Jason Falinksi Out And About On The Beaches
The Northern Beaches is blessed to have an amazing culture of community groups who dedicate their time and energy to helping those among us who are facing challenges. My work takes me to meet these groups and the inspirational people behind them.
Part of our Government’s commitment to these activities is through our Stronger Communities program. Federal grants help support local community organisations that play a vital role in bringing people together, and supporting those in need. I spend a lot of time trying to drum up funding for our organisations.
The Sargood Centre is one of the groups I have been fortunate to support since its inception. I first met Rod and Liz Macqueen during my time on Warringah Council, when they were fighting to turn the Fredrick Sargood house into a world-renowned resort for people living with a spinal injury.
One person sustains a spinal cord injury every day in Australia. Most are young men between the age of 15 and 24 years, and it is thanks to the Sargood Foundation that they are given an alternative to what can become a bleak reality. In July I brought the Assistant Minister for Social Services and Disability Services, Jane Prentice, to visit Sargood on Collaroy, and see how it has progressed since opening last year. Together we will identify ways in which the Government can support the life changing services they provide.
Poor mental health is another challenge more and more Australians face. Earlier this year I announced six new Australian Government-funded mental health and suicide prevention services at the Community Care Northern Beaches, in Mona Vale. Essentially they will help provide wrap-around services so anyone who deals with mental issues on the beaches can find real help, adapted to their own circumstances and lifestyle. We want to move away from the one size fits all approach to individualised care that will actually help people in the long term.
There are of course numerous sporting groups on the beaches. Most are run at low cost, funded entirely by the community, yet are life-changing for our kids. The Manly Warringah Gymnastic Club is the largest and arguably most successful club in NSW. I am trying to find them new housing which they desperately need. So I have been discussing it with the Sports Minister in Canberra and am working with my State colleagues to find a solution. Are you part of a community group?
I’d love to visit and see if there is anything I can help with, so email me firstname.lastname@example.org.