teleBUSHkids Centre Official Opening
At Christmas I updated you about the progress with the construction and fit out of our purpose-built teleBUSHkids centre in Toowong. We were planning to have the new centre fully operational early in the New Year and I am pleased to confirm that we have now been successfully running telepractice sessions from the centre for nearly five months.
I’m also excited to announce that the official opening of the centre will now take place on Wednesday 31 May 2023, between 10.00 and 11.00am. As you are aware, the State Government supported the development of our teleBUSHkids Centre with a significant contribution to the overall cost, and we are delighted that Deputy Premier, The Honourable Dr Steven Miles MP has found time in his busy schedule to perform the opening for us.
While the Government’s support was important in getting the project started, we couldn’t have completed and fitted out the new centre without your support and would be delighted for interested donors to join us for this very special event. The event isn’t open to the public, so if you would like to join us please call 3870 7288 and let us know in advance that you are attending.
As we aim to deliver services in a culturally safe and respectful way the new centre will be named Babimim Jharr meaning family place in the First Nations Jagera language. The Jagera people are the traditional owners of the land on which the centre stands, and the name was decided upon following consultation with representatives from the local Jagera community. I’m sure you will agree it’s a highly appropriate name for a centre which will do so much to help Queensland families.
The new centre is a fantastic asset for BUSHkids, greatly improving our ability to support children and families in regional, rural and remote Queensland. It has enabled us to provide a full range of support and therapies not readily available through our regional service centres, while allowing children and families in remote locations who find it difficult to travel into one of our service centres to receive the support they need.
A case in point is four-year-old Lilly who lives in a small rural town 90 minutes’ drive from our Emerald Centre. Her parents and Kindy referred Lilly to BUSHkids for support with anxiety and low confidence. Lilly’s issues presented as selective mutism, meaning Lilly wouldn’t speak at Kindy or when out with other people, but would speak at home with her family. While she needed support from a speech pathologist and a psychologist, unfortunately we don’t currently have a speech pathologist based in our Emerald Centre and the three-hour round trip wasn’t practical for the family. The solution was telepractice.
Although Lilly wouldn’t usually speak with anyone outside her immediate family, she quickly became comfortable talking to our therapists during sessions and enjoyed interacting using our fun telepractice tools. Our therapists were also able to use telepractice to support Lilly’s mum, providing her with strategies she could use at home to boost Lilly’s confidence and improve her speech.
Lilly has become increasingly confident during telepractice therapy and after just 10 sessions she is using her words at Kindy and is more comfortable, relaxed, and is even able to able to talk with new people she meets. Lilly feels proud of her new-found confidence and enjoys collecting examples of all the times she has been brave and confident on her “New Things Tree” which helps her celebrate success and track how far she has come.
Lilly’s family are feeling confident she can start Prep next year and her mum is delighted with her progress. “Lilly has come so far” said Lilly’s mum. “Thank you very much for the skills you have given me as well, they have helped massively”.
With your ongoing support we will be able to help more kids like Lilly, providing equipment for our regional service centres so they can all gain access to specialist therapy provided from the new teleBUSHkids Centre. As we approach the end of the financial year any gift of $2 or more is tax deductible and to make donation easier, you can give online through our website; go to bushkids.org.au and click on the ‘Donate’ button.
We couldn’t continue to provide our free services for kids and families in rural, regional, and remote Queensland without your help and it’s thanks to your generosity we have been able make our new teleBUSHkids Centre a reality.
Thank you again for your continued support and we would love to see you at the teleBUSHkids Centre opening on 31 May.
Chief Executive Officer
 While this is a real case, personal information about the child and location has been changed to protect the family’s privacy.