Fitzgibbon hosts new local peer group

The newly formed Fitzgibbon Local Support Group (FLSG) is a means by which people with disability from neighbouring suburbs can learn more about the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) and what it may mean for them, with the Scheme commencing roll-out in northern Brisbane from July 2018. QDN hosted a Community Conversation in June to gauge support for forming a local support group in this area.  This meeting was well attended by people with disability and their supporters, service providers, Federal Member for Petrie Luke Howarth MP, Moreton Bay Councillor Amanda Cooper as well as local representatives.  The FLSG was pleased to hold their first meeting on 12 July at the Fitzgibbon Community Centre.

The FLSG is one of 24 Local Support Groups throughout Queensland supported by Queenslanders with Disability Network (QDN) as part of an initiative funded by the Federal government to support potential participants in the NDIS to plan well and take advantage of what the Scheme may be able to offer. Co-Convenor, Meriel Stanger, has expressed that groups like this are needed in local areas as people with disability are an important part of the community and have a lot to offer.

All Local Support Groups (LSGs) are modelled upon peer leadership and learning, and for adults with any disability who would like to get information, learn more about the NDIS and share their own stories and lived experiences. Mark Warren, FLSG member, commented “with the NDIS coming groups like these will become more important. I am proud to be part of the formation of this local support group”. Volunteer group convenors, with lived experience of disability, will coordinate the meetings and support members in determining what the group wishes to achieve.

Local QDN members are excited about the formation of a peer group in the area.   “I have lived in this area for quite a long time and it’s good that something like this is finally happening, something for people with disability, run by people with disability, with people with disability setting the agenda,” commented Bernadette Scalora, FLSG Co-Convenor.

The interest from the local community has been outstanding for the formation of the FLSG.  New FLSG member, Paul Price, stated that he is looking forward to growing the group and sharing information.  The Group is very pleased to have the support of the local community and State Member for Sandgate, Stirling Hinchliffe MP, who met with QDN members and staff to talk about what local support groups can do in this area.  Stirling Hinchliffe MP gladly offered the support of his office in promoting FLSG via its networks and media platforms.  Mr Hinchliffe met with members of the FLSG to help promote the group meetings through organising an article in the local papers. The article is available at https://www.baysidestarnews.com.au/news/support-group-connects-people-with-disability/3196248/ The FLSG convenors plan to invite Mr Hinchliffe to address the group at a future meeting.

FLSG members have also been working with Luke Howarth MP, Member for Petrie to organise a meet and greet with Luke Howarth MP and Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services in this area.  This will be an opportunity for FLSG members to talk directly with these Ministers about how the roll out of the NDIS in their area.

Fitzgibbon Local Support Group will meet monthly at the Fitzgibbon Community Centre, 545 Roghan Rd. Please contact QDN on 3252 8566 or dso@qdn.org.au for further information on the local support groups or check out QDN’s events page for more details about group meetings.

Luke Howarth MP, Federal Member for Petrie presenting at the Fitzgibbon meeting
Luke Howarth MP, Federal Member for Petrie presenting at the Fitzgibbon meeting
Attendees at the Fitzgibbon Community Conversation
Attendees at the Fitzgibbon Community Conversation