BUSHkids Annual Report 21 | 22


CONNECTIONS 21 | 22 BUSHkids values the ongoing support and collegial partnerships provided by all levels of government and a diverse range of organisations. Rotary Club of Warwick Sunrise Thank you Our heartfelt thanks and great admiration go out to all those who, in whatever way, have supported our regional, rural and remote children and families this year. Everyone at BUSHkids sincerely expresses the appreciation of our clients and staff for the assistance and encouragement given by our fellow Queenslanders, community groups and local organisations, service clubs, media, health and welfare and education personnel throughout the state. Funding provided by the Commonwealth Department of Social Services Children and Parenting Support Services, and through the National Disability Insurance Agency enabling BUSHkids to extend the Early Childhood Approach to families in need in regional Queensland is very much appreciated. Financial assistance given by the Queensland Government through Queensland Health and the Department of Education is gratefully acknowledged, as is the valuable support from Department of State Development, Infrastructure Local Government and Planning through the Community Infrastructure Investment Partnership program. Notable mention goes to Western Queensland Primary Health Network as BUSHkids reaches families further west and rural through this partnership. Valuable support is also received from small businesses, corporate partners, sponsors, and suppliers – thank-you to everyone behind the logos shown here.

Notice of Meeting 2022 The 86th Annual General Meeting of the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme – BUSHkids – will be held on Friday 2 December 2022 at 6.00pm at 16 Morley Street, Toowong Q 4066. Business Confirmation of Minutes of the 85th Annual General Meeting held on 3 December 2021; Receive and adopt the 86th Annual Report for the 12 month period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022; Presentation of Annual Financial Report for the 12 month period 1 July 2021 to 30 June 2022; Nomination and election of Chair and Council members; Appoint Auditors for the ensuing year; Transact any special business for which due notice has been given. By order of the Council. Dr N J Bartels oam Chair ESSENTIALS 21 | 22 CONNECTIONS Inside front cover DIRECTORY Inside back cover COUNCIL Council members 2 Chair’s report 3 STATISTICS Clients and sessions / ECA 22 ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS Thanks Inside front cover Estates, legacies and trusts 31 Donate, bequest or sponsor FINANCIALS Treasurer’s Report 32 Independence Declaration 34 Statements of > Profit or Loss 35 > Financial Position 36 > Changes in Equity 37 > Cash Flows 37 Notes 38 Council Declaration 46 Auditor’s Report 47 OUR PATRON The Governor of Queensland Her Excellency Dr Jeanette Young ac psm *Client names have been changed throughout this document for privacy reasons TOPICS 21 | 22 CEO 5___ Carlton’s yarn begins 7___ Children’s Allied Health Services CAHS ___ 9 BUSHkids in Cunnamulla ___ 9 Angel Flight 10___ Early Childhood Approach (ECA) ___ 11 Community Capacity Building and Engagement (CCBE) ___ 11 Gladstone’s Ministerial visit ___ 12 BUSHkids in Cherbourg ___ 12 Cherbourg’s Ration Shed ___ 13 Working with CALD families and communities ___ 14 Early Start Team 15___ Children and Parenting Support Services (CPSS) ___ 15 Birdie and the Flood tour ___ 16 BUSHkids Parenting Program ___ 18 Bringing Up Great Kids ___ 18 ADHD Parent Education & Support Group Program 18___ eKindy / Building confident children 19___ teleBUSHkids – new Toowong Precinct Centre 30___ Gratitude – CEO’s yarn concludes for 2022 ORGANISATION ___ 20 Training and development ___ 21 Social Media ___ 21 ICT ___ 21 Quality Assurance ___ 21 WHS FRIENDS OF BUSHKIDS ___ 27 Introduction ___ 28 Warwick ___ 29 Bundaberg ___ 30 Emerald CASE STUDIES ___ 7 FaCE Program in Bundaberg ___ 14 Helping Grace ___ 14 DFV ___ 17 Inglewood/Texas ___ 20 Telepractice – Lilly finds her voice CALLOUTS ___ 8 Introducing Jayde ___ 23 / 26 Casey’s Indigenous BUSHkids artwork CENTRESPREAD ___ 24-25 BUSHkids’ yarn told in visual story 1

