Message from the Chair
Dear Members and Colleagues
Welcome to the first WWDACT e-Bulletin for 2020.
It has been hard to say the words ‘Happy New Year’ this time round as the clock ticked over to the new decade, because we have had such a difficult and tragic start to the New Year. Communities in every state and territory have been impacted, with particular disastrous fires in the places near to Canberra that we love – the Namadgi national park and our nearby villages, and at the coast which is usually our second home in summer. But not this year. It has been very sad. Some of us might have been directly touched by the loss of lives of the firefighters. Some of us have had respiratory conditions badly affected by the smoke and ash particle pollution in the air. All of us have just been made anxious and on-edge. And then the hail storm hit.
We sincerely thank Georgeina Whelan, ACT ESA Commissioner, for her competent, calm coordination of the emergency services in the ACT, all those firies working so hard in impossible conditions to keep us safe, and all the volunteers who are keeping the services and food flowing to the fire-front.
We know that the fire danger is not over yet, and so we need to consciously take steps to have our fire plan ready, and to keep listening to, or watching the alerts on Triple 6 ABC Radio and monitoring the Emergency Services Agency ACT, the Rural Fire Service NSW and the Fires Near Me App.
Some of our WWDACT members and many others other in our community do need extra care, support and assistance, at this time. I have made a mental note to bring forward September’s “R U OK?” Day, and to use it on a daily basis in 2020. Check in with your friends and neighbours. Sometimes it is enough to just spend extra time together.
If you have been directly affected by bushfires, or know others who have, a good first point of information is the Federal Department of Health information sheet on where to get help with mental health issues as a result of the fires.
Sometimes companionship with others and a bit of diversion is a good tactic. WWDACT Social Drop-ins will start a little later in the year. We will keep you informed about events in Canberra via this e-Bulletin, the WWDACT Facebook Page, our Instagram account and on Twitter. Just search for WWDACT or Women With Disabilities ACT to find any of these accounts.
The WWDACT Board and staff look forward to moving forward with you this year to improve our access to opportunities, the community, and maintaining our health and wellbeing.