Home' The Murray Pioneer : March 17th 2017 Contents www.murraypioneer.com.au Friday, March 17, 2017 NEWS 11
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A SPEECH pathologist says her recent return
to the Riverland was a result of a lack of health
services available to locals eligible for the National
Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Establishing a practice in Berri late last year,
Diana Bleby said the gap in health availability was a
key reason for her return.
“There was a connection through the education
department who said how desperate people were
for services here, particularly under the NDIS,” she
said. “There are a number of families with children
who are very needy and they now have funds and
plans to access services. A lot of those plans have
been sitting idle because the services haven’t been
here to access.
“The public services here do an amazing job but
there’s just not enough to go around.”
Ms Bleby spent much of her childhood and early
working life in the Riverland.
“My grandparents were here from 1973 to 1978,
I used to come up to the region as a very small child
and stay with them,” she said.
“I had my first job as a speech pathologist with
the education department in Berri and was here for
five years myself.
“The first five years of anyone’s career are very
formative and mine were here in the Riverland.”
As the NDIS roll-out continues, Ms Bleby
encouraged locals to find out as much as they can
about the initiative and what can be made available
“The NDIS is the biggest public policy change
after Medicare, it’s such a big scheme that it has its
teething problems,” she said.
“There are information sessions happening in
various areas as the NDIS rolls out.
“People need to make sure they go and have a
face-to-face meeting with their planner when they
get approved for the NDIS. It’s the families’ choice
what services they can have and the planner helps
guide them, not the other way around.”
LESS than 48 hours after
Murray Bridge held a
community forum to tackle
the state’s problems with the
drug ice, local sporting clubs
are being encouraged to
reduce the drug’s devastating
impact on communities.
With 40 per cent of
Australians having tried ille-
gal substances, sporting clubs
can provide a protective envi-
ronment to help prevent drug
harm in communities.
Good Sports ambassador
and Olympic gold medallist
Kim Brennan said sporting
clubs are “the beating heart”
of local communities.
“They play a vital role in
connecting and supporting
people who are doing it tough,
and who are working to solve
the many health and social
issues in their communities,”
“One in six Australians
have taken an illegal drug
in the last year, so it’s likely
every Australian sports club
has at least one person who
has been impacted by drugs.
“It’s clear from the Alcohol
and Drug Foundation’s Good
Sports program that com-
munity sports clubs want to
respond to drug issues like ice
in their communities.”
Run by the Alcohol and
Drug Foundation, the Good
Sports program already works
with more than 7000 clubs
Local speech pathologist Diana Bleby says the
National Disability Insurance Scheme will allow
families to access health services previously
unattainable in the region. PHOTO: Christian Longobardi
Sporting clubs urged to tackle ice scourge
The first five years of anyone’s
career are very formative and
mine were here...
- Diana Bleby
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