2022 meeting attendance 1 17 Feb 2 31 Mar 3 19 May 4 30 Jun 5 11 Aug 6 15 Sep 7 24 Nov AGM* 2 Dec Dr Neil Bartels oam (Chair) Dr Neil Bartels has been a member of the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme Council since 1991 and served as the organisation’s Deputy-Chairperson before becoming Chairperson in 2007. Neil is a medical practitioner with a keen interest in children’s health issues. He is a Fellow of the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine and also holds a Masters Degree in Law. Neil’s family has a long and auspicious association with the organisation: Neil’s father joined the organisation’s Council in 1966, became Deputy Chair in 1970, and served as Chair from 1973 until 1991. Yes Yes Apol Apol Yes Yes Int* Ms Carolyn Searle (Deputy Chair) Carolyn has been a Council member since 2012. Having grown up in regional Queensland, she understands first-hand the needs of children and their families in remote communities. With degrees in both Commerce and Law from The University of Queensland, Carolyn worked in the accounting and legal professions before managing her own HR and recruitment company which has provided valuable support to BUSHkids. Carolyn provides business advice and works to raise our profile among Queensland’s business community. She has a particular interest in the development of our facilities and is currently working on the telepractice building in our Brisbane precinct. Yes Yes Yes Yes Apol Yes Int* Ms Allison McLean (Honorary Treasurer) Allison has been a Council member since 2005 and the organisation’s Honorary Treasurer since 2007. From a farming family, Allison has a particular affinity with rural communities, first becoming involved with the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme as a volunteer at the Redcliffe Home in the 1980s. Allison has a Bachelor of Business from QUT, a Post-Graduate Diploma in Professional Accounting and is a member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia. Allison supports the Scheme’s accountant and provides expert advice on all financial matters. Yes Yes Apol Yes Yes Apol Int* Mr Julian Martin Julian has been a Council member since 2009. Having grown up in the Bush, he is very aware of the contribution BUSHkids makes to the health of rural communities. A graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors with over 20 years’ experience in the IT industry, Julian provides expert advice on BUSHkids’ management, implementation, and usability of information and computer technologies and the increasing use of technology and communications in the organisation’s service provision. Yes Yes Yes Yes Apol Yes Int* Mrs Gail Huggins Gail has been a council member since 2012. With a degree in Speech Pathology from The University of Queensland, Gail has a wealth of experience gained from a range of positions in government and non-government health and education organisations throughout Australia. Prior to retirement, Gail was Director of Speech Pathology, Paediatric Services for Queensland Health on the Gold Coast. With expert clinical knowledge, Gail provides invaluable advice to BUSHkids on the provision of our services. Apol Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* Ms Judy Peters oam Judy has been involved with Friends of BUSHkids for a number of years, seeing first-hand the important contribution BUSHkids makes to regional and rural communities. Having been raised in Central Queensland Judy embraces the ethos of quality support and services to promote the health and wellbeing of all families. Judy has a Diploma of Local Government, a Diploma of Business and an Advanced Diploma of Community Sector Management as well as a wealth of experience in local government, private enterprise and the not-for-profit sector. Yes Apol Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* Emeritus Professor Deborah Theodoros Deborah is a Speech Pathologist with 45 years of clinical and research experience. She grew up in Mackay before completing her Bachelor’s degree and PhD at The University of Queensland. Deborah was Head of Speech Pathology for 11 years at UQ and is now an Emeritus Professor at the University. She has previously chaired the Board of the Speech Pathology Australia and brings a wealth of experience in the Allied Health sector. Deborah has a special interest in new models of service delivery. Yes Apol Yes Yes Yes Yes Int* *Note: AGM (2 December ) scheduled after the production deadline for this report; attendance notes are declared intentions based on prior advice received from Council members. BUSHkids Council 3 1 M A R C H M E E T I N G C A N C E L L E D 2

