Monday, May 15, 2017

Fund My Idea in the Flinders Ranges

Click pic to see what it's all about
Quinten van der Werf's idea is to make the beauties of the Flinders Ranges, in South Australia, available to everyone

The South Australian government lets the people (trolls and robots excepted!) assess the relevance of these ideas through the YourSAy website (clever name!) and if I could assemble a robot to shout about this one I would.

Read what Quentin is suggesting or tweet about @intheflinders - yes, I'm getting with the plot!

Friday, May 12, 2017

A perfect circle!

The first two of the many subsequent faces that launched the
20 Australian TrailRiders
On 28th August 2009 Donna Morgan went out and spent $10 - and took me, against my better judgement, out on my first-ever TrailRider ride. Along with inaugural sherpas Ros (wife), Jeanne (neighbour), Sam (son), Geordie (neighbour's son), Rachel (son's partner) and Brandy (Donna's dog) they took me up Cypress Mountain in Vancouver as Wild Places (5 minute Youtube and almost 5000 views) will tell you more about.

Along with my first glowing experience of the sherpa volunteer program - Axel - and Jeanne, we went for an ice cream in Halls Gap and celebrated the first eight years of Australian TrailRider history.

There's much more to tell and many more to thank but try using the search box at the right to read posts about Ros Hart, John Kenwright, Rodney Brooke, Joanne Brooke...

The inventor of the TrailRider, Sam Sullivan (search again!) came very close yesterday to losing his seat on the Canadian, British Columbian, State Parliament but (and?) this will be the way he will be remembered 100 years from now.

Nurses Julie and Rhonda were auxiliary stars getting me up and out to be collected at 9am for Jeanne to drive, two hours on the wrong side of the road, to the Grampians National Park.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Posting from respite

Click to study 2009 pic. Donna in a box!
For readers that do not already know, respite is when the care recipient (me) gets looked after in a high needs nursing home and I vacate the Carer's (Ros') head. My beloved wife Ros is somewhat free for three weeks. Needless to say Mr MS, which is how Ros brilliantly externalises the demon, mostly stays with me.

Notice the somewhat and the mostly - they are important. The Carer's lot is never over until...

So posting becomes a little different. My best friend, apart from Ros, is visiting from Vancouver. Home of the TrailRider. Jeanne's wife Donna first introduced us to the TrailRider in 2009 so talking and dining and introducing is the go. Hence this unusual mixed bag post.

Dorigo

...is a park in New South Wales where a TrailRider is currently available. The Have Wheelchair Will Travel blog went on an outing there.

Click to study pic - look at BJ's face! Nature as it's meant to be


Signs

Parks Victoria is currently working on a refinement of these signs.When they announce, so will I.

70,000 page views

This slipped by without my usual, self-congratulatory, post. Believe me, you won't get off this easily when we hit 100,000!

Flinders Ranges

For non-Aussies these are a magnificent place to visit in the north of South Australia.

Quinten van der Werf is the founder of In The Flinders and is working hard at setting up a TrailRider so that we wheelies can share the beauty.

If you are on Facebook here is your chance to signal your delight in these endeavours:

Like In The Flinders
and Like Have Wheelchair Will Travel

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

USA All Accessibility Project turnng to Australia for TrailRider advice!

Click on pic to watch the All Accessibility Project YouTube 
A recurrent theme here has been how the TrailRider is finding its way into normal Australian society and nothing has said this louder to me than this story.

Colin Quinn-Briggs is an upright (walking person!) who lives in America and is working on a project to get wheelies (non walking people) to the top of the mountain in the picture here.

The YouTube video for the All Accessibility Project can be seen here - if you watch it, and like it, give it the thumbs up just below it. It is well worth watching the 5 minutes but if you are in a hurry skip to 2:37 because this is where he heads down under to find out about the TrailRider.

If you are a Facebook user please Like his page

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Another race with a TrailRider "runner"

Click pic to read the article
In 2013 the first ever (in nearly 30 years) non-walking participant took part in the Oxfam 100km TrailWalker challenge.

In 2017 something less grand, but similar, is soon to take place in the O'Keefe Rail Track marathon.

Jika Knight is preparing to follow in Bruce Tower's footsteps (??) as pilot in this race.

Checkout this Bendigo Advertiser article

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

A tale of two Jacksons

Click pic to see presentation flyer
The former CEO of Parks Victoria was Bill Jackson and I had the great pleasure today of  being on his table at the Nature is Good Medicine workshop at the World Congress on Public Health. He is still very actively involved, but now at a global level, in Healthy Parks, Healthy People and, on that account had been invited to take butchers-paper notes at the breakout session named HPHP.

