Cen­tre of his world

Mark wel­comes the new Shan­non Park

Geelong Advertiser - - TAKE TWO - CAMERON BEST cameron.best @news.com.au

MARK Robin­son loves the Gee­long Football Club, swim­ming, go­ing out to lunch at a pub and watch­ing his John Farn­ham DVD.

The cere­bral palsy suf­ferer, 39, has been able to in­dulge his pas­times through en­dur­ing sup­port from Scope Dis­abil­ity Ser­vices for more than two decades.

As a young man, Mr Robin­son de­cided to go to Shan­non Park for ther­apy and he thrived.

He has seen many changes at Scope’s Shan­non Park com­plex and yes­ter­day he helped cel­e­brate the lat­est chap­ter in the or­gan­i­sa­tion’s his­tory, with the open­ing of the re­de­vel­oped cen­tre.

It in­cludes a new hy­drother­apy pool, in­di­vid­ual ther­apy rooms, sen­sory rooms, multi- pur­pose ac­tiv­ity rooms, bed­rooms with heated floors, land­scaped gar­dens with raised flower beds and gen­eral pur­pose meet­ings rooms.

‘‘ We know that there is go­ing to be an in­crease in de­mand for ser­vices un­der the Na­tional Dis­abil­ity In­sur­anceScheme and this es­tab­lishes us to meet the needs for peo­ple now and into the fu- ture,’’ Scope chief ex­ec­u­tive Jen­nifer Fitzger­ald said.

‘‘There’s been a par­a­digm shift in so­ci­ety about what it means for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity to truly be a part of the community and to be equal cit­i­zens.’’

Community Ser­vices Min­is­ter Mary Wooldridge said the cen­tre of­fered in­clu­sive sup­port ser­vices for peo­ple with a dis­abil­ity.

‘‘It has been built so that clients go out into the community as well as the community comes i nto the fa­cil­ity," Mrs Wooldridge said.

She said work was con­tin­u­ing in pre­par­ing the re­gion for the launch of the NDIS next year, but the push to se­cure the tran­si­tion agency for the Bar­won re­gion had stag­nated.

‘‘ We’ve put a sig­nif­i­cant amount of money on the ta­ble to make that hap­pen and we are push­ing very hard for that, but at the mo­ment we are not get­ting en­gage­ment or any com­mit­ment from the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment,’’ she said.

‘‘As we are plan­ning for a longer-term scheme, es­tab­lish­ing the tran­si­tion agency where it will be would make a lot of sense.’’

Photo: LEANNE CHURCHILL

LIFE CHANG­ING: Mark Robin­son at the hy­drother­apy pool at the re­de­vel­oped Scope’s Shan­non Park com­plex, and Mr Robin­son (in­set) paint­ing at the cen­tre as a young man.

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