3 Dr Neil J Bartels oam MBBS LL.M Grad.Cert.Leg.Med. FACRRM Thank you. Two words with which I have often closed my reports over the past decade or so but which merit opening my remarks as calendar year 2022 draws towards its close. Thanks, most importantly, on behalf of my Council colleagues, to all of our remarkable BUSHkids frontline and support staff across Queensland. As we navigated our way through the often uncharted landscapes of the pandemic over the past three years, your patience, perseverance and commitment to deliver top-class services in the face of upheaval and challenge has been exemplary. Across our organisation, from the ongoing behind-the-scenes evolution of our own, bespoke BUSHbase ICT systems to the continuing professional development of our teams – learning, adapting and applying, or developing new skills and programs – we are increasingly setting the standard in quality service delivery. Outside BUSHkids, our experience in delivering and developing programs, most innovatively in the growing scope of telepractice, is becoming widely noted and benchmarked, and our evidence- based expertise is sought to inform and help shape policy at very high levels. Perhaps nowhere was this more clearly illuminated than in the visit by NDIA Board members to the new teleBUSHkids Centre in our Toowong precinct to hear first-hand from some of the families which we support using a range of modalities. The Board’s meeting with BUSHkids Council members and leadership team during that visit also clearly showcased the skills, strength, and active involvement of our governance in ensuring continuing reinforcement and support of our professional provision of this wide range of services across Queensland. Underpinning this positive impact is the almost century of service to BUSHkids shared by Council members and their individual contribution of many more years’ experience in their respective fields of expertise. All my colleagues have, like our other volunteers and supporters – whether in our magnificent Friends of BUSHkids (FoBk) groups or in other ways – gone ‘above and beyond the call’ but I pay special tribute to three members here. Honorary Treasurer Allison McLean has been safeguarding BUSHkids’ financial security for more than 17 years and, in 2022, both Gail Huggins and Carolyn Searle have notched up a decade of service each on our Council. No-one will ever replace the late Gloria Ryan in our esteem and memories but, in stepping up as Deputy Chair this year, Carolyn has also contributed immensely to the actualisation of our vision for a teleBUSHkids Centre and its fit-out and completion, ready for its operational debut. For my part, and on behalf of my ever- patient spouse Annette and my family, the pandemic-postponed reception at Government House to acknowledge my own years of service was appreciation indeed, but more gratifying to me is the day-to-day engagement and support of the truly talented people of our Council. I give my thanks to each and every one of my colleagues for their steadfast focus on ensuring BUSHkids remains well-equipped to continue to deliver for the children, families and communities of regional, rural and remote Queensland. Such collaborative goodwill has been a hallmark of the BUSHkids journey and, as thoughts begin to turn to our 90th anniversary in 2025, we have another example of this in our new teleBUSHkids Centre, an asset aided in its realisation by many people, industries and levels of government ‘for the good of kids in the Bush’ – a telling and tangible reminder of the founding premise and ethos of our organisation. As we continue to look to the future, working to stay not only in front of current requirements but also ahead of identified trends and emerging community needs, our governance structure continues to be reviewed to ensure organisational alignment with BUSHkids’ Strategic Plan. This is not some ‘set-and-forget’ document but rather a continually-monitored set of progress, performance and course-adjustment measures to ensure we can continue to be there for the kids and families of Queensland well into the future. In this, we are always mindful of, and ever grateful for, the foresight and gifts of all who, over many, many years, have given or bequeathed their valued funds to BUSHkids expressly for the delivery of our services and programs to help the children who are the future of our State to realise and reach their full potential. That visionary mission remains as true in 2022 as it did when it crystallised in that first public meeting in Brisbane in December 1935. We continue to instigate and develop new collaborations and partnerships – such as with the Cherbourg Gundoo Early Years Strategic Planning round table, and the Western Queensland Primary Health Network in Cunnamulla – and, as we emerge from the pandemic in a world where ‘face-to-face’ is now equally effective therapy onscreen as across a table, we are now also able to spread our wings with the support of Angel Flight to bring our specialist services to the people who need them the most. For more news, our CEO Carlton Meyn has quite a lively yarn to tell, woven through the following pages. Thank you. BUSHkids Council Chair https://bit.ly/3Upcpg4

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5 BUSHkids’ vision is that all Queensland children achieve their potential regardless of where they live. This year at BUSHkids we have all worked together to make this happen. Making a real impact means working with others to get great outcomes for children, families, and communities across regional, rural, and remote locations in Queensland. BUSHkids’ core value of collaboration has been central to our achievements this year. There have been so many opportunities to work collaboratively with others and this has benefitted children, families and local communities across Queensland. The creation of our bespoke teleBUSHkids Centre in our Toowong precinct was the culmination of many strong partnerships across the years. The Centre builds upon our telepractice research project with The University of Queensland’s Centre for Research Excellence in Telehealth. We are grateful to the Queensland Government for partnering with us to accelerate the building of the Centre through the Community Infrastructure Investment Partnership (CIIP) Program. Additionally, Aurizon contributed to the purchase of new telepractice equipment and, through BUSHkids’ own fundraising appeals, extra money has been donated to the organisation for this work. This Centre will ensure BUSHkids can complement our on-the-ground services with telepractice to support more children and families across Queensland. Our work in the remote western Queensland town of Cunnamulla is funded by the Western Queensland Primary Health Network (WQPHN) through the Healthy Outback Kids Program. Our team is now firmly embedded in this community, supporting children’s development in the early years. Our partnership with the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health has matured and our team works closely with its New Directions Team to support mums and bubs in the community. Our therapists also work in Gidgee Kids Early Learning Centre & Kindergarten to support children’s development. Thanks to a fantastic partnership with Angel Flight, our teams took off on the inaugural BUSHkids Angel Flight to Cunnamulla from Archerfield Airport in October this year. This partnership ensures our team can spend more time in the community providing direct support to children and families. Our team has worked closely with Gundoo Aboriginal Corporation and Day Care Centre in Cherbourg to ensure that the services we are delivering are meeting the needs of children and families in the community. We have recruited an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) from within the community who works across both organisations – BUSHkids and Gundoo. We also have a dedicated team which works in the community on a weekly basis, building strong relationships. BUSHkids contributed to a round table discussion led by Mayor Elvie Sandow in the community to improve collaboration between organisations supporting children. This round table culminated in the Bari Djum (Children’s) Health Day held at the Gundoo Centre, where kids could receive developmental screenings, health assessments and hearing checks, as well as enjoying a fun day interacting with farm animals. At this event, 39 children received developmental screening by the BUSHkids team. BUSHkids is grateful to receive funding from the State and Federal Governments, essential for our work in Queensland communities. The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) funds our Early Childhood Approach (ECA) Services, which are delivered from Rockhampton, Emerald, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Gympie, Kingaroy, Maroochydore, and Caloundra. We are working with the Agency to implement the Early Childhood Approach reset, which will involve providing more therapy supports to children by BUSHkids teams, a greater focus on community capacity building and increasing the age range of children eligible for this service. In October 2022, BUSHkids’ executive management team and Council members hosted newly-appointed members of the NDIA Board at Toowong. This meeting provided the opportunity for families we support across Queensland to meet and speak with the board members to share their stories. Together, we also discussed challenges and successes in delivering the Early Childhood Approach as an NDIS Partner in the Community. Our Children and Parenting Support Services (CPSS) receive funding from the Department of Social Services (DSS) to support families in and around Stanthorpe, Kingaroy, Nanango, Agnes Water and Miriam Vale. We have been delivering these services for more than seven years, working with the communities through drought, fires, floods, and the pandemic. We were delighted this year to see a BUSHkids case study (see page 16) featured in the DSS Annual Report. Chief Executive Officer

