BUSHkids Annual Report 2020-2021

FoBk EML Leslie Wilson Outback Centre BUSHkids’ patron, His Excellency the Honourable Paul de Jersey AC, Governor of Queensland visited Emerald on Wednesday 26 May to rename the BUSHkids centre in honour of his predecessor, Sir Leslie Orme Wilson, the 15th Governor of Queensland and founder of BUSHkids. Our Emerald centre has been providing services to the Central Highlands since 1997 and receives wonderful support from the local community thanks to the hard work of our FoBk volunteers. These are local people who selflessly give up their time to support the Centre, and the hardworking chair of FoBk EML is farmer and grazier Charlie Wilson, Sir Leslie’s grandson. Charlie and the FoBK EML volunteers are helping make BUSHkids’ vision of easier access to supports for Western Queensland families a reality. We want all Queensland children to be able to reach their potential regardless of where they live. Charlie is doing a great job keeping his grandfather’s legacy alive and that was another reason we wanted the centre to carry Sir Leslie’s name. Emerald Allied Health Assistant FoBk Emerald (EML) has had another busy and successful year. This year the major fundraising focus was the annual Golf Day held in August and which attracted a record number of golfers. The event is now a major fixture in Emerald’s golfing calendar. Earnings from the day plus donations raised over $35,000 which is an amazing effort from our friends and the Emerald community. Once again thanks go to Matt and his team at the Golf Club, as well as Justin Benjamin, Mitre 10 and Doug Gray, and other major sponsors, especially Jellinbah mine and Westpac. FoBk EML is a great support to BUSHkids’ local Central Highlands team. Through its fantastic fundraising efforts and with amazing support from the local community the group has raised funds for BUSHkids to employ an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) for three years. Marcia Hayston was appointed to this role with BUSHkids in September 2020 and has been working three days per week. Initially Marcia work shadowed our clinicians and received training to undertake her role. She is currently studying her Certificate 4 (Allied Heath Assistant) and is nearing completion of this course. Between October 2020 and August 2021, she has worked with more than 119 children. During the coming years many more children in the Central Highlands will be able to be supported to achieve their potential. Her key roles to date have been to support speech pathology and to provide social and emotional universal group programs. Marcia has developed a number of speech pathology competencies that can be delegated by a speech pathologist and has been providing support for children’s speech and language goals. Marcia has also run multiple Playing and Learning Social Skills (PALS), Read and Grow (emergent literacy group program), Fine Motor group program, Fun Friends and Friends for Life group programs. The FRIENDS programs build children’s resilience and wellbeing and help with the management of depression and anxiety. She has provided services within early childcare centres, kindergartens and schools in Emerald, Blackwater, Dingo and Comet. Implementation of this role has enabled BUSHkids to pilot the introduction of the AHA role as part of the organisation’s service delivery skill mix, enabling BUSHkids to extend our reach and build the capacity of rural and remote communities to support children’s development. Building capacity in local communities through the introduction of AHA roles in a hub-and-spoke model underpins BUSHkids’ Bounce Resilience proposal for supporting more children across Queensland to achieve their potential. FoBk EML is also looking to carry out more renovation work on the BUSHkids centre, landscaping the rear area and including a new covered area and garden areas to make it more functional and workable for the clinical team. Thanks to Amanda Noone, who managed to successfully apply to the Gambling Community Benefit Fund for a grant to support this. A n n u a l R e p o r t 2 0 2 0–2 0 2 1 19

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