My other great pleasure was shaking hands with Matt Jackson, the new CEO of Parks Victoria as he prepared for a World Leaders Plenary session - talking about Nature is Good Medicine some more.

Sadly son Joshua Hart (thank you, thank you) and I had to run for my taxi back to the train station so we did not hear the session. I will post a video when it becomes available.

Matt too will shortly guest post.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Another World Congress

Click pic to view workshop invitation
This time it's the 15th World Congress on Public Health and I'll be part of the Nature is Good Medicine workshop at 11am on Tuesday morning.

For a mere $440 you can join in too!

I will be on the ACTIVATING THE COMMUNITY IN NATURE FOR BETTER
PHYSICAL, MENTAL AND SOCIAL HEALTH speed dating breakout session.
Click pic to visit website




Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Flourishing

Flourish magazine is published, quarterly, by the private health fund Australian Unity and features many useful tips for keeping fit and well.

Fitter, weller customers make less claims on their insurance so it makes good sense to Australian Unity.

I forget who put me on to Kirstie Bedford but she has, in my opinion, written one of the stand-out articles about the TrailRider.

My only quibble is that the focus is too much on "David". Without the efforts and input of Ros, John Kenwright/Parks Victoria and Jo & Rodney Brooke we could not be where we are today.

I think something extra special is the infographic, TrailRider Facts in the second page below.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Things are hotting up

Click on pic to view story
Getting attention for disability/nature in an increasingly strident Internet can be a fickle thing but, just at moment, there appears to be a growing momentum. 

This piece, from Julie Jones of Have Wheelchair Will Travel has just appeared on the Bound Round site. Bound Round are brimming with ideas for things to with your family - including now your disabled family.

Like the Bound Round Facebook Page

Friday, March 24, 2017

Disabled accommodation "to die for"

Click pic to visit the HWWT blog
 (Have Wheelchair Will Travel)
As a person with MS (pwMS) who is only ever moved around by hoist/sling this picture says more than a great many words. Yes, I kid you not, the bedroom has a hoist-track in the ceiling. This is the Sargood Resort at Collaroy in NSW.

This post on the Have Wheelchair Will Travel blog says more, without me having to type (!) but a very important point, that I did not understand, is that the funding arrangements are such that all this beauty is only available to you if you have a spinal injury.

So don't take "to die for" literally - simply break your back.

I will leave it to Delia Gray, general manager at Royal Rehab in Sydney (who I wrote about in 2013) to say more in her up-coming Guest Post. Please consider this an introduction to her.

Thursday, March 23, 2017

explore, experience and enjoy

Click pic to read brochure
Parks Victoria continue to excel in being the globally outstanding sherpas of the TrailRider movement. I am constantly astonished and even more so because I know about things that cannot yet be publicly announced.

Here is the brochure they and the local tourism people have produced for the Yarra Ranges chair.

What I specially love here is that the sherpas, on a level surface are not buff young men.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

When did TrailRider become a Thing?

Click pic to read article
Reading this article in the Sun-Herald was an extraordinary experience - on account of one sentence:


"And TrailRiders are free to loan in several National Parks"
There it was, bold as brass. The TR word with no explanation and, moreover, "correctly" capitalised.

Thank you Tracey Spicer (journalist - if you read this Tracey please get in touch) and thank you Julie Jones of Have Wheelchair Will Travel

If you want to know more put Julie Jones in the search box on this blog.
Like the HWWT Facebook Page.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Guess what? I found a TrailRider

Writing yesterday's post took me into the Directory and there I saw a comment that I had never noticed before, telling me that there was a TrailRider at Kosciuszko National Park Visitor Centre. I checked my NSW listings and sure enough, one of their three chairs was missing and thanks to this comment (thank you Sagrom) I have now found it.

As readers might know I have MS and something I discussed with the MS Society some years ago was the idea of a Top of the Continent fundraiser TrailRider expedition at Kosciuszko. This was actually the idea of Louise, a reader of this blog.

It goes like this:

  • Louise's vision was of several TrailRiders (her in one of them!) being trekked to the highest point in Australia.
  • I thought that, with three or four TrailRiders, roughly 30 sherpas would be needed and there are cabin-type accommodations in the vicinity where everyone could stay the night before and after the ascent.
  • The MS Society, at that time, would offer online support, seed funding for a "sponsored walk" style event that would spin the publicity event of three or four people, disabled by MS, making it to the top.
  • Top of the Continent? My wheeze. Kilimanjaro is the highest point in Africa and TrailRiders have been there twice. I don't hold out much hope for the remaing continents!
This is no longer something I could consider organising or being part of - other than making phone calls but someone younger? Fitter?