BUSHkids continues to receive funding from Queensland Health to support the delivery of Children’s Allied Health Services (CAHS) from our service centres in Dalby, Warwick, and Bundaberg. This year has seen stronger ties with local Hospital and Health Services reflected in our funding contract. This aims to ensure enhanced collaboration around children’s services in these communities. Our Non Schools Organisation funding from the Department of Education partially funds our Emerald and Mount Isa services, focusing on supporting young children’s educational attainment in those locations. This year, the BUSHkids eKindy role with the Department of Education has further developed, with BUSHkids employing a Lead Early Years Educator to plan age-appropriate play opportunities for children attending our eKindy Pods with our BUSHkids eKindy Facilitators across Queensland. Our joint working groups with The University of Queensland (UQ) resulted in increased student placements across BUSHkids, and staff development which has increased our capacity for better understanding mental health. Through these working groups, our Lead Occupational Therapist is collaborating with a PhD candidate on a child-led goal- setting project. This is called ‘I can set MyGOALs’ and supports therapists to help children and families become more involved in this important process. BUSHkids also contributes to Speech Pathology Course Reference Groups and meetings at both Central Queensland University (CQU) and Australian Catholic University (ACU). Collaboration between a UQ post-doctoral Research Fellow and BUSHkids Speech Pathologists resulted in a presentation for Speech Pathology Australia titled “Practical tips for rural and remote practice” which includes a telepractice checklist available for those newly starting telepractice. As a key provider of services for children and families across regional, rural, and remote Queensland, BUSHkids is a strong contributing member of a range of groups. These include the Thriving Queensland Kids Partnership and the Thrive By Five, and Thrive by Five Rural and Remote, initiatives. More recently, BUSHkids has become part of the Australian Government Department of Health’s Under-5s COVID Vaccine Strategy working group. BUSHkids also contributes to two national NDIS working groups: the Community Engagement Advisory Group and the Change and Learning Community of Practice Group. Through our partnership with Health and Wellbeing Queensland, BUSHkids participates in the Paediatric Health Transformers Committee and the Boost Your Family Advisory Group which has focused on the development of a health promotion online app for children and their families. As part of the DSS-funded CPSS, a community of practices led by the Australian Institute of Family Studies was established to learn from peers regarding outcome measures, project logics and impact statements in service provision. Our Friends of BUSHkids (FoBk) volunteer community groups continue to thrive and support our work through representing the local community, supporting, and showcasing our teams and fundraising for their local service. Our FoBk-funded Allied Health Assistant is thriving in the role in Emerald and has served as a model for this approach in other locations. Our business support team works tirelessly behind the scenes to ensure that these services can be delivered effectively, efficiently, and safely. Case study - FaCE Program in

