and caring relationships, so it is important for young Canberrans to feel safe, supported and valued in our neighbourhoods and suburbs.
As Canberra continues to grow, Neighbour Day is a great reminder that we all need to take time to reconnect with our neighbours and welcome new people into our community. I encourage everyone to get involved in any events held around Canberra in the lead-up to and on Neighbour Day.
At the ACT launch, ACT Neighbourhood Watch announced its good neighbour award winners, Amy and Prescott Pym from Forde. Amy and Prescott actively promote community spirit, inclusiveness and engagement through the work they do with the Forde Community Association. They were part of the original team to establish the group and work tirelessly to engage with the residents of their suburb through social media and annual family events held throughout the year. I congratulate Amy and Prescott on their work in the Forde community and the recognition they have received.
The strength of our community was also on show last month at the launch of the NeuroMoves program in Canberra. Provided by Spinal Cord Injuries Australia, NeuroMoves assists Canberrans and people from the wider region with conditions such as spinal cord injury, acquired brain injury, stroke, multiple sclerosis, motor neuron disease and cerebral palsy.
The program uses specialist equipment and a range of therapeutic exercises to help people achieve their individual goals for mobility, strength and fitness. In turn, this helps people become more independent, boosting their self-esteem and their mental health. Most importantly, this means that Canberrans with spinal cord injuries and other neurological disabilities no longer need to travel to Sydney to access the innovative rehabilitation and exercise program.
ACT Labor—and, I note, the Canberra Liberals—committed to establishing NeuroMoves at the last election, following a grassroots campaign seeking a $300,000 investment in a specialist facility. I acknowledge the passionate advocates who drew our attention to this opportunity. I first heard about it when I was doorknocking in Campbell. Then I heard about it again when we were phone banking into Campbell. Then I heard about it again, from a different set of people, when we were, again, doorknocking in Campbell. It was truly a grassroots effort from a few very dedicated people who hammered this message home to candidates in their community.
NeuroMoves has now been up and running in Canberra since November. It was wonderful to hear from participants and learn how the program has already improved their quality of life in just a few short months. The specialist gym is established at the