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Where to go near Bendigo (in a TrailRider)

Click on pic to view  or download the guide (PDF)
So you have been up to Loddon Shire Visitor Information Centre at Wedderburn, packed the chair into your station wagon and you and your sherpas are heading out on the tracks.

Where will you go?

These are some suggestions from Parks Victoria about where you might take it for a spin.

They will be handing this out at their stand at Thursday's NDIS Expo in Bendigo.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Victoria Walks

Click pic to visit Victoria Walks
Can I say VW I wonder? Acronyms drive you wild or save you typing.

VW talk about Four-legged Friend walking, replacing level crossings and many other things but, along the way, reference Parks Victoria's access to parks work.

Just saying..








Incidentally (or BTW?) I love their logo which just needs a TrailRider to complete it.

If you are a Facie, here is a chance to Like Victoria Walks:

Friday, March 10, 2017

Bendigo TrailRider appearance

All the disabled community in Australia is fascinated to watch the rolling out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) The NDIS promises, one day, to do for disability what Medicare does for sickness - make universal, freely-available care part of our society. Indeed this is why the previous government called this Disability Care

How does the TrailRider fit in? At this stage the NDIS focus is on individual case-management style engagement with those that are disabled but in the future wider approaches will begin. This post showed that.

The Our Choice Expo in Bendigo will showcase all manner of equipment and providers in relation to the NDIS

There will be a Parks Victoria stand with a TrailRider and John Kenwright and all the local staff


Saturday, March 4, 2017

Taking delivery

The Ute in the shadows on the left and the vines looking their
very best - not to mention Rodney and my TrailRider
Yesterday I took delivery of my very own TrailRider. Rodney came over in his Ute (that's what we call a flat bed truck in Australia) and gave me my long-awaited 65th birthday present. 

He had been working away to resolve a slight problem that was most likely brought about by folk who worked on motorising it.

I saw a TrailRider being set up from scratch for the very first time and also had the opportunity to study the rear in some detail. I ended up with a clear understanding of the problem he had been grappling with.
Rear view of the motorised TrailRider. Do
you see how the wheel is displaced a little
to the left?

The slight shift of the wheel towards the left of the chair was causing a metal pin to gouge into the tyre.

Now I hope to go out around Newstead and show off my new toy. Josh (third son) is looking after me. Can a single sherpa safely operate a TrailRider?

Monday, January 30, 2017

Trump

These are interesting times (understatement) and ones in which I am taking the unprecedented step of circulating an online petition. 3.3 million had signed at the point that I did. Let us make it 10 million!

Over 3 million have signed the open letter to Trump -- including you! With the announcement of the Muslim ban, it's time to make this the worldwide symbol of resistance -- share it everywhere, and help hit 4 million!
-----
Dear friends,

With the Muslim ban, Trump has shown that the worst fears about his Presidency are true.

This is the start. He's threatening to tear down international agreements. He's threatened to start a nuclear arms race. Didn't believe it before? Believe it now.

And this is happening in all our countries. We must build the global movement to stop it. Over 3 million have already signed the open letter, below, from the world to Trump, and it's been covered across major media. Today it becomes a symbol of resistance. Help it become an even more powerful message -- forward it widely and sign below


 ADD MY NAME


Dear Mr. Trump,

This is not what greatness looks like.

The world rejects your fear, hate-mongering, and bigotry. We reject your support for torture, your calls for murdering civilians, and your general encouragement of violence. We reject your denigration of women, Muslims, Mexicans, and millions of others who don’t look like you, talk like you, or pray to the same god as you. 

Facing your fear we choose compassion. Hearing your despair we choose hope. Seeing your ignorance we choose understanding. 

As citizens of the world, we stand united against your brand of division.
Sincerely,

Recent signers -- Add my name


 ADD MY NAME



As Americans take to the streets in resistance, we can show them the world is at their back. Instead of dividing us, let's make Trump a force to bring us together, to fight for everything we love.

With hope,

Emma, Alice, Christoph, and the whole Avaaz team.

 

Avaaz is a 44-million-person global campaign network
 that works to ensure that the views and values of the world's people shape global decision-making. ("Avaaz" means "voice" or "song" in many languages.) Avaaz members live in every nation of the world; our team is spread across 18 countries on 6 continents and operates in 17 languages. Learn about some of Avaaz's biggest campaigns here, or follow us on Facebook or Twitter.