Children’s Allied Health Service (CAHS) BUSHkids CAHS is our longest standing service and is delivered from our service centres located in Mount Isa, Emerald, Bundaberg, Dalby, and Warwick. BUSHkids CAHS receives partial funding from the Queensland Government (Queensland Health and Department of Education). As BUSHkids is committed to providing services in regional, rural and remote locations, this funding is supplemented through fundraising and donations. Our teams provide much-needed Allied Health services for children up to 13 years of age. Through these services, BUSHkids has supported rural families through fires, droughts, floods and the pandemic, ensuring all children achieve their potential regardless of where they live. The majority of our staff in this service live in the communities in which they work, with services being supplemented by telepractice. Allied Health Assistants at BUSHkids To further build community capacity and a regionally-based workforce, BUSHkids has established Allied Health Assistant (AHA) roles. All BUSHkids Allied Health Assistants are either Level III or IV certified AHAs or are currently studying a bachelor’s degree in a relevant Allied Health field. The AHAs work alongside our own Allied Health Professionals (AHPs) to increase service access for families, and are trained in line with best practice standards and legislative requirements to deliver programs and/or individual sessions that have been approved by a BUSHkids AHP. BUSHkids AHAs can complete delegated tasks independently and are trained in a variety of intervention modalities including telepractice. By having access to skilled AHAs, the AHP can refer specific children to them, thus freeing-up time for them to see children with more complex presentations who fall outside of the Allied Health Assistant clinical scope and training. With the support of FoBk Emerald, the first AHA was successfully piloted there, and the trial was so successful that several other roles have been implemented in other locations across Queensland. Our Emerald AHA started with BUSHkids in September 2020 and worked closely with our Speech Pathologist to learn to support children with speech, language, and social and emotional concerns. Our team has been working to review and formalise task delegations for phonological therapy, articulation therapy, the Read3 literacy program and the Read and Grow program. The delegation model is based upon the Calderdale framework and ensures that when the AHA undertakes work it is within their scope of practice and is supervised by an AHP. This has contributed to reducing the number of children on the waitlist in Emerald. BUSHkids AHAs are now also based in Cherbourg, Caloundra, Bundaberg, Cunnamulla, Maroochydore and Rockhampton, with many currently studying in their respective fields of Psychology, Occupational Therapy and Speech Pathology. Workforce of the Future Hosting student placements provides opportunities for our clinicians to grow, develop and give back to the next cohort of practitioners. As a key employer of paediatric therapists across Queensland, BUSHkids values the opportunity to support student learning and contribute to the development of a future workforce equipped to support remote communities. Student placements have resulted in a number of new graduate recruits for 2023, with staff commencing familiar with BUSHkids services and excited to work regionally. Bundaberg Last year, the Family and Community Engagement (FaCE) Program featured in our annual report, introducing this important program supporting children in grades 4 to 6 who have been excluded from school to re-engage them in their learning. Many have experienced multiple adversities and BUSHkids has supported these children by providing the Zones of Regulation Program to help children learn to identify their feelings and emotional reactions. The children have developed their social skills and are working well with their peers, demonstrating significant growth in their emotional development, with one boy (12) verbalising that FaCE has helped when he is feeling sad, angry, or anxious, and that he feels more thoughtful and kinder, and a better person and friend. For another boy (10) who struggled with his emotions, the transformation has been remarkable from his initially having great difficulty participating in the emotional regulation activities. With modified activities creating a safe space for him, he is participating in regular zone ‘check-ins’ and participating in activities with support from an adult. The program and team support has provided a safe space for the children to come to learn, be successful and engage positively and meaningfully with their peers. Schools Plus created a short documentary about the program, featuring some of the students and BUSHkids team members. https://bit.ly/3VSwhcA

BUSHkids has hosted six Occupational Therapy student placements in 2022, from tertiary institutions including: • Griffith University • University of the Sunshine Coast • Central Queensland University • Southern Cross University • Charles Darwin University and Australian Catholic University. Some projects these students have worked on included: • developing a screen time Tipsheet and Lunchbox Learning • developing an OT orientation manual • assisting with developing a telepractice Lego Program • supporting development of a suite of gross motor Tipsheets • developing a self-regulation PowerPoint presentation • attending three local childcares, implementing a fine motor program for five weeks, and creating a fine motor development screening tool. This year two staff have been recruited following placements in Bundaberg and Warwick – let’s meet one here who’s made a major career change and is loving her work with BUSHkids! Introducing Jayde Previously a franchisee for three service stations, Jayde Canino sought a career change. After working in a lower socio-economic area, nearby to a school which had trouble with children regularly attending school, Jayde’s passion to want to support her community combined with her strengths led her to study Occupational Therapy. Jayde is now a fourth-year student who came to BUSHkids Bundaberg on placement and is now employed as an AHA until she graduates at the end of 2022, to then be conferred and work as an Occupational Therapist in 2023. Feedback from Jayde’s Professional Lead and fellow OT colleague highlights Jayde’s demonstrated passion and initiative, her ability to work well in a team, and high level of integrity. Jayde has shown to make the most of her learning experiences, and under the AHA delegation model is currently working with several families to complete intake appointments, deliver group programs, attend community networking events, and develop resources. 8

