Headway Gippsland Inc
In 1981 a group of concerned parents came together through their concern to find appropriate supports for people living with an Acquired Brain Injuries (‘ABI’s). Giving their time and using their own initiative, this group set about applying for funding and grants to ensure that people living with ABIs could engage with community and social activities suited to them.
The group relied solely on local volunteers within the community until a decision was made to become an incorporated body in 1993. This enabled the volunteer committee of management to apply for government funding in their own right. Once this was achieved a planned activity group was established in Yarragon, and later in Trafalgar in 1994, for community related activities based on choice.
Over the last 25 years Headway Gippsland has continued to grow and change and now includes social and recreational activity groups in Wonthaggi, Warragul, Morwell, Bairnsdale and Trafalgar, meeting one day per week, and providing support to families and individuals living with ABIs right across the Gippsland region, including Mirboo North and district. In fact, you will often see the some of the groups enjoying a BBQ at the beautiful Baromi Park in Mirboo North with a spot of games and activities, weather permitting…
While the group activities are run by professionals, each still has community volunteers involved who enhance the experience of the participants. So many different people in local communities, including ours, giving their time and energy for the good of others. Philanthropy comes in many shapes and sizes.
Headway also runs an Independent Living Program, which provides skill development or retraining. The objective of this program is to have people with ABIs remain living independently in their community and to avoid being placed in inappropriate accommodation, such as an aged care facility.
Headways current challenge is the shift of disability service funding to the NDIS model, as people living with all types of disabilities choose what services to access. Despite these changes, Headway continues as a niche service provider for people living with ABIs, based on the same concerns as those held by the volunteers who got this organisation going back in 1981 – in fact, one of those is still on the volunteer Board of Management, some 37 years later.
If you are your family have been touched by an ABI, have a look at Headway Gippsland’s website for supportive information.