You became a member of the Avaaz movement and started receiving these emails when you signed "Block escalation in Iraq!" on 2007-02-12 using the email addressdavidhughstratton@gmail.com.
To ensure that Avaaz messages reach your inbox, please add avaaz@avaaz.org to your address book. To change your email address, language settings, or other personal information, contact us, or simply go here to unsubscribe.


To contact Avaaz, please do not reply to this email. Instead, write to us at www.avaaz.org/en/contact or call us at +1-888-922-8229 (US).Dr David Stratton




Monday, January 23, 2017

A second Australian distributor!

The Mobiliy Plus website -TrailRider to be added soon
Click pic to visit
When the TrailRider first came to Australia a crucial first step was John Kenwright organising an Australian distributor - GMS Rehab

Now a second distributor has come online. The folk at Mobility Plus came to fame through their work producing the motorised version of the TrailRider - a completely Australian innovation courtesy of John Kenwright.

The GMS TrailRider page - click to visit the page
They have yet to update their website to include the TrailRider but in the meantime contact them by phone or by email.  1300 011 000   or info@mobilityplus.com.au 



If you are a Facie, here is a chance to Like the GMS Rehab: and Mobility Plus

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Picaninny

Click pic to visit Brambuk
Grampians Park Headquarters
Most times we mention the Grampians here we are speaking of Halls Gap, toward the northern end of the 1600 square kilometer park. This is where the Park Headquarters are found at Brambuk and the Aboriginal Cultural Centre.

Picaninny is at the extreme south, near Dunkeld, and invites a whole different set of local neighbours, including Hamilton local Kyal Doneman.

Kyal Doneman and a flock of rangers
including David Roberts, head ranger
In September Parks Victoria rangers took Kyal out on the walk to the the Summit, a part of the Grampians Peaks Trail project.

The end result will have been a grading of that section of  and a flock the trail;according to the two, three or four sherpa ("operator") category defined in a previous post in March 2015.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Making it all worthwhile - a lead in to 2017

The way things used to be - there comes a time though when
the child is just too heavy
This post, that is really just a copy/paste of Julie's guest post in February 2015, came about as I read the summary of her year on Have Wheelchair Will Travel. I then re-read her guest post and had a resurgent sense, appropriate to New Years Day, of what TrailRiders are bringing to Australia and what 2017 will lead to.

I won't attempt to review my year in the same way. Health challenges have dominated of late.

I will leave it to Julie's February 2015 words:

One of the nicest things about having our website, Have Wheelchair Will Travel and the Facebook page is the people we “meet.”  I am constantly inspired by people like David who persevere and bring about change.

Our website and Facebook page started as a very small idea of sharing information about a particular trip we undertook with our son who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair.  My background as a travel consultant gave me the advantage of being able to research our holiday thoroughly and when it was a success I wanted to share that information to give others the confidence to travel.  


That simple idea has now grown and we share equipment tips and finds, our travels and other information we feel may help others.  We have only one rule on our page and that is that the stories must be positive and can-do.  We want people to visit our page and always be able to find something positive and uplifting; a story of what can be achieved despite a disability.

An easier way to  do it!

The unexpected gift which has come from having the website and using my background in travel is being able to inform tourism providers of little things which would help someone travelling with a wheelchair.  Whether it is a change to a layout of a hotel room, displaying adequate signage or providing wider disabled parking spaces, all these small things make a difference to guests visiting after us - if adopted.  We find most operators are very open to change and often it is a lack of understanding or knowledge which has prevented it happening before.


Last year we were asked by Dina Bullivant from National Parks Service NSW if we would like to trial the TrailRider and give our feedback. 


We are always up for an adventure and love trying something new, so we jumped at the opportunity.  Doing bushwalks was something we had done before we had children and an activity we always imagined we would share with our children when they came along.  You could say we took it for granted. 


When our son was born with cerebral palsy we imagined this would not be the case once he outgrew a hiking back carrier.  Once he was using a wheelchair we didn’t dwell on the fact; we just did our best to find accessible tracks to give the children a taste of bushwalking.  It wasn’t the same but that was just another modification to our lifestyle.

  
We were so delighted to take the kids out on a “proper” bush walk with the TrailRider.  We felt exhilarated and it was definitely a liberating feeling at the end of the walk.

We say that we try and find our way around “tricky” situations so our son can experience a wide range of things in life. The TrailRider definitely provides a great way for us to navigate the access difficulties of the bush.


I regularly share on our Facebook page the theory that one person’s idea can bring about change.    It may take many to put the idea into place but it takes that initial person to have the idea, the drive and determination to see it through.

We certainly thank David and all the people that then helped bring the TrailRider to Australia.
We share our travels at www.havewheelchairwilltravel.net and post daily at www.facebook.com/havewheelchairwilltravel.