BUSHkids in Cunnamulla BUSHkids has been working in the remote community of Cunnamulla since 2020, in collaborationwith and funded by theWQPHN as part of the Healthy Outback Kids Program. Our team has formed strong collaborative relationships within the community, working closely with the Cunnamulla Aboriginal Corporation for Health’s (CACH) New Directions Team. Our dedicated Cunnamulla team comprises a Speech Pathologist and Occupational Therapist and in 2023 we hope to recruit a local AHA based in the community. Our team travels out to Cunnamulla six times per year (weather and pandemic permitting). These weeks are very busy, making the most of face-to-face time in the community to build and develop relationships and to gain a greater understanding of what the community needs from our service. The service model involves building upon the strengths of what is already happening for children in the community. We provide developmental screeners, assessments, and intervention for children in the community and follow up with telepractice. Families can partake in telepractice sessions using our equipment housed in the local day care centre, or directly into family homes. This year there has been a focus on school readiness, with many screeners provided to children transitioning to school in 2023. Screeners are an integral part of identifying areas of support in children’s development and, in consultation with families, goals are developed and therapy blocks scheduled to further develop their skills required for school readiness. This work was also done with children transitioning to kindergarten (and younger age) to identify any early intervention supports that may be required. Our therapists run targeted and universal group programs with Gidgee Kids Early Learning Centre staff to increase community capacity to support children’s development in areas including children’s fine motor and gross motor skills, emotional regulation, and language development. One example activity is facilitating a child’s activity station and modelling how the activity can be scaffolded or adapted to support each child’s varied abilities. BUSHkids’ A Steady Start to School (ASS2S) Program was delivered at Sacred Heart Catholic School for parents to support their child’s transition to school. Our team also works closely with Cindy and Caitlin, the organisers of CACH’s mums and bubs groups. Children’s group programs are also provided. This year BUSHkids delivered Playing and Learning to Socialise (PALS) and Read and Grow both in-person and via telepractice, the latter using a wide-angle webcam for a more inclusive and broad view of the class. These programs have been designed to support the development of social and emotional skills, early literacy and language skills. In October, our budding partnership with Angel Flight Australia came to fruition with the inaugural BUSHkids Angel Flight. This resulted in increased time on the ground for our team. BUSHkids has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Angel Flight Australia. Angel Flight is a charity which co-ordinates non-emergency flights to help people living in rural and remote Australia access specialist medical treatment that would not otherwise be available to them because of the distance and travel costs. In essence this was the original ethos behind the Royal Queensland Bush Children’s Health Scheme. The MoU allows BUSHkids clinicians to travel out to remote communities on Angel Flight aircraft to provide free face-to-face Allied Health services which are not easily accessed without traveling in to one of our regional service centres. Angel Flight is a wonderful nonprofit organisation with aims and ideals that closely match our own. By working together, we can make our Allied Health services more easily accessible to children and families living in remote Queensland communities. About Cunnamulla An outback town of 1,200 people with a high First Nations representation, and a nine-hour drive west of Brisbane, Cunnamulla has a long history with the Kunja people as the Traditional Custodians. The name means ‘long stretch of water’ or ‘big waterhole’ in Kunja language. BUSHkids is working with key cultural community stakeholders in the to support the development of young children, and their families, to reach their full potential. Reaching for the skies 9 Discover more: /AngelFlightAustralia vimeo.com/766385745

Early Childhood Approach (ECA) BUSHkids delivers the Early Childhood Approach (ECA) on behalf of the National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA). In line with the NDIA’s Early Childhood Early Intervention (ECEI) reset, there has been a shift this year in renaming this program as ECA. This change was recommended as part of public consultation to better match the work that the NDIS Early Childhood Approach (ECA) teams do. Our ECA teams are based in Rockhampton, Emerald, Gladstone, Bundaberg, Hervey Bay, Kingaroy, Cherbourg, Gympie, Maroochydore, andCaloundra. Our current funding contracts havebeen extended by a further two years as the federal government reviews implementation of the Scheme. Over the next two years, BUSHkids will be working with the Agency to evolve our services in alignment with the reset. Thiswill meanworkingwith children up to eight (previously six) years of age, providing more community capacity building and therapy supports. NDIS Early Childhood Practice Forum BUSHkids attended this event and our team presented on BUSHkids’ journey with telepractice, its benefits and barriers, and a demonstration of how effective and engaging telepractice can be. NDIA National Partner Forum The NDIA hosted this event in Geelong in June, an opportunity for organisations to come together and hear from various branches within the Agency on upcoming changes, from participants about their own experiences, and to workshop and discuss with the Agency upcoming changes and how initiatives such as the Early Childhood reset have progressed. Over the two days there was a real sense of NDIA and Partners all working towards making the Scheme’s systems and processes better – it is a constantly-evolving space, but all have the ultimate aim of facilitating great outcomes for all participants and their families and carers. Gladstone’s Ministerial visit We were delighted to welcome the Hon. Bill Shorten MP, Minister for the National Disability Insurance Scheme, to our Gladstone Centre. Minister Shorten and other members of the new Federal Government were in Gladstone for the first of a series of regional cabinet meetings. The Minister toured our Centre, chatted to staff about how they found working with the NDIS and spoke with one of the families with whomwe are working about their experience under the Scheme. Gladstone is one of our nine NDIS ECA Centres and Minister Shorten was particularly interested in the ECA support we provide to children with disabilities in the Gladstone area, reiterating the new government’s desire to make the NDIS better meet the needs of people with a disability. 10 https://bit.ly/3B5PKPg

