It has certainly been an eventful time here at Youngcare over the past few months!
Back in May, I proudly joined 16 other trekkers to embark on an incredible ten-day, 300km journey across the Simpson Desert. It was certainly no mean feat – but what a feeling to make it to the geo-centre of the Simpson Desert and back (just don’t mention the blisters or missing toe nails!), all the while raising critical awareness and funds for young Aussies with high care needs.
The ten challenging days of isolation, basic living conditions and ration packs really helped to hit home what it might well be like for a young person to live in aged care – an existence of uniformity, little decision making ability and isolation. It was a truly powerful experience and only made possible through the support of many generous organisations. The unwavering commitment of my fellow trekkers and their families has been incredible. They consistently proved their passion and determination throughout their fundraising and the trek itself and a big thank you to you all again.
In June, we welcomed the tabling in the Federal Parliament of the Senate Inquiry Report into the Adequacy of Residential Care Arrangements for young disabled Australians. Youngcare’s submission highlighted the impact of our successful model of care for young people, which is unique in Australia and is being implemented at the new Youngcare Share House at Wooloowin as you read this.
Which brings me to one of my proudest moments in my time here at Youngcare to date – the day when four young Aussies finally got to call the Share House “home”.
After a huge amount of hard work and efforts from so many partners and supporters, at the beginning of July we received the keys to the newly completed Youngcare Share House at Wooloowin! I’m sure those of you who joined us at the Sneak Peek of the house will agree it is beautifully light and bright, and the state-of the assistive technology – which includes iPad functionality of lighting and audio visual, automated doors and blinds, and mobile voice control systems – is a clear demonstration of the way high quality, architecturally designed homes can be built for young people with high care needs.
The four Wooloowin housemates are now settling into their new home, and begin a new chapter where they will experience total freedom and the ability to make their own decisions – something we very often take for granted.
Also this month, I had the privilege of speaking at the 2015 Asia Pacific Cities Summit on the topic of Accessible, Supportive and Inclusive Living Spaces for Young People with High Care Needs. It was a fantastic opportunity to share with the audience the Youngcare principles of house design, and our vision for the future of accessible housing for young Aussies with high care needs. I was certainly inspired by the stories of some of the world’s great leaders including Kaoru Kobayashi, Mayor of Fukishima (pictured below).
As always, it’s ‘onwards and upwards’ for Youngcare, so be sure to keep your eyes peeled for our upcoming events and projects – it’s shaping up to be a huge second half of the year!