Distressing story is familiar to many
The distressing story of Alex and the McNeill family’s situation brings to the surface situations that are familiar to many of our members and friends in the wider community. The intensity of this family's grief, frustration and inevitably - desperation - in their search for answers, articulates the journey many of us have had - and are experiencing.
We love our children and try to do our best to equip them with the essential skills they will need in preparation for their lives, but the level of pressure on parents and families where their child has multiple and complex disabilities often results in a breakdown of relationships, in both parents and siblings, that produces isolation and an impossible pressure to find ways or resources to survive and yet cope with the difficulties arising from the situation you are in.
The most intense grief is experienced watching the distress of your child as they try to communicate their frustration in ways that are not acceptable to a community focused on categorizing a disability - one that evades typecasting - or ticking a comfortable box that will allow the formulation of answers.
It would be worth investigating the possibilities of housing support through the NDIS Special Disability Accommodation program – I think it’s accessible through acquiring an EHOP package from the NDIA - and will be available to selected people with high needs.
We encourage everyone who can to support this family's quest for both sanity and support through their GofundMe campaign. www.gofundme.com/fundraiser-for-alex-mcneill
Noela Foreman, Quality Living Options Bendigo
Local support important
I am very pleased to see that the state and federal governments have stepped up and made large contributions, which allow the museum to purchase a new dragon. I question however what of the donations made by the general public and other businesses, there was no mention of these. As someone born and bred in Bendigo who has made a donation (all be it small) I am wondering why we have had no recognition. What also of Sir Richard Branson, did he make a donation after the Bendigo Advertiser journalist put him on the spot? Or was he charged a fee for his advertising stunt. That promotion will garner his company Virgin Airlines more financial gain than any trickle down tourism to Bendigo will. Another friend of mine also made a donation and suggests that all who made donations are listed on a type of honour board at the museum, I agree with this form of recognition. Visitors to the museum would then see that many people care about this historic institution.
Lana Osterfield, Castlemaine
Distressed and ashamed
I am distressed and ashamed at Australia’s cruelty towards the asylum seekers we have kept imprisoned until now on Manus Island. Having illegally detained them for years under brutal conditions, we are responsible for them, even for the minority who have not already been approved as having refugee status.
We cut off their supply of food, water and medication and ceased to provide even rudimentary accommodation, abandoning them in a country where they have no way of supporting themselves, where they are not wanted and where the locals are publicly threatening further violence against them. This is just sickening. We have hurt these people enough. Bring them to Australia and give them a life.