Community Capacity Building and Engagement (CCBE) An inclusive community benefits everyone, not just people with disability and developmental concerns. BUSHkids uses a community-centred model, valuing the differences in people and promoting strong, responsive, and resilient communities capable of quickly responding to emerging needs and challenges. BUSHkids’ CCBE team has been working on an initiative to support inclusion of children with disability and developmental concerns into inclusive sporting associations, beginning with the “BUSHkids All Can Cricket” project. Project Advocate is our BUSHkids Resource Assistant, Allycia Staples. Allycia is a passionate self-advocate within her community and is dedicated to furthering inclusion in the arts, particularly the Performing Arts. Allycia has served as the Queensland representative for Our Voice – a committee that works with Inclusion Australia, the National Peak Body for People with Intellectual Disability. Allycia is also a member of Loud and Clear, a Sunshine Coast-based self- advocacy group. She is passionate about supporting inclusive welcoming communities to enable people with disability and developmental concerns to flourish and achieve their goals. The BUSHkids All Can Cricket project endeavours to increase participation of children with developmental concern and disability in the next twelve months, and long term is looking to build inclusive coaching programs and supporting sporting associations and clubs through accreditation. 11

BUSHkids in Cherbourg BUSHkids partners with cultural leaders in Cherbourg, an Aboriginal town two hours’ drive inland from the Sunshine Coast. Through collaborations with a local Elder and Director of the Early Learning Centre, Aunty Jacqui Tapau, and later with Cherbourg’s Mayor, Aunty Elvie Sandow, BUSHkids has been welcomed into the community to provide support. BUSHkids established a designated team to attend Gundoo Early Learning Centre (ELC) weekly to provide community capacity building as part of Cherbourg’s vision of having a ‘one-stop-shop’ for children and families in the community. BUSHkids recruited Katina Leedie as an Allied Health Assistant (AHA) as part of this team. Katina is a local Aboriginal woman who came recommended for the position by both Aunty Jacqui and Aunty Elvie, and works with the community to support our Speech Pathologist and Senior Coordinator. Together, they have connected with families and educators to offer consistent and high-quality services. In this collaborative approach, BUSHkids is now creating a community presence and building trust. The partnership with Gundoo ELC has been really important in creating community awareness and promoting BUSHkids supports to the community. BUSHkids participated in a community-led Early Years Round Table held in Cherbourg, facilitated by Early Years leaders Aunty Elvie and Aunty Jacqui. One outcome from this was to deliver a Holistic Screener Day for the children of Cherbourg at Gundoo ELC. The Cherbourg Health Screener Day, called Bari Djum Health Day (Wakka Wakka for Children), was designed to bring stakeholders together to offer targeted supports for children. Objectives for the day included: • offering developmental and health screeners for young children • building connections and trust with families and community of Cherbourg • networking and building working relationships with key stakeholders. BUSHkids provided screeners for 39 children out of the 55 who attend Gundoo ELC, with the remaining children being seen following Bari Djum. Capacity building for the Early Years Educators have also been delivered collaboratively on topics such as: • What are Developmental Milestones? • What is a Speech Pathologist? Components of communication and identifying communication concerns • What is an Occupational Therapist? The importance of fine motor development in children. Cherbourg’s Ration Shed Cherbourg was designated as a ‘Government Settlement’ in 1904. People from numerous tribes and clans were moved here and the government administration controlled almost every aspect of their lives, including what they ate. The government provided weekly rations of items such as tea, sugar, rice, peas, porridge, andmeat, which was handed out at a Ration Shed. Traditional hunting and gathering of food from the land was no longer possible. 12

Working with CALD families and communities Earlier in the year our Caloundra team noticed an increase in referrals from Culturally and Linguistically Diverse (CALD) families. Alongside this increase inCALD referrals, therewas also an increase in the diversity of cultures represented, including a significant number of Punjabi/Hindi, Russian, Nepalese, and Chinese families. During conversations with these families, it was evident that some Early Childhood providers were not supportive of their needs, providing limited communication with parents who spoke English as a second language – and, in some cases, even declining children for enrolment because they weren’t prepared to accommodate the families’ language and cultural differences. In addition, it was clear that CALD families had significant cultural factors which needed to be considered in relation to support for children with disabilities and developmental delay, something that wasn’t always well understood by community and mainstream support organisations. Responding to the increasing number of identified CALD families, the Caloundra team held a series of meetings with stakeholders including community organisation CÜRA (a branch of Multicultural Communities Council Gold Coast which specialises in providing culturally appropriate support) and the Multicultural Support Worker at the local Baringa Community Centre. These meetings explored ways in which the Caloundra team could better support CALD families, understand what help they may require and what barriers they experience when accessing supports. From these very productive conversations the team implemented processes specifically to support CALD families. This includes particular conversation points for keyworkers in advocating for families, for families to have the use of interpreters if required and for the whole process to be as easy as possible for the families involved to navigate. The team has also put in place a process to facilitate ‘soft referrals’ to the Migrant Women Social Group. The Migrant Welcome Centre and keyworkers are now able to help families access the weekly playgroup held at the local Baringa Community Centre. In addition, families are now provided NDIS documentation in relevant languages where possible as well as other government and community agency-translated materials. The team is currently exploring the most effective way of increasing the capacity of Early Childhood providers to support children and families who have English as a second language and developmental delay or disability. The site of the Ration Shed is now a museum showing the story of the community’s history. BUSHkids staff working in the region and participating in the Bari Djum Children’s Health Day undertook a guided tour of the museum to provide insight into the experiences of First Nations families and the impact of inter- generational trauma and how to best provide culturally appropriate supports within this community. https://bit.ly/3VrJNnF

Early Start Team BUSHkids transformed the way Allied Health clinicians within the ECA teams work in 2020-21, decentralising the teams based on their physical location to a virtual team – called the Early Start (ES) team – equitably supporting families across Queensland. The Early Start team employs clinicians across four disciplines – Occupational Therapy, Speech Pathology, Social Work and Physiotherapy – with access to Psychology consultations. This year there has been an increased focus on a transdisciplinary approach, allowing staff to not only learn more about their own discipline but also about other areas so they can operate in line with evidence-based best practice for families. This year the first AHA started with the ES team based on a successful pilot in other BUSHkids services and we now have four Early Start AHAs in the field. These are very important to the ES team to supplement the thin market of Allied Health staff in the more rural and remote parts of Queensland. The virtual team was able to convene in person for a three-day workshop in Bundaberg in July, bringing together staff from Townsville to Caloundra. The work produced from this gathering greatly supported the wider Early Start teams with Functional Assessments and Case Management Meetings as well as educational opportunities for understanding milestones across the early years age span. Through telepractice, the ESA clinicians are becoming more and more creative with their sessions. One of our Speech Pathologists is an ‘ace’ with a hot-glue gun in creating imaginative gadgets. She makes dinosaur earrings and necklaces, pom-pom headbands and glasses that Elton John would be proud of – and, whilst she enjoys making these wonderful products there is a very serious side as to why she does it. BUSHkids therapists do everything they can to engage the children in their telepractice sessions. The children may think they are just having some fun with a friend on the screen, but the reality is the children are working hard to develop skills that they are struggling with. This in turn encourages the successful outcomes for the children and their families. Client case study – helping Grace Grace is a five-year-old girl who was referred to BUSHkids by her mum. Grace displayed developmental delay in several areas, in particular her physical development and her learning at school. Grace’s mumwas not sure what support would benefit Grace, nor who she could talk to for advice, and she needed help to be able to get Grace the support she needed. The team felt that Grace had some concerning physical delays for her age which were having a significant impact on her functional capacity and our NDIS ECA and Early Start teams worked together to help Grace and her mum. Grace was referred to our Early Start Physiotherapist in Maroochydore, to determine what supports we could provide to help. A home visit with Grace and her mumwas undertaken to better determine the family’s needs, and it became clear that Grace needed a block of support from BUSHkids and that both Grace and her mumwould also benefit from being linked to community organisations for further supports. Grace’s mum told the team how grateful she is for the support provided to them both by BUSHkids and feels she already has a better understanding of Grace’s needs and where to go for further assessment and a possible diagnosis – a great example of BUSHkids’ teams working together in a family-centred way to deliver services that a little girl and her mum desperately needed. Client case study: DFV BUSHkids provides family support services and will refer to specialist trauma services where families are experiencing domestic and family violence (as children often present with neurodiverse behaviours linked to trauma). One important partnership with Victims of Crime saw a child referred to BUSHkids’ Early Start team to support with violent behaviours and grief and loss, with the grandmother, who has guardianship. BUSHkids’ Social Worker linked the family with a GP to get a mental health plan for Psychology support and a care plan for Occupational Therapy. The family was linked with Victims of Crime services funded by Act for Kids. 14

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